Couple Spotlight: How Far Jovian Mandagie & Nina Ismail Sabri Have Come, From Lovers To Parents
Written in the stars
From the moment Dato' Jovian Mandagie and Datin Nina Ismail Sabri tied the knot, we knew the dynamic duo, who have already established themselves as Generation T Listers, would be in running the race for ‘World’s Best Parents’, if ever there was such an award. Both openly adore children – A big part of Nina’s life is vested in Peterana Kindergarten, an integrated learning centre she co-founded in 2013. Jovian, too, is a magnet to the children of his family and friends.
“Children are sincere and affectionate. Having them around is a true joy for me,” Nina was quoted once, in interview we did for her January 2016 cover story.
On November 1, 2017, Jovian and Nina were blessed with the arrival of their first baby, a daughter named Jeanelle Nika Mandagie, who marks a happy new chapter in their household. To celebrate this new milestone, we shine the Couple Spotlight on their heartwarming love story.
Nina was introduced to Jovian as her mother’s designer, and they truly got to know each other better on a 2-hour flight to Jakarta. A full-on conversation about mutual interests blew into a close friendship, which escalated into a relationship. On 11 December 2013, they got married in spectacular ‘Wedding of the Year’ style. Over a span of festivities, the couple wowed in a variety of resplendent outfits, ranging from traditional Javanese, Chinese and modern bridal, too.
Like Bonnie and Clyde
Not long after tying the knot, Jovian and Nina kicked off married life by pinning down various career milestones. Drawn further into Jovian’s fashionable world, Nina was inspired to pursue beauty in her second business venture, the hugely popular Capello by Nina, women-only salon, which opened a few chains within 2014 itself. Jovian, on the other hand, launched his own restaurant, ROA, and continued creating memorable collections including collaborations with Tunku Tun Aminah and Lisa Surihani.
The couple adorably can’t live without one another, yet can thrive on their own. Jovian leads a hectic schedule that demands his time and transports him to different cities, while Nina finds satisfaction in pursuing her passion for children, women and food. Her love for sweet things sees her travelling (and sometimes eating) for research, which led to her to open Fluff Bakery.
Because both share dynamics as competitive and ambitious partners, mutual support matters at the end of the day. Nina respects Jovian’s creative quirks and long hours at work, and Jovian looks forward to Nina’s vibrant spirit at the end of a long day. “Whenever I’m frustrated about work, her presence always puts my mind back into a positive place,” Jovian mused about Nina. “No one has ever had that effect on me before.”
Read also: The Art Of Fusion With Nina Ismail Sabri
Whether it’s a whirlwind trip overseas to celebrate Halloween or their designated Monday dates, quality time is of utmost importance. It could be spent eating their way through new restaurants, playing with their friends’ children or staying in with just each other’s company, they're content just doing things they like.
Among Jovian's pool of high profile clients, Nina is always his muse. She has her own eclectic taste for cheerful, ladylike outfits, but when the drama calls for it, Jovian will transform her into a queen. Take for example, the delicate, couture dress she wore at the Tatler Ball in 2016: a structural, crafted gown that took her by surprise.
Tight knit friendships
A couple whose friends are in the same circle, stay together – or so it seems for Jovian and Nina. They move together in a tight-knit circle and are close friends with fellow famous couples like Lisa Surhani and Yusry Abdul Halim, Nadia Nasimuddin and Hamzah Alang Azman, and Angela Karto and Erwin Azizi. No birthday celebration, baby shower or launch event is complete without their pillars of support.
Every other Instagram post on Jovian and Nina’s profiles are together or dedicated to each other. It’s the little gestures like this that keep their passion for each other burning, knowing they are always on each other’s minds. The pair are all for a little PDA – because when you’ve found your soulmate, all that matters is showering each other with love.
Family man and maternal instincts
Nina and Jovian were known for their magical touch with children, and they’ve had more than enough practice through interactions with their loved ones’ kids. In fact, they’ve proven to be doting godparents, and are reliable help for the kids. Which brings them to the next stage of marriage…
After an enviable Babymoon to Amalfi Coast, the arrival of Jeanelle Nika Mandagie on November 1, 2017 has filled the blissful parents with endless marvel. A scroll through their Instagram feed is a glimpse into cloud 9, filled with family portaits and snaps of their sleeping beauty. They’ve even dedicated a @princessmandagie Instagram page to their little one, who will no doubt lead a blessed life!