Rippling Reflections: Rangga Azof

From gentle waves to unyielding currents, Rangga Azof adapts to the ever-changing tides of life. In the midst of transformation, he discovers himself and, embracing both newfound strengths and vulnerabilities,
reclaims the power to shape his own life.

By The Time Place Magazine

Rangga Azof thought that the world was ending. Following his father’s relocation to the city of Jakarta, he bid goodbye to his home in Palembang where he spent years of his youth surrounded by seashells and sand, within reach of the ocean. As difficult as it is to adapt to a completely new environment, Rangga was bullied right on his first day at his new school. What was supposed to be a place for creating childhood friendships became tainted with suppressed bitterness and frequent visits to the counsellor’s office.

However, getting bullied was not a new tale in his books. It was a constant shadow throughout his formative years. Describing his young self as “a boy with a bowl haircut, skinny body, and a big head”, Rangga grew up with whispers of insecurities and self-doubts within. Strangers would compare him to his siblings who were deemed as better-looking and academically brighter. “Your kids are adorable,” they would say to his father. “Although this one looks a bit like a monkey,” they pointed at Rangga. Perhaps, they were oblivious to the lasting impact of hurtful words. Those times of getting ice cream punched away from his hand, bags thrown at his face, or getting ridiculed for his physical appearance might have been forgiven and left in the past, yet the emotional bruises heal very slowly.

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Now, at 34 years old, Rangga gazes into the water at the reflection of his younger self as only one among the many victims of bullying. Emotional wounds may be considered tender marks left by moments of pain, but they can also be a place where light enters. Ironically, with each act of bullying, Rangga developed a deep sense of compassion and understanding towards others. “I put others’ happiness before mine,” he revealed. “When I encounter problems, I think about how they might harm others before focusing on my own losses. For instance, in the event of a car crash, my initial response wouldn’t be to blame the other person who collided with me. Instead, I would think about whether they are in a hurry because of something more important than my own situation, or if they are upset because someone has hurt them emotionally,” he shared.

Back when he was 10 years old, Rangga thought that the world as he knew it was ending. In truth, his world was simply changing. His mother and father parted, and his older brothers married, leaving him to provide for his mother and little sister. “If I did not take action, nobody will take care of them,” remarked Rangga. The boy who used to minimise interactions with others started learning what it meant to be a leader and a decision-maker. Change has always been a constant in his life, but this time, change awakened him to the ability to create a life of his own. “I wanted to change my life, and I knew I could create amazing things if I pushed myself,” he affirmed. “People have different talents, whether it be academic or non-academic. Whatever it is, I had to look for mine, and I did,” the actor beamed.

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Ever since high school, Rangga nurtured dreams of running his own advertising agency. He devoured books on the subject, captivated by the creative aspects of marketing. During his internship at an advertising agency, a chance presented itself when a client urgently needed a talent for an advertisement. Wide-eyed and unsuspecting, Rangga was asked to fill in the empty spot. Pleased with how well he performed onscreen, Rangga’s senior colleagues encouraged him to explore opportunities in the entertainment industry. Upon graduating, television talent offers came pouring through his doors.

On the day his first project aired, Rangga found himself outside, rushing to a restaurant to watch his performance on TV. As a novice with a limited knowledge of acting, he watched himself falter, embarrassed by his poor acting skills. The embarrassment though, was fleeting. “I may not be good at acting right now, but what’s stopping me from becoming better?” he thought to himself then. Slowly, Rangga learned. For four years, he dedicated himself to distinguishing between good and bad acting. “At that time, I thought that acting was merely pretending. I have come to realise that it is much more than feigning emotions,” the man cheekily grinned.

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Transformation is not an isolated event; it is an ongoing process, a continuous journey that accompanies us throughout our lives. One significant instance of Rangga’s transformative journey occurred during the production of his film, Kafir: A Deal with the Devil” (2018). Surrounded by an experienced crew and guided by an acting coach, he honed his ability to effectively convey his emotions onscreen. Another pivotal moment in his career unfolded during the filming of the Indonesian soap opera, “Cinta Buta” (2019) with Nikita Willy. His breakthrough performance not only solidified his reputation but also garnered interest from various film production companies to collaborate with him.

It has been a decade since Rangga’s first foray into acting, and within this span of time, numerous transformative moments have unfolded—intrinsic to him and also too many to be written in these pages. Each one has played a vital role in shaping him into a more resilient and compassionate version of himself. “Through acting, I get to step outside of myself and my own experiences,” Rangga expressed. “Whether portraying a beggar or an office worker, immersing myself in their world is crucial to truly understanding their reality. This process fascinates me. It fosters my self-reflection and deepens my capacity for sympathy and empathy towards others.”

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An inherently creative individual, Rangga possesses a constant yearning to put something out in the world. He directed a short film titled “Love is Not Enough” (2022), which can be viewed on YouTube. When asked about his preference between acting and directing, Rangga pointed out, “Acting allows us to master our own emotions. Directing is how we guide the emotions of others. The two may be different, but both roles demand maturity and depth.”

Single-handedly, Rangga established a production house named “Ide Garasi” that crafts short films under genres of psychological drama. Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, Rangga founded his own startup and also manages an F&B business. He holds a particular statement close to his heart: “If you want a colourful life, you need to colour the lives of others first,” as his parents would say. With each step forward, Rangga is inching closer to his dream of creating a company that will provide employment opportunities for people, as it remains his aspiration to colour the lives of others.

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An African Proverb once said that skilful sailors are not made by smooth seas. Rangga discovered this: every ebb and flow, every unfortunate event, holds lessons that are yet to be learned. “As cliché as it may sound, I hold no regrets in life because everything that happened played a hand in shaping the person I am today,” he mused. And with a voice of intent, he confided, “Instead of dwelling on past regrets, I focus my reflections on joy. Specifically, I wonder how I can bring happiness to others and derive my own from witnessing theirs. I believe that is the ultimate goal.” Against the backdrop of the azure sea and with the Baume & Mercier Riviera adorning his wrist, Rangga stands resolute, a picture of fluidity and contentment. Some might interpret that the watch on his wrist serves as a reflection of his own being, with subtle blue streaks symbolising the dynamic movement of waves—strong yet soft and soothing.

Like the ever-changing nature of water, Rangga’s life continues to evolve, just as he himself does. The boy who used to shy away from cashiers and avoided making eye contact would be astonished by the man he has become. Knowing full well that pain is an inevitable part of life, his transformation unfolds not as sweet and graceful as the blossoming of a flower. It is discomfort. It is navigating through dark, turbulent depths. It is the pain of shedding—the kind that brings on real growth. And so, the world that Rangga Azof once believed was ending became a sea of infinite possibilities, and on the surface of the still waters, he saw the ripples, a reminder of the power within him to initiate change, optimism, and joy in the lives of those he has yet to encounter.

Creative Direction: Erika Tania

Photography: Vicky Tanzil

Grooming: Arimbi

Stylist: Charlene Atalie

Location: ASTON Anyer Beach Hotel

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