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Sunday March 20, 2011

Meet Gadaffi the singer

He may share the name of the notorious Arab leader, but Dafi takes it witha pinch of salt.

IF your name is Gadaffi, chances are you will be the subject of taunts and jokes these days. This is exactly what Gadaffi Ismail Sabri is facing as his namesake, the notorious Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, continues his crackdown on the opposition forces in his country.

But Gadaffi, or Dafi as he is known in the local entertainment industry, is taking everything in his stride.

Born on Dec 14, 1988 in Kuala Lumpur, the 23-year-old son of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says his parents actually named him after the Arab leader.

“Yes, I have to bear the brunt of carrying the name but we actually looked up to him (Muammar Gaddafi) before the unrest in the country. It’s very sad to see what is happening in Libya but that doesn’t stop my friends from teasing me,” he says in a telephone interview.

On his Facebook, Dafi’s friends often tag him on pictures of Muammar Gaddafi. “I’m quite used to it now,” he says, laughing.

“Face to face, I have been accused of violating human rights. I can’t take them too seriously because they are just playing around.”

Dafi’s career in the entertainment industry started in 2007 when he joined the fifth instalment of the local reality talent show, Akademi Fantasia.

He was eliminated in the eighth week but that did not do anything to dampen his singing career. He has since released an album titled Seumur Hidup, which includes his hit single Bila Terasa Rindu.

And his foray in the entertainment industry is not confined to singing either. He is also the voice behind Troy in the local Malay production of High School Musical. He is expected to release a new album by mid-year and is currently releasing a new single titled Euphoria.

He is now busy on a shoot for a local drama series titled Waris.

Despite his hectic schedule, Dafi has managed to spare some time to tell us about his food habits.

What is your philosophy on food? Do you have any favourite food?

I am very picky when it comes to food. I am also a small eater and prefer to stick to something familiar. Also, I dislike vegetables. If I go to a restaurant, I tend to choose the same thing more often than not. When it comes to fruits, I can’t stomach local fruits such as rambutan or papaya. Orange, strawberries and grapes are my favourite. My favourite dish is tomato rice. I just love it for some reason.

Is there any food you don’t like?

Vegetables. However, I can still make an exception with kangkung sambal belacan and sambal pucuk paku.

Do you binge or have comfort food? When and where?

Chocolates! But I only buy the duty-free ones at airports when I travel. I love milk chocolates.

Do you have any peculiar eating habit?

I tend to consume my food very quickly, even when I’m not rushing anywhere.

Would you go out of your way for certain food? Would you eat in an empty restaurant?

Yes, of course. I have taken trips to Penang just to eat Nasi Kandar. I also like some of the hawker stalls at the Batu Ferringhi food court. Yes, I would eat in an empty restaurant. My theory is just because it’s empty, it doesn’t mean the food is not good. The food in a packed restaurant can sometimes be disappointing as well.

What do you dislike most about eating out? What turns you off?

Unsanitary places. My biggest peeve is eateries with flies and cockroaches scurrying about.

How do you find out about where to eat?

A lot of my friends recommend good places for me. Best of all, they know what I like.

Do you watch TV food shows? Which is your favourite?

Yes. I particularly like to watch Jamie Oliver in The Naked Chef.

If you had to cook a fast meal, what would it be?

Maggi Mee.

Is there a street food recommended by friends that you have been hoping to try out? Where?

Yes. I have been told to try the Indonesian cuisine at Bumbu Desa.

What’s your favourite shopping mall/pasar malam/flea market?

I like to shop at Pavilion KL. You can find almost anything under one roof.

How do you spend your Sundays?

My weekends are mostly occupied with drama shoots and performing at events. When I have some free time, I prefer to rest at home or spend time with my friends.