12 Good Men Of 2021
Her World Singapore|November 2021
Meet this year’s darling dozen – each of them influential leaders in their respective fields, with the social media followings to prove it.

1 FAKKAH FUZZ

35, STAND-UP COMEDIAN @FAKKAHFUZZ 53,000 200,000

The first Singaporean to have a Netflix original comedy special, Fakkah hosts the More Better podcast when not performing at live shows. He has also just launched a pop-up comedy club.

I MAY SAY SOME WILD THINGS, BUT IT’S JUST TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH.

HIS NETFLIX SPECIAL IS TITLED ALMOST BANNED BECAUSE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED

“I made fun of a political head and his followers did not take it lightly – they wanted me banned from the country. Fortunately, the matter got resoIved, but since I became known for what happened, I just thought I’d take the ‘brand’ in stride.”

HIS HUMOUR IS CENTRED ON TRUTH

“When I do my shows, I tell real stories and share real perspectives. The ‘funny’ comes from within. It’s a good form of therapy! Comedy has been a reliable source of happiness for me.”

HE IS “VERY AFRAID” OF PEOPLE MISUNDERSTANDING HIS INTENTIONS

“I’m very concerned about how I make the room feel, even when I’m not doing a show – I may say some wild things, but it’s just to make people laugh. I always feel anxious about being misunderstood, particularly since I realise that people like you until they don’t.”

HE STARTED A POP-UP COMEDY CLUB BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT THE CRAFT TO DIE

“The only way to keep this craft alive is if there are newer comedians, so I started Kopi O Comedy Club. People can test their material and go on stage to tell jokes. This allows them to develop their skills.”

HE PRACTISES BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU AND TRAINS EVERY DAY

“I’ve been doing it competitively for two years. I love that it puts me in a place where I have to problem solve. But I don’t love BJJ as much as I love stand-up comedy, I just figured having a hobby would be good – to take a break from one thing.”

2 LENNARD YEONG

33, IN-HOUSE CHEF AT MIELE SINGAPORE @LENNARDY 84,500

An engineer by training, Lennard is a self-taught chef and made a career switch after realising that cooking is his “escape”.

IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, YOU SHOULD TAND UP FOR IT.

HE MADE IT TO THE FINALS OF THE 2015 EDITION OF MASTERCHEF ASIA

“I was in engineering for three years, quit to do the show, then went back for another two years. After leaving the industry, I worked part-time in restaurant kitchens, and it was only nine months later that I took up the job at my current company.”

HE HAD A SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING EVEN BEFORE JOINING THE SHOW

“I used to do a lot of intricate plating and the pictures would get reposted on websites such as The Art Of Plating, which helped with my following. I earned almost nothing when I was working in the kitchens, so I was grateful to have a side income through IG.”

HE LOVES JAPANESE CUISINE FOR ITS FOCUS ON “IMPERMANENCE”

“It’s very rooted in seasonality. We don’t have that concept in Singapore, and I think there are pros and cons to it. To have access to an ingredient constantly is definitely good, but sometimes, knowing that it will disappear after a few months makes you treasure it a bit more.”

HE’S HAPPY TO ENGAGE WITH FOLLOWERS

“I quite enjoy discussions with my followers and I’ve learnt so much from mine. Even when someone corrects me, I’m totally fine with that. It’s a journey where we learn together.”

TO HIM, BEING A GOOD MAN IS ABOUT HAVING INTEGRITY

“I feel like a lot of people have ethics that are very malleable. If someone wants to work with you, but you don’t agree with what they do, you shouldn’t take it up even if it’s a lot of money. I’ve turned away a lot of clients because I feel like the branding doesn’t align. If you believe in something, you should stand up for it.”

3 HE RUIMING

32, CONTENT CREATOR @THEWOKESALARYMAN 264,000

Ruiming is one-half of the duo behind The Woke Salaryman, which creates finance-oriented content relevant to Singaporeans. The page first went viral after he penned a piece about how he saved $100,000 before the age of 30.

IT’S ONLY SO OFTEN IN LIFE THAT YOU GET TO CREATE SOMETHING OF YOUR OWN AND HAVE IT TAKE OFF.

HIS PLUNGE INTO RUNNING THE WOKE SALARYMAN FULL TIME WAS A “BORING AND PRUDENT” DECISION

“The Woke Salaryman was started in 2019. We decided to quit our jobs and run it full-time after we realised that it was getting a lot of traction – it’s only so often in life that you get to create something of your own and have it take off. I also had a good amount of money saved up, so it wasn’t like I was being a daredevil.”

HE CO-FOUNDED THE PAGE BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SHOW THAT, WITH ENOUGH EFFORT, “BORING THINGS CAN BE INTERESTING”

“Nothing can be more boring than personal finance, and we wanted to show that it can be interesting with the right type of storytelling and content strategy. We want to ‘wake’ people up about their financial situation.”

THE TOPICS HE WRITES ABOUT ARE INSPIRED BY HIS EXPERIENCES

“For example, when I was an employee, I’d think to myself, ‘I work so hard, but my boss is the one who gets all the profit’. But your boss is actually taking a risk on you – it’s two-way. It’s actually hard for your boss to respect you when you guys don’t see things on the same level.

HE RESPONDS TO ANGRY COMMENTS WITH EMPATHY

“Some people will say things like, ‘How can you say this? So many issues are systemic.’ I understand that the world is an unfair place, so I try to have empathy – I don’t actually know what they’re going through. I usually try to diffuse the situation with positivity, and am proud to say that I’ve ‘converted’ some haters.”

HE’S STILL “TRANSITIONING INTO BEING COMFORTABLE WITH SPENDING MONEY”

“I still feel guilty when I buy anything that costs more than three digits. When I bought a Gopro, I was like, ‘I spent so much this month. How could I be so reckless?’ But then, I have to remind myself that I can actually afford it.”

4 AIKEN CHIA

32, CONTENT CREATOR @AIKENCHIA 86,000

FOOD KING IS A COMPANY IN ITSELF AND HE CO-OWNS IT

“I am a partner of Food King, and I joined specifically to start a food show, because it’s always been a dream of mine. I went to ACS for my primary school education and all the rich boys were always eating at nice places, so starting the show was kind of like making up for what I missed out on in my childhood.”

HE PRACTISES INTERMITTENT FASTING WHEN HE’S NOT FILMING EPISODES

“We shoot once a week, every week. But when I’m not filming, I practise intermittent fasting to let my body rest. I don’t usually eat lunch, and usually have just one meal a day when I’m not filming.”

HIS ROUGH CHILDHOOD MADE HIM LEARN TO TAP INTO HIS STRENGTHS

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