The love/hate relationship of Waqar Zaka and social media is estranged to none. You will find his name amongst the most lauded and controversial personalities in Pakistan. Praised for his efforts in doing charitable work, revolutionising our media by introducing the concept of sting operation shows and in general being a celebrity who even shows his personal life like it is. He still on the other hand gets a lot of stick for some of his work, notably his attitude with the contestants in his shows, and who can forget the infamous patch-up of the two “misunderstood brothers” in the whole Waqar-Junaid saga. But whatever happens, he seems to find a way to be relevant in our lives.
Born in Sargodha, Waqar Zaka first appeared on the national television at the age of just 17 with his song ‘Nahi Parha Mene Poora Saal’, but it wasn’t until the release of his show ‘Living On The Edge’ which became a nationwide sensation that Waqar Zaka became a household name in the TV industry of Pakistan. This was followed by a number of reality TV shows such as ‘Xposed’, ‘King of Street Magic’ hosted by Waqar Zaka which gained immense popularity and became an instant hit with the public. Themes of his shows and his performances in them made Waqar Zaka the emblem of daring.
Often criticised for his bold attitude towards the participants of his shows, it didn’t change Waqar’s style of hosting as he knew this was one of the essence of his shows. Can you imagine how absurd the shows like ‘Xposed’ or ‘Living on the Edge’ would have been if they were hosted by some Mr.nice guy, exactly!
One of his biggest criticism and perhaps the most controversial stunt pulled by Waqar was when according to his close friends he staged a brawl, to give publicity to one of his client’s upcoming project. Though hard to believe, but if it was actually a publicity stunt for the upcoming project then it has to be one of the most effective ways to market a project as it caused Pakistan’s social media to go into meltdown as everybody was watching, sharing the video. Following the release of that ‘Waqar Zaka’s beaten up’ video, Waqar himself started a campaign against the ‘security guard culture’ which amassed him a lot of followers empathizing with him. People got emotional over that video and wanted the culprit to pay for it. But then things took an interesting turn, Waqar released a video of him sitting next to the person shown hitting him in the viral video and shaking their hands saying it was all a ‘misunderstanding’.
What must be noted here is that Waqar handled this situation really well. He turned this into a win-win situation for himself. If it was all just a publicity stunt then it was an all-out success as this topic was the top trending issue for weeks. If however, he was actually beaten up for real then once he realised our police authorities aren’t going to do anything about this, he sensibly reconciled with Junaid and made people believe that it was actually a ‘misunderstanding’. Well played Waqar.
Another one of Waqar’s secret to always somehow be in people’s mind is that he doesn’t hesitate to show his humane side to the world. Helping ‘Bilbatori’, acid victims, disabled people, going into war-torn areas like Syria and Burma, running his own charity foundation, Yes, he’s done all this and more!. And he shuts his critics up who try to undermine his charity work by labelling him a show-off by arguing that ‘if I am posting my private life videos of attending parties n such, so why shouldn’t I post videos of me doing something good for the society’. We have to give it to him that it’s actually hard to argue against this.
Any aspiring showbiz newbies should take a note or two out of Waqar Zaka’s book about how to make a place and then stay in people’s hearts and minds as he seems to have mastered this art and his 20 years long career is a proof of this.