I am giving Pakistanis a platform to vent their frustrations: Waqar Zaka

Published: February 14, 2013
Email
Living on the Edge is currently the most popular reality TV show in Pakistan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Living on the Edge is currently the most popular reality TV show in Pakistan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Living on the Edge is currently the most popular reality TV show in Pakistan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
Living on the Edge is currently the most popular reality TV show in Pakistan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
Living on the Edge is currently the most popular reality TV show in Pakistan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: Love him or hate him, VJ-turned-TV show-host Waqar Zaka has a cult following. How else would you explain his success in conducting reality show Living on the Edge for the past five years? On this show, Zaka asks contestants to perform the wildest dares on screen; these stunts have made his show more popular than any other reality show in Pakistan.

“If a fan says the most daring thing he can do is slap his mother, then that is what he finds daring — I didn’t ask him for it,” says Zaka, the producer, host and judge of the show, explaining that he doesn’t request these absurd dares and they are suggested to him. “We are a nation that needs to be tamed and with my show, I am giving Pakistanis a chance to vent their frustration,” Zaka tells The Express Tribune. “It’s better that they vent on my show than on someone else on the street.”

He explains that a show like Living on the Edge is not easy to format because every season requires a different plan. Previous seasons of the show included Speed Demon, which was about dares involving cars and races, while another season Sabse Himmat Wala Kon, involved challenging and strenuous dares. For the upcoming season, Zaka is enthusiastic about launching the concept of the ‘biggest brain in Pakistan’ — a show which has nothing to do with one’s IQ level.

“It has nothing to do with your intelligence and everything to do with your presence of mind, for which even the biggest losers [academically] have made the cut,” says Zaka.

Despite having high ratings and the continuous branding of Mountain Dew associated with his show, Zaka is still not well-respected; some label him “cheap” and “maila”.

“The only reason people love to hate me is because I am dark and skinny and not a buffed up handsome dude. Had someone more presentable been doing the same show, no one would have objected to anything,” says Zaka.

Viewers feel that the dares on his show are cheap tricks, but the ratings have increased every year. He believes that Pakistan is an entertainment-starved nation, and says five more shows like Living on the Edge will be just as popular as this.

“Lawyers are one of the most educated and respected professionals in the world. Just look at the way Pakistani lawyers behave on the streets and you’ll realise why Pakistan needs a show like this,” says Zaka with a smirk. “[My show] is not Sir Syed’s two-nation theory or Manto’s short story, so you shouldn’t be looking for a moral. It is purely reality-based entertainment for a ‘masala parast’ nation.”

Zaka’s interaction with the youth has led him to believe that it will do anything for fame. “The biggest strength of young people today is that they can do anything to get fame and become heroes. But their biggest weakness is that they don’t have a plan,” he says.

As the fifth season of his reality show goes on air, Zaka is all set to take on a political angle in programming with his next venture titled Mae Banoonga Minister. “I’ll be going to each and every political party to get a ticket and take part in elections; that’s the only entertaining way of telling our youth how to be a part of the system,” he says.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2013.            

Like Life & Style on Facebook for the latest in fashion, gossip and entertainment.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (29)

  • Yoghurt lover
    Feb 14, 2013 - 9:13PM

    I have seen his clips on youtube.

    One word that comes to my mind is ‘moron’.

    Recommend

  • Moz
    Feb 14, 2013 - 9:20PM

    Like admitting to rape!!!

    Recommend

  • Manju
    Feb 14, 2013 - 9:20PM

    Cheap copy from ‘Roadies’ aired on MTV from India…. I did not like the ‘Roadies’ either by the way… These so called “reality shows” are basically ‘Vultures’ feeding on the bodies of morals and ethics of the society….
    They claim to show something real to the society while the reality is they are just making money from the filth of the society..

    Recommend

  • Shamy
    Feb 14, 2013 - 9:35PM

    “The only reason people love to hate me is because I am dark and skinny and not a buffed up handsome dude” – Trust me its got everything to do with how you speak and what words you use.

    Recommend

  • Feb 14, 2013 - 10:02PM

    He rather vents out his frustration.

    Recommend

  • Right
    Feb 14, 2013 - 10:09PM

    yea right he is a punk!

    Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    Feb 14, 2013 - 10:09PM

    If you wanna look at how choices affect a person.. ..Take a Look at this boy who was in Admjee Govt Degree Science college .. One of the best if not The Best Science colleges … Then made a horrid Music video for Music Channel Charts..(MCC STN)…called “Nahi Parha mein Poora Saal” .. then few year later Voa Laa.. the rudest host ….
    He should host I think now the Great Debate on a “Celebrated” News Channel.

    Recommend

  • Asim
    Feb 14, 2013 - 10:19PM

    I think its other way around. Pakistanis has provided him platform to vent his frustration.

    Recommend

  • laugh
    Feb 14, 2013 - 10:27PM

    Saw him in one of the political programs. Wasn’t making much sense..

    Recommend

  • Yawer Amin
    Feb 14, 2013 - 10:52PM

    Not bad concept ! but the way he treats people and shows his attitude, it sucks !! more like a copy of roadies !

    Recommend

  • Ayesha Bhaalay
    Feb 15, 2013 - 12:06AM

    This guy’s show shows everything that is wrong with our TV today. I couldn’t digest a few minutes of his show on the few occasions that I caught it while skipping through channels.

