The very first job Fikry Ibrahim had was working at a neighbourhood butcher shop at his kampung in Pekan Napoh, Jitra, Kedah. He was just seven years old then.
The now 29-year-old recalls he wasn’t very good at handling meat at that age but he kept at it as a learning process.
He continued to work at the same place until he moved on to a cleaning job at the age of 12.
“When I was in Form One, I worked at a fuel station in front of my house. Form Two, I sold perfume, and then bags.
“After my SPM, I worked at a factory. When I got to university, I did a part-time job as a mascot performer for BoBoiBoy as well as for Perodua,” the comedian-actor says.
Fikry, whose full name is Ahmad Fikry Ahmad Ibrahim, carried on with doing extra jobs while earning his Diploma and then Degree in Mass Communication, majoring in advertising, at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam.
They include cleaning drains, working at a car wash and starting his own laundry service with just a single washing machine to begin with.
One thing that fuels his determination to work so hard, he says, is wanting to lead a better life for himself and his grandmother, who raised him after his parents divorced.
At the same time, Fikry defines wealth as not just material things but the people in his life.
He adds: “For me, any job that I take on, I would think about how it benefits me, my family and the society. I look at every job as an experience and something I can learn from.
“Now I can look back and apply what I’ve learned to become a better person.
“Education is also very important to me... because I know that only with education can we become a more matured person and of sound mind.
“If I ever become a leader, I want to be able to think clearly. Most politicians today I feel are the same (in how they think)... I feel you must know things in order to change things.”
With that conviction, it’s no wonder Fikry found success soon after participating in the 2016 TV competition series Lawak Solo, where he won third place.
From there, he got the chance to host Jalan-Jalan Makan Angin before getting into acting.
Among the TV dramas he acted in are Hero Seorang Cinderella, Kau Yang Pertama, Keluarga Baha Don 3, Nusyuz Berkiblat Cinta and The Bridge 2.
He’s also done a number of telefilms such as Cekelat Semanis Honey, Cekelat Tak Semanis Honey, Janji Jantan and Gadis KOL.
This year, he made his big screen debut with horror flick Rahsia, playing the husband to Nabila Huda’s character.
The film, which was shot in 2020, opened at cinemas nationwide on Aug 10.
Another first for Fikry was performing on stage for the first time in the musical Keajaiban Puteri Langkawi Mahsuri which was staged at Dataran Lang, Langkawi, Kedah, back in May.
Headliners of this play were Tiz Zaqyah, Fauziah Nawi and Hairi Safwan. The latter is someone Fikry names as his best friend who helps him when it comes to acting.
“I was quite nervous doing theatre because it’s a totally different thing to be acting for a TV show and for a play.
“But I am the kind of person who is willing to look dumb in order to learn and go forward. And Hairi was there too to guide me (in acting).”
Besides performing and hosting, Fikry commands 1.1 million followers on Instagram thanks to his entertaining content – some of which get thousands of likes.
Not only that, Fikry also has a couple of businesses that he has started like hair salons, fragrances and flooring products, and he’s a spokesperson for a number of products.
Other interests come in the form of extreme sports, namely jet skiing, motor crossing and horse riding.
All this, and he still makes it a point to go back to Jitra to visit his 75-year-old grandmother whom he fondly calls mak – or jokingly makcik whenever she “guest stars” on his Instagram.
To him, she is No.1 on the list of people who matter to him.
“I just prioritise,” he says when asked if he has more hours than the rest of us.
“If I know I have work to do, I change my schedule around so I still have time to visit my mum and do all the other things that I need or want to do.
“I appreciate every minute that I have.”
1. From Lawak Solo, you have become a popular celebrity. Did you ever envision all this would happen when you decided to take part in that show?
I never thought I would be where I am today.
I still can’t believe it – I got fame, I’ve gotten so many opportunities, I got jobs that pay me good money – money I couldn’t even imagine when I was young – and I have met so many good people along the way.
I’ve always appreciated all those people who motivated me and encouraged me in my endeavours.
Truthfully, what I imagined when I was a kid was that one day I would be on stage giving a motivational speech to thousands of people.
I am so grateful that I got to do that. Even now, I give talks to students and corporate people because it’s my turn to motivate people.
2. How did your interest in showbiz begin and who were some of your inspirations growing up?
I grew up in a poor surrounding and in a poor family. Entertainment was a form of escape for me.
One of the first shows that I saw that got me hooked to comedy was Mr Bean. This was when I was five years old.
I also watched a lot of Tamil movies when I was growing up because I had a lot of Indian friends. And I really liked how the comedians (in these movies) express their emotions – I found it entertaining.
3. Your videos on Instagram definitely made me laugh. Can you share when you felt your content made a positive impact?
Getting comments that my videos are funny is a normal thing for me.
But what I find extraordinary is that my social media content is attracting different races in Malaysia, which I think is great as that is exactly the way it should be.
We shouldn’t be making content for one group only.
I have met a few Indian and Chinese people who have said to me that they enjoy my TikTok videos and have asked for more content from me.
I do not know exactly how they found my videos – but I feel good and appreciated when someone I never expected to be my target audience to compliment me.
I have had my share of negative comments too.
But over time, I chose to ignore comments that don’t do anything else other than to hurt me.
If it’s a critic meant to improve my work, I am fine with that.
But if it’s just a mean comment, nowadays I just ignore it... maybe they were stressed and wanted to vent when they wrote them.
That’s OK, as long as I don’t put up anything that would hurt others.
4. You are involved in extreme sports like jet skiing and motor crossing. What attracts you to them?
I love the adrenaline rush (they generate).
Sports like jet skiing and motor crossing are something that keeps you on your toes – you never know what’s around the corner. I like that. You have to be focused at that moment and nothing else.
I have planned to do a jet ski trip – to go from Kedah to Kelantan and back – since before the pandemic, but it hasn’t materialised yet.
I am also into horse riding, and competitive shooting sport (like paintball).
5. How do these activities influence your approach to work and life in general?
Doing all these, I think, has improved my confidence.
I’ve had some close calls (playing these sports) but never been seriously hurt. And because of that, I am less fearful when doing something new or meeting someone new.
It basically pushes me to get out of my comfort zone and helps me to improve my focus and to stay alert in my daily life.