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Zeinab Harake shares lesson learned from recent controversy

DIRECT LINE CONVERSATIONS - Boy Abunda - The Philippine Star
Zeinab Harake shares lesson learned from recent controversy
Zeinab, the social media influencer, has over 13 million active subscribers on her YouTube page alone, a clear indication of her popularity.
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Social media influencer Zeinab Harake started her YouTube channel in 2019 and began sharing the goings-on in her life through her video blogs. Her first vlog showed her responding to questions from the viewers for them to get to know her more.

Her content turned out to be so appealing, Zeinab celebrated the first year of her presence in the digital platform with a whopping six million subscribers.

To date, Zeinab has over 13 million active subscribers on her YouTube page alone, which is a clear indication of her popularity. Everything she does on social media is widely followed and shared by her fans. It’s not surprising at all to see her name among the trending topics online.

Zeinab, nevertheless, admitted that she became conceited at one point in her life.

“Yes, because I couldn’t control it but I did not hurt people,” said Zeinab when we sat down for an exclusive interview a few days ago. “I guess I was misunderstood, ‘yung bunganga ko talaga kasi, taklesa ako kaya namamasama na parang ang dating sa iba mayabang pero sa akin random thoughts ko lang ‘yun.”

Being in the public eye also opens her up to people’s comments, opinions and expectations, which she finds too tough to handle, especially when she was embroiled in controversies that instantly went viral.

Her breakup with former boyfriend and Ex-Battalion member Skusta Clee became a major topic of discussion in the digital universe.

I asked how she was feeling after all the brouhaha that had happened, to which Zeinab could not simply say if everything was fine with her.

“I cannot exactly tell how am I doing now because if I say I’m okay, I’d be lying to myself. So, I’ll just say kaya ko pong maging okay, kaya ko rin pong dam-damin na lang lahat ‘yung mga dinadala ko.”

Get to know more about what is in her heart through our one-on-one interview. Below are excerpts.

In your first anniversary vlog, your explanation to having so many followers ay dahil sabi mo wala ka kasing itinatago.

“Yes.”

Nagsisisi ka ba na wala kang itinago?

“Opo, kasi pinagpiyestahan talaga ‘yung kwento ng buhay ko at nakaka-trauma talaga. Sobra kasing kulet ko, akala ko ‘yung mga ginagawa ko walang magiging epekto. Hindi ko naiisip kung ano ‘yung tama at mali. Sige lang ako sa ganito, nilabas ko lang lahat. Mali pala.”

July 12, 2019 when you uploaded your first vlog showing you answering questions from your Zebbies. I remember one question from that vlog asking if you will still love someone even if that someone had caused you pain. And your answers were: 1. ‘Pag mahal mo, mahal mo. 2. You said the reason why you’re in pain is because you love that someone, and 3. You said that you will keep on loving someone even if that someone has hurt you. Now, I’d like to know if your answers are still the same.

“I was still young when I answered that. And that time, I haven’t experienced getting into a serious relationship yet. Now, my answer to the question is not the same anymore.”

Diretsahang tanong, sinaktan ka ba ni Skusta Clee?

“Opo, sinaktan n’ya ko.”

Can you forgive him?

“Like what I’ve said in my past interviews, I’ll forgive him. Sa akin na lang po ‘yun.”

How many times did you forgive him?

“A lot of times. But after having a baby (her and Skusta’s daughter Zebbiana or Bia for short), never ko na s’ya (pinatawad). I can’t take it anymore.”

Cheating issue?

“Yes. He admitted it to me in front of my parents.”

You are now closing this chapter.

“Yes.”

In your first vlog, someone asked you, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” If I were to ask you the same question, although it hasn’t been five years now as we talk, what is your answer? Nasaan ka?

“Nawawala talaga ako. Hindi ko pa rin alam kung saan ako dadalhin (ng kapalaran), at kung nasaan ako ngayon.”

Saan ka kumakapit?

“Sa mga anak ko po talaga.” (Zeinab also has an adopted son named Lucas.)

