Bits & Pieces on the life of Shaniera Akram
By Nudrat Mustafa
Shaniera Akram’s passion for life and continuous humanitarian work for different causes has earned her a place in the hearts of Pakistanis. Wife to Cricket legend Wasim Akram, Social Diary got the opportunity to talk to her…
The wife of cricket legend Wasim Akram, a humanitarian for her foundation, a passionate activist and a full-time mother of three, takes time out to play a round of our Toss Up. Find out her biggest phobias, which food items she barely touches and what she really thinks about living in Karachi
- Tell us about your family and professional background.
I grew up in Melbourne in Australia and I am the eldest of 4 girls. I was very lucky to go to a private girls school. My parents liked to buy houses and renovate them so I moved more than 15 times before I was 18. I made friends in every neighborhood. I started my first job at 14 and used to balance my school work, social activities, after school sports and part time job. I had worked 5 part time jobs by the time I was 15.I wanted nothing more than to be independent. When I finished my studies I had enough money to buy my first car and my first business which was a clothes boutique. I then went in to PR, but charity events were my passion.
- When and where did you first time meet Wasim Akram?
A friend in Melbourne invited me to a dinner and Wasim was there. He approached me and introduced himself. He was very polite and he made me laugh. We stayed in contact for a while and called each other every other day. I just remember laughing so much when we were on the phone. He made me smile all the time. Wasim had an energy about him that was so just so charismatic, he was like the candle and I was like the moth haha. But the rest of the story you will have to read about when the book comes out!
- We would be highly glad if you tell us about your role in The Akram Foundation.
When I moved to Pakistan I wanted nothing more than to help out any way I could. The country was so humble and hospitable to me that I wanted to give back. I have researched and worked in many different areas of our community and wanted to help out where I thought it was needed the most. I am now the CEO of the Akram Foundation, we have an amazing director Mohsin and a fabulous kind hearted hard working team that really believe in our causes. Our main focus is on hospitals, renovations and assistance, and second- to university education scholarships. But the third tier to our foundation is ‘ICare’ which is an Umbrella for causes close to my head such as awareness campaigns from road safety to diabetes, working with communities, support for women and children, water distribution, individual medical assistance and emergency response. But we have a really exciting project we have been working on for a while which involves Cricket! We will keep you posted. I hope to build our foundation to a level that it is really making a difference but the start is the hardest especially when you’re doing it from your heart.
- What quality in him attracted you to the extent that you decided to say yes to his proposal?
I loved him more than anything in this world. He was my destiny and I knew that in my heart. Nothing was hard; there were no warnings or cautions. Everything just seemed to make sense. So we followed our hearts. Life is too short for regrets.
- Coming to a typical question, tell us about your experience of living in Pakistan. The people here, your daily interaction; terms with your extended family where language can become a barrier; how are you managing it?
Pakistan for me was not at all a concern. I had heard about it so much from Wasim so when I arrived I already felt like I was home. I love everything about my new country. And when you truly love something then you love everything about it, its strengths and its weaknesses. As a country Pakistan has been through a lot, but you can see the heart of the nation beating through the hearts of the people and that is a beautiful thing to be a part of. Our country is changing though; we are becoming stronger and more aware. There are some exciting times ahead and I am very thankful that I will be a part of it.
- Do you miss living in Australia?
Australia is one of the best countries in the world and I am very lucky to have been born there and raised as an Australian woman. But my life is in Pakistan now and this country needs me more than Australia does right now. I go back to my home town a few times a year and it is always wonderful when I do. I’m very lucky I have that option.
- It seems you have a wonderful bonding with Taimoor and Akbar. Am I right?
Haha you might have to ask them. But I love them like my own. They are good boys and are growing into great men. I told them that no matter what happens I will never ever leave them. They are mine for life and I will do whatever I can to be the mother figure that they deserve.
- Despite being married and a mother, you are so slim, how do you stay in shape. What’s your secret?
Hahaha I am married to Wasim Akram!!! He is crazy fit. We have a strong relationship together because we exercise together, we stay active and we love eating healthy. As an Australian being active is not so much a choice as it is a lifestyle. Life is just beginning at 30, 40 is the new 20 and 60 year olds are doing what teenagers are doing. Wasim and I consistently maintain a strong healthy active environment for ourselves. It’s not just the key to looking and feeling good it’s the recipe for life!
- How has being married to a celebrity affected your personal life?
It’s a little lonelier to be honest. You can have hundreds and thousands of people following you on social media but when you are in need you might only have a couple of people to really rely on. But that’s why I love living in Pakistan, Pakistani people will give you the shirt of their back or their last bit of food if they thought you needed it more than they did. But I have a strong family network and have made some very good friends here. If you can count your real friends on one hand then you are doing well.
- Quick choose round:
- Organic or Junk food?
Really ? Is this even an option?
- IPhone or Samsung?
I’m an iPhone Babe
- Facebook or Instagram?
- Karachi or Lahore?
Haha trick question ! No comparison, both are different and both are amazing
- Coke or Pepsi?
ive never ever had either and don’t plan to start now.
- Day or night?
Day day day day !! Morning morning morning !
- Cats or dogs?
Both! Anything living on this planet deserves my love
- Book or movie?
Movie. Don’t have time for books anymore unfortunately
- Sports or games?
- Do you plan to start any new venture? If so, what field are you picking to step foot in?
I will but can’t reveal anything now. But I will definitely keep you posted
- Any three things, according to you, which are necessary to have in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your better half?
Communication, Sense of humour, and most most most importantly Trust
- Your message to your fans, through the platform of Social Diary Magazine.
I never chose my life, it chose me. I’m not perfect and I’m not trying to be. My desires in life are being to be a good person, living happily and helping people who need it. I’m in a position where I think with the right people believing in our cause we can really make a difference to so many lives. Everybody is important in the world; we all have a role to play. I believe I am meant to be here for a reason and that reason is to contribute to this amazing country. Follow me or don’t, like me or hate me it’s up to you, but I will try to live my life as honestly and as sincerely without leading you to believe that I am something that I am not, and I will try my best to never let you down. What you see is what you get with me.