Her foray into the world of entertainment began when she was just 11 years old, and while she relished the perks and pay, Lisa Surihani has never forgotten her parents advice: to get a university degree to secure a better future.
In 2009, she studied law at the University of Aberystwyth in the UK but her ambition to serve at her late father’s law firm was crushed when he passed away. Instead, she took up a role in advocacy.
“But the offer from the entertainment industry was extremely lucrative and at that time, I wanted to help my family as well. I thought to myself why not leverage on acting and modelling so that I can help everyone at home too,” she says. Needless to say, blessed with both beauty and talent, Lisa’s acting career quickly flourished, earning her leading roles in TV dramas and movies as well as bagging the Best Actress awards at the Malaysian Film Festivals in 2010 and 2014.
Two years ago, however, her seemingly perfect life hit a snag, which she describes as one of the biggest challenges she’s ever experienced, when she was pregnant with her second child. “It wasn’t just the hormones that were acting up but I was going through some financial problems as well and I felt that I couldn’t uplift myself anymore,” she shares. I’m thankful to have family members who kept passing messages like ‘you already hit rock bottom, how much lower can you go?’”
It was during this tough period that she came to realise the importance of having sound mental and physical health, and how gratitude can change your life as it breathes positivity into everything that you do. “All you have to do is share with your partner or anyone around you before you go to bed and and write down the one thing you’re thankful for that happened throughout the day. This act of gratitude helped me to see things from a bright side and recover quickly,” says Lisa.
Among her latest projects is on child advocacy with fellow celebrity, Daphne Iking. She reveals,“Daphne and I just returned from the Netherlands. Currently, we’re working on resolving the issue of statelessness among children in Malaysia.”
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