Juggun Kazim On Marriage, Career and Family Life
From acting to modeling, to hosting morning shows, she does it all!
Q1. From acting to modeling, to hosting morning shows, what inspired you to pursue your career?
I have to admit that I’ve always wanted to do something in the media. When I was really young I used to watch Indian movies with my grandmother a lot, and I remember myself constantly imagining myself as one of the characters in the movies. My family members keep telling me when they used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I used to say ‘Amitabh Bachan’ lol, that was my way of saying that I want to be an actor. So I’ve always wanted to do this, it’s not something that I randomly fell into.
Q2. What is the one item/food you always have to have with you on set?
I always have a bag of mixed nuts with me. So that if I feel hungry or low on energy, there’s something that I can eat. Since the last 3 or 4 years I’ve become rather health conscious. 5 years ago if I got hungry I would just grab a bag of chips but now I make sure that I carry something healthy along and lots and lots of water.
Q3. In your opinion, what are three qualities in a woman that are imperative?
The three qualities, that are imperative in every human being not just a woman 1) you have to honest, 2) hard-working, 3) and you have to be a good person. You can have all the money in the world but if you’re a horrible person it doesn’t really matter. Similarly, you could be the most beautiful person in the world, but if you’re ugly on the inside, the outer beauty won’t really matter. If you’re honest, hard-working and a good human being, you can literally achieve anything you desire too.
Q4. Describe yourself in five words?
Asking someone to describe themselves in a few words is really hard, but If I had to I’d say (and from what people have told me) confident, honest, outspoken, very affectionate and ALWAYS HUNGRY.
Q5. What is an average day like for you?
Every day for me is usually different but there are a few standard things in my daily routine. I usually sleep around ten at night. My younger son Hassan sleeps with me so I usually wakeup up a few times during the night to change his diaper or to give him his bottle. I usually wakeup around fajar, and say my morning prayer. After that I start getting ready for work , I help my son Hamza get ready for school. Then I go for my morning show for PTV which runs from 9 am to 11 am. From then on till 12 I usually have a meeting related to work. Then I head to my gym for an hour. I also do a TCB class at structures, ‘the circuit box’ so I’m in the gym twice a day, most days if incase I don’t have a shoot. If I have a modeling assignment or an acting thing then the day changes completely. In that case I got to the set directly from the morning show. Hassan and Hamza come to me on the sets and spend time with me there. Otherwise, on regular days I make sure I have dinner with my family and spend enough time with them every single day.
Q6. What is your daily mantra for happiness?
Honestly, if you’re good to people and you go out of your way to be helpful to others you will have so much joy and happiness in your life it’s unbelievable. Usually what people do in their lives, which I find a bit off is that they just live for themselves and don’t really give anything back to the society. So my daily mantra is ‘give back to the universe and the universe will give things back to you tenfold’, but don’t give things with the intention of getting something back.
Q7. Tell us about your first and most recent work experience and how you feel you have grown.
I can’t even remember my first work experience because it was so long ago. I don’t really count my first acting job as a ‘work experience’ because I worked for my university in the work study programme when I went off to college and that was years and years ago. But obviously when you start your first job you’re scared and you’re nervous. You want to impress the person you’re working for, but at the same time you’re uncertain of how to do that, so there’s a lot of uncertainty there when I started working. When I got into the media I was given advice (sometimes it was very bad advice on purpose), so that I would get into trouble or go into the wrong direction. Sometimes people who you think are your colleagues can be your worst enemies, so you have to keep your guard up at all times. Now with my most recent work experience, I’ve been working with Garnier for the past 8 years, I’ve been with PTV with 7 years; whoever I work with now it’s a long term relationship, because fortunately thank God I’ve had good experiences. I’m in talks with a couple of films, there’s one that’s definitely going on set in September or October. Dealing with them and them involving me step by step through everything feels really good. When you’re new in the industry, people don’t really bother involving you from the inception to the conception of the project. But now people will come and ask me for my opinion, they want my advice for stuff. Obviously as you grow in the industry and establish yourself people start giving you more respect and your own self confidence and craft improves and increases along the way.
Q8. One piece of advice you would give to aspiring actors?
I would say this to anyone aspiring to be anything, you have to work hard and you can’t just take for granted the fact that you have talent so therefore you will do well in life. There are some people who are very lucky who are unprofessional but still get ahead in life. But if you work hard, respect your seniors and you have even a little bit of talent and you’re willing to learn you will get very far in life. So my advice is work hard, respect your seniors, focus on what you’re doing (Listen, watch and learn), you will grow to heights you couldn’t even imagine.
Q9. What is the key advice you would give on balancing work and family life?
Honestly, I wish someone would give me advice on how to keep a balance between work and family life. One minute I feel like I’ve got my personal life completely sorted and I suddenly look over my shoulder and I’ve missed a couple of great work opportunities. If I spend too much time working, I’m constantly feeling guilty for not spending time with the kids, my mum, my mother and father in law. It gets kind of crazy sometimes. With personal life there are so many different tiers, but then there’s a third aspect of life which is social work, which is when you give back to the community. So between that and giving back to the society and working and raising your kids, it gets really hard. I make sure I schedule everything; I have this little day planner and I put everything in. I give myself a fifteen minute margin between stuff and hope that I won’t get late for anything because then everything else goes into a weird spiral. So I think scheduling is very important, making a week or months plan really helps.
Q10. Who would you credit as the most iconic individual in the film/TV industry?
There are so many people but my aunt Rehana Saigol, who even though was a part of the television industry for a very short time, but I always look at her as a symbol of elegance and fashion. She’s an amazing woman and she inspires me every second of everyday. She still does a bit of theater every now and then, so whenever she’s working on a new character she spends a long time working on the back story and on developing the character. Her and Imran Aslam performed love letters recently and their performance was just awe-inspiring! So, even though she’s not that well known as an actor because she’s business woman and a jewelry and clothing designer but to me she is the most inspiring person that I’ve ever come across. I believe, for inspiration you don’t always have to look far, sometimes it’s right there in front of you in your own home. If we look beyond that, I would say Meryl Streep and Shabana Azmi are two women that I have so much respect and admiration for.