Name: Hilda Khalife Moudabber
Date of Birth: 09/08/1973
Motto in life: “Whenever God closes a door, He always opens a window.”
Hilda Khalife Moudabber, TV presenter of the hugely successful Star Academy program on LBCI, is not only a renown face and a much-loved presenter, she is also a dedicated and loving wife and mother of two. In a candid interview with Fit’n Style magazine, she tells us all about how she manages between the responsibility of a family and the public life that comes along with fame.
Describe Hilda as a child.
I was actually very cheeky, very naughty…. I was a tomboy. I grew up with one brother and a lot of boy cousins in Australia and played in the backyard in the bush. It was a happy childhood. I left Lebanon when I was two at the beginning of the war and lived all my childhood in Australia.
What did you study?
I studied advertising and marketing at Notre Dame University (NDU), but I didn’t work in the field because I began with LBCI while I was still studying.
How did you get the opportunity to start out in the world of entertainment?
It was by pure luck. I was elected Miss NDU and a friend of the family approached me and asked me if I would like to try out for LBC; my Arabic wasn’t very good at all at the time. Nevertheless, I went and did a small test and totally forgot about it because it wasn’t until two months later that they approached me at university and told me to come for another test, and then another, and finally, they started working on my Arabic… The rest is history.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
I think my favorite would have to be Star Academy because it’s a lot of fun to do and it’s challenging. The rest was all experience and learning.
No, not at all. I think that if there was anything I didn’t like at a particular moment, looking back now, I realize that if it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have learned from it.
What kind of challenges do you face by being a mother as well as a career woman?
There are times when you just can’t be there for the kids when you want to, but most of the time you are there and that comforts me. My work is not a routine office job from nine to five and so I have a lot of time on my hands for my kids and I get to do as much as possible with them. Of course there are times where you have to admit to yourself that there are days when you just can’t see them at all. So you sort of fix your timing where they can be with others like their grandma or father so they don’t really feel left out anywhere. The most important thing for me is that they don’t feel left out or neglected.
What would you say is the biggest sacrifice with fame?
I think just the fact that you lose your privacy, and everything you do, you do in public. If you get pregnant, you get pregnant in public; if you have a child, you have a child in public; if you get married, you get married in public; if you’re out somewhere with ten million other people, everyone knows you’re there. Fame is a double edge sword. It’s really nice, but sometimes you feel that you’re privacy is gone.
How would you describe motherhood in a few words?
It’s inexplicable. You fly with joy. You can put so many words to it, but you only really feel it when you are a mother. It’s one of the most beautiful feelings, and at the same time, with all that love that comes, the same amount of fear for your child comes along with it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read and I love yoga.
Do you like any particular sport?
I love yoga and I used to dance. I grew up in Australia dancing in a professional dancing school; when I came back to Lebanon, I continued to dance. Because I couldn’t keep up with the lessons and everything, I started going to the gym, swimming, and exercising.
How do you stay fit?
I try to be as healthy as possible, but I’m not a health freak. I eat a lot (much more than what I look like), but I move around a lot too and my metabolism is quite good. At the same time, when I eat a lot of fried or unhealthy food, I tend to take care the next day or even the next week. So, I spoil myself every now and again, but it’s definitely not a daily routine. I try my best to eat fruits, vegetables, salads… but I love my chocolate!
What are your future plans?
At home, looking after my kids and being with them as much as possible. Professionally, lots of ideas come to my head about doing something on my own one day, but as for TV, I have never thought of the future. I don’t believe in looking at the future in TV because it’s not a stable job and you might get lots of offers you don’t want to do… I take every day as it comes when it comes to television. At the moment, I’m perfectly happy in Star Academy, a daily show for four months which is more than enough! I enjoy my eight months holiday after that where I can spend more time with my children and travel.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Definitely working; I might still see myself in TV if there’s a program that suits me and that I like because I feel comfortable in front of the camera now, and I know I have a lot to offer for a long time. Everything else depends on being in the right place at the right time and finding the right thing to do on TV. But I don’t see myself only in TV; it’s still very blurry in my head right now… I might be doing something creative, maybe in fashion, something just as challenging as TV, but a bit more private.