It was on the 20 February 2020, just a month before Malaysia plummeted into a lengthy pause, when rising star Zahirah MacWilson tied the knot with actor Aiman Hakim Ridza.
The romance was a whirlwind, though the pair have been acquaintances since 2016. “Aiman and I met for the first time on the set of Demi Cinta Ain,” Zahirah says.
She explains that they respected each other as co-stars and casual conversations were pleasant but brief. New to the industry and introverted, Aiman’s demeanour put her at ease. “I found him to be very professional and easy to work with,” the lead of Bulan dan Pria Terhebat shares.
Fast forward to November 2018, Zahirah found herself in Istanbul, while Aiman was in Amsterdam. “I had received a script scheduled to shoot in January 2019. Aiman was going to play the hero, which I was looking forward to, having developed a little crush on him,” the actress candidly confesses.
Despite not meeting since filming the 2016 drama, Zahirah found herself following Aiman’s life on social media. “It was that mysterious, shy, intriguing vibe that caught my attention. Little did I know that he was doing the same!” she says with a laugh.
The friendship soon blossomed, she says, “When we returned from overseas, Aiman asked me out for a bite. Of course, I agreed right away. We hit it off so naturally and rendezvoused the next day. On the third day, he asked me to marry him. We continued dating and were engaged in June 2019.”
Knowing how hasty it sounds, Zahirah is quick to add that she was surprised how perfectly Aiman met her expectations, “I knew he was the one when we had our first date and am glad he felt the same way.”
Zahirah was enamoured of Aiman’s gentlemanly nature. “He treats everyone around him with consideration and respects not only his parents but mine as well. It caught me by surprise – how much he respects me too,” she says. There was without a shadow of a doubt for Zahirah, who adds that Aiman also earned her mother’s coveted seal of approval.
When the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into effect on 18 March 2020, the twosome celebrated their one-month anniversary bunkered together. Despite global uncertainty, they found refuge in one another. “Spending the lockdown together was a blessing in disguise. We learned how to live as husband and wife,” she says. Zahirah affirms their relationship grew stronger each day. “Aiman and I are very understanding of each other and don’t fight over silly things.”
A relationship based on more than just great chemistry, Zahirah credits Aiman with teaching her to stay positive and to be more appreciative of life’s many tangents. “There can be a lot of pressure in this industry, and so to have him remind me that things are going to be fine is incredibly calming,” the actress admits.
Aiman’s lessons were especially relevant during the Raya season. “This was the first time I spent Raya without my family. It was hard for me as I am not used to being apart from them – Raya was always a season packed with house visits!” But technology came to the rescue, as Zahirah was able to FaceTime with her treasured kin.
It was also thanks to modern technology that the couple had an essential outlet for their creative energy, co-producing YouTube vlogs during the MCO. While Zahirah’s love of vlogging predates her marriage, learning that Aiman was fond of the idea of producing content together sparked her muse into overdrive. “We both like to brainstorm and share ideas on just about everything. It is great because we both have a similar sense of humour and so it’s easy to guess what the other is thinking – sometimes without even saying a thing!” Zahirah says.
The synergy Zahirah has with Aiman reflects in her choice of finery, as she wears Louis Vuitton’s new LV Volt collection with electrifying ease. While the LV Volt Multi Band Ring and LV Volt earrings are her absolute favourites, the actress is a huge jewellery lover, especially partial to stackable rings. “I love the unisex appeal of the LV Volt collection with its minimalistic yet edgy designs. The collection’s title and pieces remind me of lightning bolts, symbolising power and energy.”
Aiman feels similarly about the unisex collection, “It is minimal yet classy and artistic, and most importantly the iconic LV initials really show a metaphor for movement and symbol of energy.” The actor is pleased with Louis Vuitton’s first foray into creating a non-binary collection, particularly the LV Volt One pendant necklace, confessing “I would wear it everyday.”
Energised, Zahirah and Aiman are ready to start a new chapter. “We want to seize new opportunities,” Zahirah says, confirming the duo are working to co-produce content even now. “Although I consider myself quite a private person, I do love sharing my experiences with my fans and the public. Before this, I had been shooting and editing all the videos by myself though soon I may have to find myself an editor!”
Styling: Colin Sim
Photographer: Edmund Lee
Makeup: Rae Seok
Hair: Keith Ong
This story first appeared in Prestige Malaysia’s September issue.