‘Ola Bola’ actor relishes being back in Kuching for Raya

By Jude Toyat
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Haris Zainuddin

Haris Zainuddin

Today marks the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and for Haris Zainuddin, the much-awaited celebration is a time that he and his family look forward to each year, especially since he first started acting last year.

Since being in ‘Ola Bola’ – the 2016 Malaysian sports football movie directed by Chiu Keng Guan – the 21-year-old has only been back to Kuching once for his brothers birthday.

“I am super-duper excited for Hari Raya this year because since ‘Ola Bola’ was released in January, I have been excited for the festive season. For someone like me who grew up in Kuching I cant stay away from my hometown as it is where my heart is,” said the second of four siblings, confessing that he also missed the local food here.

“I love to help my mother and usually during Hari Raya, the kitchen will be filled with activity as we prepare food for the festivities,” said Haris, whose mother Normah Ibrahim – better known as Emma Daniel, a renowned shoe designer based in Kuching – always makes time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri despite her hectic schedule.

Haris (right) and his family.

Haris (right) and his family.

Haris, who is currently a final year student of Diploma in Technology (Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering) at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, said that Raya means a lot to him as it is the only time that he will mostly be in Kuching after being occupied with studying and professional stints like acting, hosting and modelling in Peninsular Malaysia.

He has always led an active lifestyle playing sports, which really helped him win the role of Sanjeet Singh in ‘Ola Bola’. Despite his good looks, he never had the intention to act or become an actor.

“It just happened. Nevertheless, I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to act for the first time in Ola Bola.”

Currently, he is in the process of shooting a new drama for TV3 Slot Lestari entitled ‘Mariam Alissa’. The 13-episode drama will be aired starting this August.

“Besides being an actor, I am also a model and a host. I am super excited to see what opportunities lie in front of me in the near future,” he added.

Haris’ favourite part about Hari Raya is meeting up and spending quality time with family and friends who visit during their open house.

“During Raya, my friends and family members will get together and share stories. It is the best time for us to catch up since we are living such busy lifestyles and usually are not able to meet up with each other.

“I love to spend my Hari Raya here in my hometown compared to Kuala Lumpur where it just feels like a normal holiday for me. The Hari Raya vibe is stronger here as many people will be wearing their Baju Melayu everywhere and enjoying the festive season,” Haris, a fun-loving person added with a smile.

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