Sovereign Heart
Sovereign Heart
Sovereign Heart - Detail

Tengku Zatashah binti Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, a proud member of the Selangor royal family, is the second daughter of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the ninth Sultan of Selangor. As a Malaysian princess, Tengku Zatashah beautifully blends her royal heritage with a passion for social causes, creating a modern legacy that goes far beyond traditional royal duties. 

A Diverse Career Path
Tengku Zatashah's professional journey has been a colourful one having gone from advertising to journalism and then from an entrepreneur to a social activist. Not only were her jobs varied in industries, it took her around the globe from Barcelona, Paris and London to back home in KL. 
One may naturally assume that due to her royal status, Tengku Zatashah would have had easy access to employment in these various countries but she revealed that after working as the International Corporate Communications Manager at L'Oréal Paris for 5 years, they only learnt that she was a Malaysian princess when she got married to her husband, Aubry Rahim Mennesson and that she always strived to achieve her success through her own merit

Championing #ZeroFoodWastage
A profound concern for the environment and the underprivileged led Tengku Zatashah to volunteer with Kechara Soup Kitchen. Inspired by an article revealing that Malaysians wasted 230,000 tonnes of food during Ramadan in 2016, she initiated the #ZeroFoodWastage campaign. This initiative, which started with hotel partnerships, has grown to include top hotels in the Klang Valley and Penang, rescuing surplus food benefitting 21,000 individuals each night during Ramadan. There was one month where the campaign achieved saving approximately 11 tonnes of surplus food.  
Her efforts extended to supermarkets, drawing inspiration from similar practices in France. Tesco (now Lotus) immediately jumped on this opportunity to work together with Tengku Zatashah and Kechara Soup Kitchen while, after two years of negotiations, she also secured a partnership with Aeon, making Malaysia the first country to receive surplus food from Aeon's supermarkets.

Sovereign Heart - Detail

Expanding Her Impact
Tengku Zatashah's commitment to social causes is unwavering. She became a founding member of Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia aiming to rescue and distribute excess food nationwide. She regularly collaborates with government agencies and NGOs, participating in initiatives like the white flag campaign during the Covid-19 lockdown, flood relief efforts as well as distributing food to the orang asli communities, rubber tappers and fishermen.
Her dedication to environmental sustainability is evident through her #SayNo2Plastic campaign also launched in 2016. This campaign has raised awareness about plastic pollution, particularly single-use plastics, and has led to significant behavioural changes among Malaysians. 

Leading Malaysia's Green Initiatives 
At the Change Now Summit in 2020, Tengku Zatashah had the distinct honour of representing Malaysia, delivering two impactful talks on her initiatives #ZeroFoodWastage and #SayNo2Plastic. This global forum allowed her to connect with inspiring individuals, such as Tom Szaky, CEO and co-founder of Terracycle, and Boyan Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup. Their discussions centered around the innovative interceptor technology designed to address river pollution, a topic that is close to Tengku Zatashah’s heart.

Tengku Zatashah shared that in supporting the ocean cleanup mission, Malaysia proudly hosts two interceptors in the Klang River—unique, as no other location globally has more than one. These interceptors, manufactured locally in Klang by Malaysians, aim to clean the world's dirtiest rivers, preventing pollution from reaching the open sea. The dire state of the Klang River necessitated this dual deployment and now, 2 years later, the state of the pollution has significantly improved.

One of these interceptors, a prototype named Neon Moon 1, is fully sponsored by British band Coldplay, with their involvement and concern announced at their concert here in Malaysia revealed Tengku Zatashah. She added that the Ocean Cleanup's regional office now operates out of Kuala Lumpur, coordinating efforts across the region. Interceptors deployed to various locations like LA, Vietnam, Bangkok, and the Dominican Republic were all crafted in Selangor.

Boyan Slat's visit to witness the deployment of the second interceptor underscored the global significance of our local efforts. This collaboration and innovation reflect Malaysia's leading role in the fight against river and ocean pollution, showcasing our commitment to sustainable solutions on the world stage.

