“I was so happy with how I was able to reach so many people”
From banking, to home décor, to presenting, Enjy Kiwan is certainly not afraid of hard work. But she is driven by her desire to help others; a character trait she’s particularly proud of. So what’s next for the Egyptian born mother of two? There seems no limit to Enjy’s dreams!
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello. I’m Egyptian born and raised in the UAE. I’m a true Sagittarius and a mom of two. I believe that one day I’ll make a difference.
Tell us about your education.
I studied finance and banking at the American University in Dubai. I also have a certificate in reporting and journalism.
What was it like growing up in Dubai?
I grew up in Abu Dhabi but went to university in Dubai and continued my life here.
It’s peaceful and secure; just easy.
We had everything growing up. It was like living in a bubble – a good one!
I grew up in a small community with lots of nationalities which opened up my eyes to many cultures and killed the stereotypes that people around the world have for and against certain nationalities. Growing up here grounded me but spoiled me at the same time; having everything within arm’s reach and having the best of everything. But then I realized that I was lucky to have this and that’s how it grounded me.
What got you interested in banking?
My father. I wasn’t interested at first, but my father always told me to get a job where people come to you, you don’t go to them. Plus I had to stay here in the UAE so this was pretty much my only option!
How and what got you interested in presenting and MC? Who was your inspiration?
I used to hold my mom’s blow drier brush and speak to the mirror from the age of 7. And whenever I had a problem I’d pretend to be Oprah calling Enjy Kiwan on stage for therapy –
it did wonders! I couldn’t pursue that dream when I was younger but at 31 I decided I could no longer do something I wasn’t enjoying. So, with the support of my husband and friends, and with God’s blessing, I was able to pave my way through this. My inspiration was, of course, Oprah. I want to make a difference and I always say you need to be either super rich or super famous to be able to raise the money to help those less fortunate than yourself. That’s my aim now.
What do you enjoy most about presenting?
The end goal. The adrenaline. Knowing that you have the power to have people hear you. It’s a powerful thing and I love it!
You also launched Rubabikia – a home décor boutique? How did that happen and what is Rubabikia in a nutshell?
It happened after I gave birth to my first child. By the time I went back to work (at Reuters, which was actually my favorite job as a banker), I found out I was pregnant with my second child. The thought of having a full time job with two babies haunted me. At that point I decided to leave and start my own thing. I was in that phase of loving furniture and custom making everything. The idea was to promote Egyptian carpentry and help those who haven’t really been able to show the world their skill and talent. So I did it for two years and it was great. People loved it. But I had to go back to work and I couldn’t sustain a job, two kids and a store. So I had to let it go.
How often do you visit Egypt and what do you love and miss about Egypt the most?
Egypt, my lovely Egypt. As a child I hardly went but I made the decision after hosting in Gouna to make a point of taking my kids at least once a year. Growing up here and not visiting Egypt made me feel like I didn’t belong anywhere and I don’t want my kids to feel like that. I love Egypt’s soul, it has so much of it. The people are kind and I’m so proud to be Egyptian.
You left your 10 year banking career in 2016 to pursue your passion for presenting. How easy or difficult was the decision? Are you happy with your decision today?
When you have the support of those closest to you, it’s easy. It was easy to make that decision but the actually process wasn’t. Until today, I faced difficulties. The lack of security that comes with it, the constant hustle, the constant ‘what’s my next milestone?’ is a struggle. But it’s one that I chose to live I guess.
You have collaborated with several prestigious brands. How do you choose the brands to work with or get associated with?
You don’t really choose them, they choose you. But of course, you get to decide if it’s a yes or no. My biggest accomplishment is when people meet me and love that I’m ‘real’ and that they see that through my social media. That’s what I base my collaborations on – what is real to me and my life.
You are currently promoting wellbeing and a healthy aspect of life. Can you elaborate more on this?
I’m not a fitness trainer or nutritionist, I’m just a normal woman who is relatable and I guess that’s what mattered to people. People started asking and I felt that maybe I could influence a balanced life. I had issues with my stomach for the longest time and had to tackle these issues, which apparently a lot of people suffer from. So I shared my journey and I was so happy with how I was able to reach so many people.
Exercise comes naturally to me. I was a kick boxer in my teens and that just rolled over to my adulthood.
How do you manage your family life and career?
It’s tough. The guilt can eat you alive; guilt towards your kids and husband and guilt towards yourself and not pursuing what you love. You can’t balance it but you make up for things I guess and life just goes on.
What are some of your plans for the future?
To open my own orphanage. To have my own show. To have more kids! To take over the world!!
What is your motto in life?
To move forward you have to give back – Oprah.
What are your best places to hang around in Dubai?
There are so many!
Beaches: Cove, JBH, Westin, Chiringuitto.
Restaurants: The Artisan, Teatro, Zuma.
I love places where you can walk when the weather is good. All Meraas projects are beautiful and there are two that are super close to home, La Mer and City Walk. You’ll find me there all day, every day.
Your message for us at CP magazine.
Thank you for featuring me, pushing women and showing our strengths. It’s not about women empowerment it’s about motivating and inspiring others to do what they love and know that it’s ok not to have it all, because you just won’t have it all at once.