VJ Nadya Hutagalung: Dumbo's Plight Close to Heart

In Person

VJ Nadya Hutagalung: Dumbo's Plight Close to Heart

‘Celebritydom’ is almost a cheap thing in today’s age of social media. Stars come and go as quickly as the seasons change. So when you come across a rare star, one that has staying power and is able to grip the attention of fans from around Asia, you stop and have a serious chat… about elephants!

In a posh hotel meeting room in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, I wait for Nadya. It was a unique sensation, meeting a proper A-Lister for the first time, yet feeling as if you’ve known them all your life. 

How could I not? Nadya, along with her cohort of fellow VJs like Uttsada Panichkul, Sarah Sechan, Sonia Couling and Jamie Aditya, was an epitome of cool. After all, it was their work on MTV since way back in the 90s that inspired me to take on the TV route as career.

She saunters in, polka dot wrap dress and white Stan Smiths; Nadya exudes sophistication. Yet something about her carried an air of ease that relaxed the room.

We exchanged niceties, mic’d up and got down to chat. I had my game plan ready. It’s clear, researching her, Nadya is incredibly passionate about ensuring the world tomorrow is one that is environmentally sustainable.

But I thought I would massage the conversation a bit, get her to talk a little about her career development over the last two decades first before going on to the green topics.

But it was not to be. Nadya suavely brought her most immediate causes front and centre and in no time, we were talking about the plight of elephants, first in Africa and then closer to us here in Asia.

And you know what, I am glad she did. Because 30 minutes with Nadya talking about the lovable but alarmingly endangered pachyderms in the world is simply not enough.

Too much to do, too little time to save them. Watch the interview to understand the threat towards elephants, from the perspective of Nadya.