Brunch with Buro: Munah Bagharib

Brunch with Buro: Munah Bagharib


Text: Yvette King

Photo: Vanessa Caitlin

Host of the Not The 5 Show and a new travel series, #MissAdventures, Munah Bagharib of YouTube duo Munah & Hirzi catches up with Yvette King who finds out who Patrice really is
You could say she's the jack of all trades, master of all. Munah Bagharib can not only list actress (Working Class on Channel 5 anyone?) and host (the Asian Television Awards just last month) to her quickly expanding CV, but also YouTube sensation — she's one half of Munah & Hirzi, the dynamic duo who stop at no bounds to make us laugh in their bite-sized comedies posted on their popular channel. Despite conquering the interwebs and television (her new travel series, #MissAdventures, premieres tomorrow) Bagharib remains an all around cool chick who was happy to catch up with an old friend over a nibble and beverage at Open Farm Community.

Mediacorp seems to be your new home! Tell us what you've been working on and what's coming up!
Currently, I'm hosting Not The 5 Show, which is a brand new format compared to the previous season — so it's a lot more variety and tongue in cheek. It's been really fun working on it because we have such a talented and hilarious team on the show. The best part is that we have a live studio audience, so it's a lot of interaction and playing around with the audience members too!

Apart from that, I'm also on shoot for a brand new travel series on Okto. If I'm not wrong, it's their first travel series in many years! It's an adventure travel show called #MissAdventures and I host it with Carla Dunareanu. It's been such a dream, because I've always wanted to do a travel series and to be hosting it with someone so amazing and talented, I can't think of anything better. We have such a great team on board and the kind of things we get ourselves into for the show are crazy!
Munah Bagharib and Yvette King at Open Farm Community
Are you the adventurous type though, or is it all for the camera?
YES! To actually do a travel show and do crazy, adventurous activities for it, that's a dream! I love adrenaline and I'm the sort who will just do it and then figure out how I feel about it later (laughs). I think it really works that Carla and I are both hyper adventurous, so we're always up for any challenges thrown at us.

What has been the most challenging gig to date?
A monologue last year, as part of Teater Ekamatra's Projek Suitcase. I worked closely with director and playwright Irfan Kasban on his piece, Ana. It was such a challenging role to play, especially because I've never done a one woman show. The piece was really beautiful and so intelligent so there was a bit of pressure on myself to do it right and well. 

What an eye opener it was though. In a sense, it really helped me understand myself a bit better about what I want and what I am. Something about being forced to be vulnerable in such an intimate setting, really moves you as a performer. And I usually hate being seen vulnerable! When I first did it, I hated how it made me feel! (laughts) But then I grew to accept it and understand it — I really have Irfan to thank for believing in me.

Let's talk about your YouTube channel. How did it start?
Well it actually started just for fun, because Hirzi and I have always liked doing crazy things so we thought, why don't we document all of them on video. The first idea we did on MunahHirziOfficial was 10 Dares, where we dared each other to do weird things on the streets. It was meant to be shared just amongst our friends but little did we know that YouTube was a growing medium at that time, and people started picking up on our videos.
They asked for more, and we thought, "hey, this could be something fun". And the rest is history. It's our eighth year in it now and we've really evolved in content and production, but we still very much keep to our original brand because it's our baby and we love that it's still a passion project.

I guess people don't realise how much work goes into it — tell us step by step how you put these brilliantly, wacky vids together!
Oh my goodness, yes (laughs). The hours we put in before, during and after production. It's tough and never ending, but I think when you are in it for the fun of it, you'll enjoy the process all in all. And I get to do it with my best friend, which makes it all the better! It's a long process if I go into detail, but it is a lot of planning and coordinating, especially because mine and Hirzi's schedules are so different from each other now. Back then, it was easier because we were still newly graduated, but now that we're working on our own things, time is the most difficult aspect of it. But we find ways to make it work!

Honestly... how many times a day do you check your phone?
(laughs) I don't know how many times, but every minute of that day. I'm so ashamed of this! I know I need to put in more time into the real world and stop being on my phone all the time. But I'm addicted to work so even when I have a little break from physical work, I'll get on my phone and do other work that needs to get done. I will stop, I promise, I'll try!

You are so lucky to have some career variety — you've got your fingers in many pies at the moment — but what's your favourite thing to do?
I like trying out new things. It keeps me going and keeps things scary and different. But I think I love acting a little bit more, because it's as different as different gets — playing another character all the time and to be able to create something in a new world, it's a lot of fun!
Munah Bagharib and Yvette King at Open Farm Community
How does Munah have fun?
I really like to just sit down and do and think of absolutely nothing. My days are so hectic all the time and it really drains me out. So when I finally get some time, I just sit down and poof — nothingness. But aside from that odd habit, I also like to be with my friends or family just to let go. I love going to Mustafa Centre also, it's very calming just walking around, reading labels. Mustafa is amazing, they have everything there! #NotASponsoredPost #JustAWeirdObession

Are you a fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of girl or does confidence come easy to you?
Oh my god, I don't quite know! Maybe fake it is not the term — more like, "just do it and think later"! That's something I can relate to. I'm aware that I'm not as confident as many people and I guess that's why I always need to motivate and push myself to do something unfamiliar. Or else, I'd be scared all my life. So most of the time, when I do something, I don't go on overthinking it, I just do and figure it out as I go.

What's on your bucket list?
So many things! But off the top of my head (and has been in my head for years now), get a sky diving license and dive with the Great White and Hammerhead sharks.

And finally... who is Patrice?
Is this a hint for me to get a better description on Instagram? (laughs) She's from How I Met Your Mother! The character Robin abhors her and always screams at her! I love the compilation of Robin screaming at Patrice so much, I watch it on YouTube every single time I'm down and it makes me laugh!

#MissAdventures premieres on Okto, 10 February at 10:30pm. Special thanks to Open Farm Community for hosting Brunch with Buro