    Recommend

  • D
    Feb 15, 2013 - 12:13AM

    he is a male version of rakhi sawant … cheap

    Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Feb 15, 2013 - 12:31AM

    well he should first stop taking out his own frustration and behave gud with other human beings

    Recommend

  • waqar hussain
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:04AM

    TO all who love living on the edge, should go on this LINK and write ur views as everyone is against it, DONT WRITE HERE PROVE UR LOVE FOR THE SHOW THERE

    Recommend

  • waqar hussain
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:06AM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    TO all who love living on the edge, should go on this LINK and write ur views as everyone is against it, DONT WRITE HERE PROVE UR LOVE FOR THE SHOW THERE

    Recommend

  • Noman
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:07AM

    Its not his fault, he is paid person or more appropriate he is a stooge and simply his mission, assigned by his seniors, is to make this nation a complete liberal and sex free nation. If yo watch his shows you can judge that he has some pet words like ‘baachi’, ‘girlfriend’, ‘boyfriend’, ‘date’, n all that fuss so let him do his job.

    Recommend

  • waqar hussain
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:08AM

    ROADIES is a different show, living on the edge different, thats the reason Roadies judge Raghhu ram himself said good stuff about waqar and living on the edge in Indian news paper on the launch of roadies, if its copied y indian news appreciate it? they can write its copied, we Pakistani just love to hate good things happening here,
    Waqar ROCKS, TRUE entertainer

    Recommend

  • Feb 15, 2013 - 1:12AM

    LIVING ON THE EDGE IS OWSM REALITY SHOW…..WAQAR ZAKA THE MOST EXPERIENCED AND BEST VJ/HOST :)
    I LOVE WAQAR BHAI AND LIVING ON THE EDGE :D :D

    Recommend

  • Maria Ghumman
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:46AM

    Well i have watched his videos over youtube. Such a cheap person he is. And it shows the standard of our tv programmes. Pakistan needs improvement in everything. He basically targets the lower middle class, i wish he goes somewhere LGS or Beacon House than they gonna tell him.

    Recommend

  • hira
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:49AM

    He is one guy who has made shows of international standards. Pakistanis should be proud of this. don’t blow up all the efforts just by criticizing. His shows are highly rated!

    proud of you!!

    Recommend

  • Anaya Ahmed
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:54AM

    Well i would say that one must watch his show before abusing.. If a fan slap his mother to show how daring he is Waqar zaka never ever promoted or selected such ill-letrate person, as a youth I am entertained by waching his show and i am proud of him for being a person of upright character.

    Recommend

  • Adeel
    Feb 15, 2013 - 2:25AM

    He is an idiot n i am sure he must be very proud of it

    Recommend

  • Ahmad_SE
    Feb 15, 2013 - 2:42AM

    Before these all, learn the basics/ethics to deal with the people.You look more frustrated then the people you are claiming to be nice with..

    Recommend

  • Uzair Hasan
    Feb 15, 2013 - 7:48AM

    Ones idea should be respected…. saying it a copy of any program is very easy… no one realises the hard work and home work bringing it on air. Atleast its better then all the “REALITY DANCE SHOWS” that are being on aired on every channel every now and then…
    Talking about its popularity, their is no other program PAKISTAN, whose having a same sponser for last FIVE YEARS…The Brand is more concerned about word of bad mouth about their PRODUCT… If you cant appreciate the efforts of an individual you have no right to point out fingers on it…

    Recommend

  • MACHO
    Feb 15, 2013 - 9:46AM

    Blockquote
    The only reason people love to hate me is because I am dark and skinny and not a buffed up handsome dude. Had someone more presentable been doing the same show, no one would have objected to anything,” says Zaka
    Blockquote
    strong text
    Yes we hate you but wait not for your lanky physique but your absurd & cheap popularity tactics !emphasized textemphasized text

    Recommend

  • NV
    Feb 15, 2013 - 9:56AM

    rude, immature host who thinks way too high of himself..and of his cheapster show…he hijacks innocent youngsters who have no other platform to prove their mettle..he treats them like third degree individuals while acting like ‘i am the benchmark.the role model’
    saying stuff like ‘Urdu main baat karo..no English’ – why wouldn’t he say this to his fellow westerised female VJs? i feel like slapping this badtameez aadmi for his pseudo patriotism.
    I bet he hires actors as contestants to spice up his show

    Recommend

  • now thats funny
    Feb 15, 2013 - 11:54AM

    if people appreciate this person one bit;;;; rest assured Pakistan is doomed!

    Recommend

  • Mika
    Feb 15, 2013 - 8:13PM

    If I recall correctly Obaidullah Baig wondered when he heard about 24 hour transmission starting in Pakistan, how we will fill up the content for 24 hour programming with quality shows. Looking at Living on Edge will prove his apprehensions correct.

    Recommend

  • Saleha
    Feb 16, 2013 - 11:51AM

    OMG COuld you guys have interviewed one of their other VJ’s!!!! SICK of all the attention this dude gets. VJ SEHRISH AND VJ FATIMA 2 most sober decent VJ’s dont get any coverage from you guys at express tribune. Biased writing.

    Please get your heads on straight.

    Recommend

More in Film