BETTER THAN EVER SHARIFAH AINI
oleh Mariam Mahadzir (The Malaysian Women's Weekly, December 2000)
EXCLUSIVE: SHARIFAH AINI– FIRST SEEN PICTURES OF HER HOME
Behind the glitter that surrounds singer Sharifah Aini is a homely person who loves nothing better than to cook for her friends. But she's so popular – she's booked until October next year – that she doesn't have much time to entertain. "This has been one of the best years of my life. God has been kind and I'm grateful for the 'rezeki' (bounty) that He has bestowed upon me," says Sharifah, who has just released her 73rd album to coincide with Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Her last album, 'Seribu Mawar' (One Thousand Roses), has been making brisk sales since it was released in July, snapped up by fans eager to savour their idol's heart-breaking love story behind the title track.
Single again since her second marriage ended in divorce over two years ago, the singer who inherited her exotic Middle Eastern looks from her Yemeni ancestor has no qualms about falling in love again. "I'm romantic and I love the feeling of being in love. But I don't go for looks as much as I go for a man's character. I like men who are intelligent, able to converse well, broadminded, understanding, fun-loving and passionate because. I'm very 'manja'," Sharifah disclose. That's quite a tall order for any man who admires the vivacious 40-something singer who, by the way, loves tall men.
Sharifah was married for the first time to Ali Bakar, a notable figure in the entertainment industry in the early 1980s. They had courted for almost six years but their marriage lasted only 10 months due to 'family pressure'. The greatest gift she got from that marriage is her son, Aliff, who is now aged 18. It is an open secret that Sharifah became the second wife of a man 25 years her senior when she took another go at marriage just months after she and Ali parted company. The man is the mysterious 'Datuk S' whose identity she has kept a secret throughout her 17-year marriage to him. It's believed that 'S' sent Sharifah the 1,000 roses in an attempt to win back her heart. This inspired the song 'Seribu Mawar'. Here, at her elegant double storey bungalow in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, she tells the truth behind their split.
Why did you keep your ex-husband's identity a secret?
By marrying him, I had hurt his wife. I don't want to hurt her further by publicizing the fact that he husband married me. That would be painful, too.
Were you aware that you would be his second wife?
Yes. I knew he was already married and I entered into the marriage with my eyes wide open. No woman, if she can help it, wants to share her man. I used to say that I'd never marry a married man. However, as a Muslim I don't question my fate. I love 'S' and felt that I'd be more stable emotionally because he's older and wiser. He was my loving husband, lover, teacher, best friend and father figure. I learnt a lot about life from him. I have no regrets that I married him.
Then why didn't the marriage last?
Who initiated the divorce?
Do you get offers of dates?
There's talk that you have a foreign
admirer – a surgeon. Would you marry a non-Malaysia?
Besides Aliff, you've adopted children. Why did you adopt?
Who else do you confide in?
You look better every
Who inspires you most