Jasmine King is a Malaysian theatre producer, comedian, writer and creator of the Youtube series This is Sabah. We’ve become a fan of her series, her passion for life and infectious smile. She’s a hilarious diva in the making and you’ll learn to love the people of Sabah through her video series. She doesn’t let anything hold her back, whether it’s fear of some of Sabah’s more unusual ethnic foods, heights or people’s perceptions of what typical body size is for Asian women. She’s breaking through glass ceilings and stereotypes with humor – and we couldn’t love her more for it.
Tell us about yourself. Who is Jasmine King?
My name is Jasmine and I come from the Malaysian state of Sabah on a beautiful island called Borneo. I am a proud Kadazan, that’s a native tribe from Sabah, and have a great appreciation in promoting and preserving native culture and traditions; not just of my own but of Sabah’s unique and diverse indigenous culture as well. I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling, hence why I have great appreciation for theatre and the performing arts – whether watching it or being involved in it – and now YouTube.
What’s the best thing about Sabah?
The people! Sabahans in my opinion are friendly and warm people. We love engaging with new people and any exciting events that are out of the ordinary. We are generally curious people and always up for a challenge, hence why Sabah is a great place for anyone to explore and experiment with your ideas! Got a new play? Let’s see it! Got a new festival? Let’s experience it! We aspire to become a melting pot for music and art, culture and tourism and many other exciting avenues things. The mix of people that inhabit Sabah allows it to be the amazing and inspiring place that it is. With equally amazing and exciting people that live in it!
I love Sabah for its rich culture and traditions, its colourful history and exotic nature, its beautiful and diverse people! Sabahans have great appreciation and pride for this diversity! Most importantly, Sabah is home and has been home to myself and my ancestors of many generations back, it is where my whole being is rooted in.
When did you start making a YouTube series?
I started venturing into YouTube mid this year just for the fun of it. I have been telling stories through blogging since I was young and with my passion for acting it was only natural that I’d slowly venture into YouTube. YouTube started of as an avenue for me to spread my views on body positivity and ‘life hacks’ topics. Eventually, I realized that it was also a great way for me to tell stories about Sabah and Sabahans as there was a lack of representation of us in the mainstream media.
What has been the response so far?
The response I have gotten, especially from my This Is Sabah series, have been overwhelmingly positive! I love that both Sabahans and non-Sabahans alike can relate to and be entertained by the series!
What was the hardest part? The best part?
The hardest part about making videos is probably executing ideas and making them interesting for viewers. Also, being consistent with my posting! The best part of it all however, is reading the kind responses that I get from viewers! Comments always make my day!
What inspires you?
This is pretty cliché, but I am inspired by passion and motivation. I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many inspiring people who are so passionate and motivated in what they do that they create new opportunities for themselves and others when there isn’t one. This was a great driving force for me to do YouTube because I realized since there was a lack of representation of Sabah and Sabahans in mainstream media (aside from your usual nature, forest, orangutan and Mount Kinabalu ads). Because of this, I thought to myself, “Hey, why not do something about it!”
You’re a confident, sexy, curvaceous, funny, woman. Were you always like this? How did you become so fabulous?
Haha, thank you! I feel very fortunate to grow up in a time where we have social media as mediums of inspiration and where differences and bodies regardless of its shapes, sizes or colours are celebrated. I think just being able to accept this diversity and appreciate it enabled me to love and embrace myself even more and in turn, allowed me to be the person I am today!
Have you faced haters online? How did you deal with it?
Luckily, nothing major, but I do get some comments here and there that aren’t especially nice, so I try not to bother, though it does hurt. However, I feed on positive energy, and lucky for me I get more of that, so all the negativity just gets muted out!
Any advice for people wanting to take the plunge into web videos?
Definitely take your time and get into YouTube when you are ready because it takes a lot of commitment to make videos; creatively, financially, in terms of equipment, time etc. Also, an important tip is to know who your target audience is and create your content with them in mind as this will help make you unique and different from other YouTubers out there! This will also give you an idea on what direction you’d want your channel to go to. Start with a niche audience and slowly move up! There is a big growth of YouTubers in Asia, but it’s still rather new and fresh, so definitely tap into that potential and market! Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Any future projects you want to share with my readers?
Not yet! However, I have lots of video ideas that I am super excited to get started on and it will be awesome! I can’t wait to show it to you guys!