Sovereign Heart - Detail

A Royal Patron with a Heart
Tengku Zatashah has been the royal patron of Make-A-Wish Malaysia since 2015. Notable initiatives include a princess themed celebration, where renowned local designers - Innai Red, Fiziwoo, Celeste Thoi, Alia Bastamam, Khoon Hooi and Melinda Looi created princess inspired dresses to be auctioned for charity. She also collaborated with CH Carolina Herrera in 2018 for a "Shop with a Cause" campaign, donating proceeds to Make-A-Wish Malaysia.

More recently, Tengku Zatashah and Make-A-Wish Malaysia granted a milestone 1000th wish. Visible on her Instagram account, the wish was for a little girl who wanted to be a princess mermaid. Held at Sunway Lagoon, the little girl was accessorised to look like a mermaid and was celebrated for her bravery and it was made all the more special as her wish was granted on World Children’s Day.

Known affectionately as "the girl with the tiffin," Tengku Zatashah champions sustainable practices by using reusable containers at local markets. Her efforts to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability have garnered widespread recognition and inspired many.

Embracing Authenticity and Tradition
As the President of Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur, she promotes French language and culture, organizing events like the Le French Festival. Now in its 22nd year, the festival is set to captivate audiences once again with a rich tapestry of French movies, gastronomy, and dance. This year's festival is especially exciting as Tengku Zatashah embraces the theme of sports, in honour of the upcoming Paris Olympics.

A notable highlight of this year's event is the celebration of "Breaking," making its debut as an Olympic sport. This inclusion not only showcases the diversity and inclusivity of the festival but also brings to the fore some exceptional talent. Among the performers is young talent Kai Xing Princess, a remarkable 10-year-old b-girl, who, along with other b-boys and b-girls, will demonstrate their incredible skills. The festival also features French DJ T Sia, a celebrated dancer and DJ. As the official DJ for the Olympics, she will bring her expertise to Malaysia, offering a masterclass and DJing the Breaking Dance challenge on June 30th at the Alliance Française.

Balancing a myriad of responsibilities and causes requires meticulous time management and prioritisation. For Tengku Zatashah, it’s not just about overseeing initiatives from afar—being on the ground, engaging at the grassroots level, and directly interacting with people are essential aspects of her approach. She takes a hands-on role in all her activities, personally managing her schedule without the aid of a personal assistant, a fact well-known to many.

Sovereign Heart - Detail

Incorporating traditional values and customs into a modern lifestyle comes naturally to Tengku Zatashah. She places great importance on upholding cultural heritage, often wearing a kebaya even at international events. For her, showcasing local heritage is crucial, demonstrating the beauty and significance of tradition in a contemporary world. This blend of modernity and tradition reflects her commitment to both her cultural roots and her progressive vision for the future.

Spreading Positive Vibes
Tengku Zatashah has found a meaningful way to connect with her followers through Instagram, sharing her initiatives and inspiring others to take action. Unlike many, she has chosen not to be active on X, focusing instead on a platform that allows for more visual and personal interaction.

For Tengku Zatashah, social media is about more than just showcasing her life—it's about genuine communication. She enjoys engaging with her followers, fostering a sense of community. The real reward comes from hearing how her actions have inspired others. Messages like “I started cutting down single-use plastic because of you,” “I bring a tiffin and tumbler because you did,” “I joined the soup kitchen because of you,” or “I started following the C-drama recommendations that you shared” bring her immense joy and fulfillment.

These interactions highlight the positive impact she has on her community, and she expresses heartfelt gratitude to her followers for their engagement and support.

Reflecting on her journey, she emphasizes the importance of living life to the fullest, being surrounded by loved ones, and giving back to the community. Her motto, "live, laugh, love," encapsulates her approach to life.

Looking Ahead
Tengku Zatashah aspires to continue her philanthropic work and make a difference in the lives of others. Whether through her #ZeroFoodWastage and #SayNo2Plastic campaigns, her support for Make-A-Wish Malaysia, or her advocacy for sustainable development, she remains committed to spreading love and positivity.

Her life is a testament to the power of authenticity, dedication, and compassion. By blending her royal heritage with a profound sense of social responsibility, Tengku Zatashah inspires others to make a difference and live their lives with purpose.

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