LiTV presenter Timothy Sangawa hadn’t set out for the world of showbiz but finds himself fitting nicely in. At a glance it seems like he has done it all, the corporate world, modelling and now TV. So how did he manage and what else has the got in store? We catch up with the 27 year old in an attempt to further understand the industry he is in and the life he leads.
Q: How did you initially decide to take the plunge and leave the corporate world, going into such a different industry?
A: Working on TV is an unexpected curve-ball that life has thrown me, and I’m loving every second of it. As a child I was always growing up with the thought that I would be in a corporate job. There was no question whether I would work in the city, that was just what I had been envisioning ever since I started school. I used to watch films like the original Wall Street with Michael Douglas and imagine myself working a high power job wearing a power suit, power tie and going to power lunches. After I graduated University with a degree in Business I started working in a number of different shipping firms and that’s where I started my career as a shipbroker.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in places like London, Tokyo, Singapore and even places as far away as Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Leaving the corporate world was not an easy decision at all, but I’ve always grown up with the philosophy that life is for living, and you should work to live and not live to work. So when I found myself living for the weekend I decided it was time to shake things up a bit. The first non-corporate job I did was modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch in Singapore, and lucky for me this exposure created new job opportunities for me in the Entertainment industry. It’s very cool to be working with LI, Life Inspired (Astro B.yond 728) it’s a great family and shooting with the team is always fun for me as we never know what to expect from one shoot to the next.
Q: What was the hardest adjustment to make?
A: Ha! That’s easy. I had come from a job where my income was guaranteed every month, so adjusting to fluctuating income was probably the hardest thing.
Q: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you since your claim to fame?
A: Haha not sure it’s the most funny but I was invited to give a radio interview on CapitalFM, and being able to say “Good Morning Kuala Lumpur!” live on air on prime time radio was pretty cool. And added to the fact that I thought everyone on the radio has to have the same kind of ‘radio voice’, so I sounded like a Hollywood Blockbuster Trailer.
Q: How important are looks in the industry you are now in?
A: Unfortunately looks are quite important. I’m not going to sit here and fool you into believing that its all about character and charisma because its not, if you want to make a break into the entertainment industry it helps to be camera friendly. If you aren’t blessed with a voice like David Attenborough then, yeah, looks go a long way.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring TV presenters?
A: Believe in yourself and give it everything you have got. Stay strong and stay focused because at the end of the day it’s you who will get yourself to where you want to be. Also, the production team you work with are so important, because they are the ones with the Harry Potter magic wand that make an ordinary presenter look great on screen, so try and get yourself in with a talented production crew and things will fly for you.
Q: What does the future hold?
A: The future holds a great deal of things, I guess I’ll find out when I get there. Just have a positive outlook and the future will be bright.
Q: What life lesson can you share with us that you have experienced from your transition?
A: A life lesson that I have learned is to trust in yourself and step into the unknown without fear. Throughout my life I have always seen change as a positive thing, as an opportunity from which you will find your success, and this is a valuable lesson I am grateful to have learned, for as they say, fortune favours the brave.