Veteran singer Zaiton Sameon finds joy in selling rendang

The ‘Menaruh Harapan’ singer makes at least 40 to 90 kilogrammes of rendang a week. — Picture via Instagram/Dapor Zaiton Sameon
The ‘Menaruh Harapan’ singer makes at least 40 to 90 kilogrammes of rendang a week. — Picture via Instagram/Dapor Zaiton Sameon

PETALING JAYA, March 5 — Veteran songstress Zaiton Sameon, best known for her song Menaruh Harapan, wants to set the record straight — she sells rendang for extra income not because there are no singing offers.

In an interview with Harian Metro, the 62-year-old said she doesn’t like to gain sympathy or ask others for help while she is able to work hard.

Although there are cynics who say the singer is no longer relevant, Zaiton is brushing off the negativity as long as her work choices are “halal”.

“Some said I’m not in demand anymore after selling rendang on social media but I don’t take those comments to heart because Rendang Nasib Dari Dapur Zaiton Sameon is in demand, even in Singapore,” she told the Malay language portal.

Zaiton clarified that she still actively sings, but the offers she received have been unreasonable, revealing that she was once offered RM1,500 for a performance in Johor Baru.

“I’m disappointed that there are those who are willing to take advantage of veteran singers like me.

“Imagine a fee like RM1,500 and having to go out of state. There are petrol and toll to consider but what about my clothes, makeup and accommodation? These are not free,” she said.

For her rendang enterprise, Zaiton makes chicken rendang, beef rendang, mixed rendang and daging dendeng.

“I’ll make at least 40 to 90 kilogrammes according to requests. I wake up as early as 3am to sort out orders but I only sell for three or four days per week.

“I’m grateful for the encouraging requests,” she said.

Meanwhile, Zaiton claimed to have been approached by many men including high profile personalities but she is not interested in getting married again.

“There’s a Datuk who is trying to court me, but I’m not interested because I’m tired of dating notable people. If it’s fated, I’ll accept but for now, I’m comfortable with my life,” said the singer who has been living alone for 37 years.

She added that if she ever found someone, she hoped her other half will be a responsible person who can provide guidance.

“If possible, I’d like a guy who can guide to be a better person and lead a happy life until the end.

“The question is, are there still people who want old ladies like me?” she said.

Zaiton was previously married twice, but both marriages ended in divorce.

She also had a son who died in a road accident in 1990.

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