Footballer Irfan Fandi, the 17-year-old son of football legend Fandi Ahmad and model Wendy Jacobs, got a taste of his mother’s profession when he posed for the cover of entertainment and lifestyle magazine Manja. Its 15th anniversary issue will be out on Friday (Jan 23) with two variant covers.
“This is Irfan’s first ever magazine cover shoot. He is the youngest person ever featured on our cover. We chose him because he embodies our vision for Manja. He is young, very talented and faces up to new challenges. He is set to become an icon ten years down the road.
“Our vision for Manja is similar – to face up to new challenges and remain an iconic magazine in the next decade,” said Manja editor Ruslina Affandi.
She added that the first-time cover boy is “very good-looking”. “Irfan is hot both on and off the field!”
Manja senior writer Aizam Omar revealed that Irfan had been looking forward to being featured in Manja. However, it took some time for her to make the footballer, who recently made it to a list of top 40 best young talents in world football, open up to her.
“He isn’t quite like your average 17-year-old. He is very reserved and shy, different from the image he has on social media. It took a while for him to warm up,” said Aizam. But once he did, they spoke about everything from what food he can’t live without to the qualities he is looking for in a girlfriend, as well as his desire to play for a European football club.
Manja’s associate art director Muhamad Azlin, who oversaw the photo shoot, shared Aizam’s sentiments.
“Initially, Irfan was totally uncomfortable. He was very stiff. We couldn’t get him to smile naturally. I was like ‘Oh man, how is this going to turn out’. But after about half an hour, he warmed to us and became more relaxed,” he said. “The result was good. He has the potential to be a great model. He has the height and he is very good-looking.”
The February issue of Manja goes on sale on Friday (Jan 23).