For one, Daphne Iking definitely doesn’t look her age. She’s one year shy of turning the big 4-0 but could certainly pass off as someone in their late twenties, and this is thanks to a balanced lifestyle coupled with good genes.

She’s a personality Malaysians would be familiar with, having been in the media industry for a long time now. Though she has her hands full with emcee-ing, and hosting, her biggest life passions would be her 3 beautiful kids and husband, Azmi whom she personally describes as “loyal and protecting”.

In this edition of DKL Gets Personal, we caught up with Daphne as she shares on everything, from her morning and evening skincare routines, to what she wishes to impart on her 3 kids.

1. How do you juggle so many hats on top of being a full-time mom?

My husband, Azmi, is also my manager and business partner. He handles my schedule quite diligently. If I’m not out on gigs or shoots, I work from our home studio office. So, my flexi hours allow me to see my children—but even this has its pros and cons. Because sometimes, I get distracted by my children and their needs, or chores and issues at home or worse, I get lazy and tend to just do other stuff around the house BUT work in the office. LOL.
I think sometimes one needs to cut oneself some slack though. But having said that, Azmi and I have just started to incorporate a WIP (Work in Progress) meeting OUTSIDE our office at least once a week – just so we can focus on not just our business dealings, but each other.
I also believe that waking up early is key. I am in bed by 10pm latest and I wake up by 5am. I get a lot done when the whole house is asleep. It’s important to have some quiet time alone to gain back your sanity and to give some love to yourself (first). Either I do yoga or I am at the garden.

2. Having been in the media industry for so long, what’s one thing you have learned?

I was attached to the News & Current Affairs department for a while and then I was offered to write for a column so naturally, this job required me to always be up-to-date about the latest news and updates. Being in the media, having first hand verified interesting news and to be first to broadcast this finding is a huge WIN.
With technology and social media, digital media took over and so did the speed of getting news out. While it had its ups. the danger to this was the fake or unverified news sharing. I’ve learnt to verify and not vilify all news that come my way—and not simply share away. I’m more careful about what I post and take responsibility in uploads that have been shared or written by me.
Also, NOTHING is off record in an interview. If you don’t want something to EVER come out, never mention it OFF record ’cause it WILL be on record.
Looks can help, but true professionalism and being good at your art will always be the key in getting regular clients to rehire you. Looks can go. Skills and knowledge will always be there and it’s expandable.

3. What’s the best part about being a mom?

That sense of being useful in this world and the unconditional love and faith of the innocent that I try to not break.

4. How did you gain back your figure after having 3 kids?

I haven’t, to be honest, which really annoys me most days, and humbles me when I’m feeling grateful. I have that paunch around the tummy that will never go away, according to a personal trainer. No matter how much weight I lose and even when I strengthen my core muscles, that flabby skin that hangs over my C-sect scar will always be there unless I do an invasive surgery—which I have no plans on getting done.
I practice yoga, run and swim, I have my cravings and then I also have my good days. Most times, I just know how to flaunt the better side of me and to suck in the stomach.
Though I really don’t feel as confident with my body shape right now, I am careful how I project this internal self-body-loathe as I want my children to have a healthy approach to their bodies and to eat healthily.

5. What’s one word of advice you’d like to impart on your kids?

Once you start kissing, there’s no going back to just holding hands. My mother taught my sister and I this, and to respect our bodies. I may be liberal in some matters, but I’m conservative when it comes to sex and I firmly believe that children should wait after marriage to have sex and marital courses are so crucial. Learn to respect your body. That message is the same for my sons.

6. What’s one thing you love most about your husband, Azmi?

He is extremely loyal to me. He may be extreme in the decisions he makes for the family and I, and I get annoyed sometimes, but I know deep inside, he does it because he is just protecting all of us.

7. What are your passions outside of work?

Social issues: Child Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking. Helping unwed pregnant mothers.
Hobbies: I love gardening and diving.

8. What are 5 things we’ll find in your handbag at any given time?

Phones, Wallet, Vaseline Lip therapy, Pen and a Book

9. What’s your default makeup look and fashion style if you’re pressed for time?

Sunblock, mascara, blush and lipbalm. As long as I don’t look like a dead cicak. Fashion? A clean crisp white shirt and a scarf to tie around my head/neck/hips depending on what I pair my shirt with.

10. Walk us through your skincare routine.

I do oil pulling first thing in the morning and “pull” for at least 10mins. I usually water the plants while waiting. Oil pulling removes whatever toxins accumulated around the mouth and throat area while sleeping. Wash face with foam cleanser, toner, moisturiser and sunblock or BB cream. Depending on where I’m going. I also put on light makeup if I’m meeting clients or have engagements outside.
Oil cleanser to remove makeup (if any) or milk cleanser to remove the first layer of “dirt”, followed by a foam cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser. Once a week, I use a facial scrub and use more intense serums to really hydrate the skin (especially after long hours wearing makeup day after day). I have facials done once a month and do face yoga to relax and strengthen the facial muscles.

11. How did you get into yoga and how often do you practice it nowadays?

I picked up yoga when I was in primary school. I read a second hand book on yoga that belonged to my mum and “learnt” from the illustrations in the book. Fast forward to my early 20s, I started joining yoga classes and eventually ended up taking a yoga instructor course so I can do self-practice at my own pace and place.
It’s good to practice yoga everyday – even if it is 2 sets of the sun salutations.
Even when I pray, and perform the sujud, I am aware of the muscles used while performing my solat. How I engage the core and bend forward, feeling all points that are in touch with the mat. How I use my breathing techniques while berzikir. Even how we live is a yoga experience. So to answer, I practice yoga every day. 

12. Where would you like to travel to next?

Turkey or Eygpt. Definitely a Middle Eastern country or dive at Raja Ampat.

13. What’s the best part about being Sabahan and your fave Sabahan cuisine?

No one asks me what race and religion I am. I’m just another fellow Sabahan to them.
Cuisine? Pinasakan Fish and Mee Tuaran. 

14. What makes you happy in life?

 Making others happy.
All Image Credits: Daphne Iking
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