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Monday, August 08, 2005


As the dust settles on yet another successful season of Akademi Fantasia, one can't help but wonder about the phenomenon that is Mawi and his 'World'. A quick look at the Malay dailies on a lazy Sunday morning whilst having breakfast reveals front-page splashes of the lad from Felda Kulai basking in all his glory.
I won't take anything from him. The people have voted. Though I was somewhat upset that 'Best Performance' and 'Best Vocals' were also SMS-driven, it was a no-brainer on who would end up winning. And after going through articles and comments made about him, plus a phone interview with Halim on HO Live last night, it just made me wonder. Ada apa dengan Mawi?
Even the now-moustache-less Halim Othman was baffled on why this guy is so popular. Mawi himself doesn't know the reason for all this euphoria and hype surrounding him. Such an innocent kid. And to think that 3 months ago, he was just another anak muda cruising on his EX5 on the roads of Kulai.
What is this hype that is Mawi and his World? Is it the innocent, nasyid-singing, ex-qariah image brought by him? Is it his humble background of being a good son from the rurals of Felda? Is it just simply because he's a young man with a zest for nasyid? Or is it just that the Malay society craves for the 'next' inspiration for our sons and daughters? A modern folk-hero in the steps of Hang Tuah and P. Ramlee? A continuity after the Siti Nurhaliza phenomenon?
I guess it's a mixture of all the above, plus the fact that a certain political party has already got into the Mawi bandwagon. Hmmm...that's funny. A few days ago, didn't someone say reality TV like Akademi Fantasia were a bad influence?
Mawi wouldn't be the superstar that he is without the makciks, pakciks, the young and old, even Ustazs who see him as great role model and as someone who is a true idol in their eyes. Because why would then there be people using their hard-earned money to send in hundreds and hundreds of SMSes just to see this guy make it? Why would there be office show-downs between the Mawi fans and those who are not? Why would there be those e-mails lingering about on how ASTRO has this conspiracy against him? Why? Because they love him. They adore him. God bless Mawi, they say.
Talent-wise, I don't think he was the best among the AF starlets. Okay-lah, he had something. But not something out of the ordinary. But come to think of it, Zahid last year wasn't much of a superstar either. I guess his charm is his persona. I guess some people are just born with it. They don't have to do anything. Flash a smile for all the world to see and the world smiles with you. Their mere presence is enough to make people go bonkers. Sorta like Fonzie everytime he appears on Happy Days. That kinda madness. Lucky you.
AF3 has come to an end. And with that, all the hooplah and gossip will eventually die down. So what's next Mawi? I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes. I can't imagine the weight that has been brought upon your shoulders. Everyone will be keeping their eyes on you. I'm a harsh critic. I say you'll be just another Zahid or Vince. You'll be around the industry. But maybe just that. Prove me wrong dear Mawi. Because some people believe in you. A lot of them actually.
I bid you all the best. But I still wonder, can I have my own World too?

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