I like the admission na nawawala ka because for me it’s an acknowledgment of not knowing where you are, where are you heading to, but you know that you want to be in a particular place. Your acknowledgment is a sign of maturity. At nakikita ko rin na sobrang nag-blu-blur ‘yung pananaw mo because of so much pain. What do you do when you are in pain?

“I pray.”

How does it sound? What do you tell God?

“I tell God all the things that I cannot say to the people around me. But even if I don’t have a problem or I’m not hurting, I always pray, I talk to Him every night.”

Also in that vlog, you had a message to your bashers, you said to your haters to keep on hating and you also said that you’re being bashed because they know nothing about you. Hindi ka nila kilala. Ganun pa rin ba ang pananaw mo?

“It’s true that I still have plenty of bashers but I will still say to them that they do not know the whole story. And I cannot explain myself to each of them. Parang napagod na rin po ako kaya ‘yung ibang bagay ay hindi ko na pinipiling ilantad sa social media. Hindi ko rin naman talaga kailangan ilantad lahat ng mangyayari sa buhay ko.

“Truth is, I’m okay now after what happened to me and my ex. ‘Yung mga nangyayari sa akin ngayon ay panibagong karanasan ko po mula nung naging single mom ako, ‘yung mga struggles lalo na sa sarili, sa pagiging nanay, sa pagiging tao, kaibigan, lahat nag-putukan at mas masakit po siya kaysa sa heartbreak kasi sarili ko na po ‘yung kalaban kaya ang hirap talaga.”

It is said that there’s a price to fame, do you think this is the price you have to pay?

“Yes. As much as possible, I don’t want to get involved in any issue again. But I don’t have control of what’s going to happen. Nakita ko na ganun na ‘yung epekto na kahit pinakamaliit na may makuha lang sa’yo o bagong impormasyon, p’wedeng lumaki ng lumaki dahil hindi po talaga napipigilan ang tao .”

What makes you happy?

“My playtime with Bia and sleeping together in her crib. Her crib is my happiest place.”

Sa buhay mong ito Zeinab, ano ang hindi mababago?

“The kind of love that I give and my being so true. The kind love I give as a person, as a mother, as a sister and as a friend will never change. I know in my heart that it’s a genuine kind of love.”

Your latest upload showing you with Jelai Andres and Donnalyn Bartolome, was it a new material? Did it happen after the controversy?

“Yes. We are like siblings. Nagdadamayan kami hindi lang nakikita sa video. Hindi kami nawawala sa isa’t-isa.”

Did you talk about that “sabaw”?

“Yes. Totoo naman ‘yun pero yung, ‘shhh ka lang,’ hindi ko maisip bakit ako nag ganun. Nilalantad naman namin sa vlog yung sabaw-sabaw. Jelai knows about it. Sabi n’ya, ‘Alam ko baby, hindi masamang tinapay sa akin ‘yan.’ Joke lang talaga.”

Zeinab, what lesson did you learn from this?

“Of course, it still boils down to trust.”

Did you recognize who among the people around you truly loved you while all these things were happening?

“Opo, lumabas po talaga. Kung ano ‘yung nangyari sabi ko baka may reason, may purpose para mamulat na talaga ako at mag-tanda na ako.”

What mistake do you think you committed?

“A lot like those words that I said. Pagkakita ko napa oh my god, bakit ko sinasabi ‘yang ganyan. I didn’t deny it because that was really me. I said sorry right away.”

Did they respond to you?

“Yes. It’s important for me to say sorry but I can’t control what other people still think about me. I also feel sorry for myself. There’s a little voice inside me as if telling me, ‘What do you think you’re doing? Who do you think you are?’ May mga ganun ako.”

Kung pagsasabihan mo ang sarili mo, ano ang sasabihin mo?

“Um-okay ka na please kasi hindi mo alam kung nasaan ka ngayon. Hindi mo alam kung may makakaintindi sa ‘yo pero kailangan mo lang gumising, maging okay ka. All I want is to be 100-percent okay.”

(To watch the full interview, visit the Boy Abunda Talk Channel on YouTube.)

ZEINAB HARAKE

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