Her TikToks of trolling scammers by serenading or berating them have gone viral in the past few months – one even reached over one million views. In these videos, local actor and TV presenter Nurul Aini shows off her fluent Mandarin skills as she plays along with the scammers, before throwing them off with her cheeky sense of humour.
While these videos have attracted thousands of viewers, Nurul is not new to being in the limelight. She is a familiar face on local television, having acted in a number of dramas, including her most recognisable role as Durrani – a go-getting and ambitious career woman – on Channel 5’s Lion Mums, about three Singapore mothers who strive to give their children the best in life.
With years of experience under her belt, the warm and affable 40 year-old celebrates her 20th year in show business this year. “I realised just before this interview that it’s my 20th anniversary. So this [Her World] cover – my first one – means a lot to me,” she says.
For Nurul, it’s more than just a celebration of her career achievements. It is a step towards more representation for people of colour in the local entertainment industry. The Singapore-born actress – who is of Malay, Peranakan, Pakistani and Dutch descent, and speaks English, Mandarin and Malay – adds that she is glad to see more minority races on TV today, including in long form dramas on Channel 5 that feature more Malay and Indian families.
“I’m very happy with how things are progressing right now when it comes to the media and the TV industry. I can see my fellow actors progressing to other channels after being on one channel for many years. There’s still room for improvement, but I can see the progress, and I hope we can keep it up,” she says.
When Nurul landed a leading role in Lion Mums in 2017, it opened an opportunity for her to transition from being a star on Suria, which caters to the Malay-speaking audience, to acting in one of Singapore’s more mainstream TV channels. She has also been invited to act in a Channel 8 Mandarin drama The Heartland Hero, where she had a role as a doctor.