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Homegrown Heroines

You know me.

Despite my gregarious and oftentimes open personality, I am really shy.

Penelope Cruz on Sept issue of The Malaysian Women's Weekly

Penelope Cruz on Sept issue of The Malaysian Women's Weekly

I was an excruciatingly shy girl while growing up. The only way I shone was through my academic results. Even so, my pride is often mixed with a kind of shyness.

I don’t know how to react when the spotlight is on me.

Crazy as it sounds, yes, that is me.

But I have no problem shining the spotlight on people. In fact, I love doing that.

So where’s this post going? I interviewed Alex many moons ago for our business blog and I thought that was that.

It was not to be.

She came back to me a few weeks after that, asking to interview little old me!

She was doing a feature on 3 Malaysian women who were “women with heart” and one of them was to be me.

Oh gosh!

It was a little follow up to find out what the women of the Great Women Of Our Time Awards were doing after getting nominated for the award. (My claim to fame was in 2008 and if you missed that post, you can check out the glamour me four years ago. I had so much fun during the photo shoot in The Westin KL and the glamorous gala dinner where Ning Baizura sang and I was all goggle-eyed.)

I was in superb company in this September 2012 issue of The Malaysian Women’s Weekly – there I was with Bilqis Hijjas (the president of MyDance Alliance) and Leela Panikkar (co-founder of Treat Every Environment Special or TrEES).

Krista Goon featured in the magazine

Here’s an even funnier aside: two months ago, a local Chinese newspaper (Guang Ming Daily) here in Penang decided to interview me and a few ladies from my women entrepreneur group. It was supposed to be published before our anniversary luncheon happened but you know, you can’t rush the media.

They have their own deadlines. So when the feature on WomenBizSENSE finally got published in its entire full page glory, we were mighty pleased BUT none of us (with the exception of Cecilia) could read Mandarin. That was all of one day’s happiness – great publicity for us as a group and great publicity for us individually.

A few weeks later, there I am in my tatty shorts and grungy t-shirt buying vegetables in the Lip Sin market when the auntie who sells vegetables told me she read the interview in Guang Ming!

Her daughter-in-law mentioned that her mom-in-law (this vegetable auntie) recognized my photo in that article! I must say this lady’s eyes are sharp.

However, being in the media has its cons too. The day our feature came out in Guang Ming was the day a woman from Sungai Petani called me asking for a loan. It seemed she read about our women entrepreneur group and thought we’d be easy suckers!

She gave me some strange tale of being broke, having two kids in college and get this – the Ah Long were chasing her to repay her loan and could we or our group loan her some money?

Wow.

She kept calling me until I told her that we don’t give loans and I would get her the number of a local ADUN help centre so she could get proper help. She stopped calling after that!

That was the only weird incident.

Most times, the publicity has been great and allowed me to get slightly known. I’ve always been grateful for the media limelight (many thanks to writer friends like Alex and more) because media exposure always helps promote and publicize our business!

Featured in Guang Ming Daily

Remember that story about Guang Ming wanting to know how I made yogurt at home?

Well, they featured my how-to as well as a tiny picture of me holding a tub of yogurt on 20 March 2011.

UPDATE
[Li Choo, the Guang Ming reporter, recently emailed me the link to the feature on the Guang Ming website. Here’s the link: http://www.guangming.com.my/node/98904?tid=46 This online report also includes photos of how I made my yogurt in a step-by-step way.]

It was published about 2 weeks after I gave the photos to the journalist. It was also a day before our trip to Hong Kong which meant if it had been later, I would not have managed to run down to the Indian news vendor to grab a copy. The journalist had SMSed me and told me it was appearing in the Sunday edition – this was a feature you see.

Featured in Guang Ming newspaper 20 March 2011

Featured in Guang Ming newspaper 20 March 2011

The thing is, I am still a newbie at Mandarin so my reading skills aren’t terribly exciting. I can manage roughly to get an idea what the feature said. Hope to get it translated one day by my aunt.

But if you want the English version, you can get the yogurt recipe here – I call it the pictorial guide.