Kayden Hong

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Age: 31
Occupation: Assistant Buyer
Instagram: @mensagitat_molem

Kayden describes himself as an extreme person. “By extreme, I mean in terms of interests, not emotions,” he clarifies. He’s an avid reader and loves history—“I would be reading up stuff on it for hours on end”—but he has also dabbled in dragon boating and now, callisthenics. “It kind of keeps things less monotonous.” He’s also pretty extreme in his career choices: he went from a paralegal to having a side hustle as a coordinator/dancer at a club (more on that later), and is currently working in healthcare procurement. Here are a few things to know about him.

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Knitted cardigan, $165, Massimo Dutti.

He’s always asking how he can help people

“I was a paralegal for close to six years and I just came to—I don’t know what to call it. An epiphany? A thought?—one random late night that while my work did help people, I didn’t see myself doing it long-term. It got to a point where I wondered if this was really worth it—the late nights and all that.” He then decided to leave the industry and start anew. “Granted, [healthcare procurement] is a whole new industry for me. But at least I know my line of work will eventually translate to helping people save on their healthcare costs. Right now, granted, it’s a bit miniscule, but you’ve got to learn the ropes before you can do something more.”

He has a diploma in Sport & Wellness Management

Although he was a paralegal, he actually has a Diploma in Sport & Wellness Management from Nanyang Polytechnic. His first brush with the legal arena came when he took Business Law as an elective. “I had a frank talk with my lecturer at that point in time. He said to me, ‘Kayden, I think you have what it takes. Why don’t you consider going into law school?’ That resulted in me being in the legal field for close to six years.”

 

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There’s a reason why he’s so passionate about helping others

When it comes to work and life, Kayden always asks himself these questions: “Will my actions help someone in any way? Or can I do more to help others?” His passion to give back to society stemmed from a tragedy that happened when his good friend from secondary school prematurely ended her life. “That was kind of like the catalyst. … Last November, another friend did the same thing. In a way, it served as further affirmation.”

For two years, he was “Kyroman” at a club

While he was still in the legal field, he had a side hustle as “Kyroman”, a dancer at Altimate at 1-Altitude. It all started after he bumped into an old friend he hadn’t met since his army days. Said friend was working at the club at the time and invited him to Altimate that weekend. When he arrived, he was handed an LED suit. He recalls his friend saying, “‘Dude, this place is empty right now. Here, here, nah. Go!’” Although he said he “can’t dance for s***”, the alcohol helped him loosen up and break out into those moves. Apart from dancing, he was also a coordinator, helping to put together the dance segment and birthday segments of the night’s programme.


His parents found out about his side gig when he was hospitalised

Although Kayden did his “Kyroman” stint for two years, he managed to keep it a secret from his family for the most part. His sister only found out when she went to the club and saw him performing in his suit. His parents, on the other hand, only found out later on when he went to A&E—in his LED suit. “I have a heart condition and it acted up one night. When I came to the hospital in nothing but my gear, they were like, ‘What the hell?’ My friend, who came to visit me actually, had to explain to them. But he put it in such a way that they didn’t explode in the end.” He adds, “My parents had some inkling about what I was doing, but they trusted me to make my own decisions about things. Seeing me in my suit at the A&E confirmed their suspicions. It was initially awkward but they were ultimately cool about it.”

He wants to learn Latin

One of Kayden’s goals is to visit historical places, such as the Vatican. He says, “It’s one thing to read about them, but it’s another to be able to step into that location and just take in all the atmosphere.” Another goal? To pick up Latin. “A lot of the [ancient texts] are issued in Latin. Translations can help you to understand them, yes, but nothing beats being able to understand it on your own.”

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