August Man Malaysia is a celebration of a great many things. But above all, we raise our glasses to compatriots who’ve demonstrated with their lives, what it costs to live the dream. While there’s nothing wrong with being ‘company men’ i.e. steadfast pillars of support, stability and organization, we like to highlight the guys who have opted for the path less trampled, the weedy lanes that look scary and uncertain. On the edge of 2015, here’s our pick for August Man’s top ten lads:

Keith Foo, Actor – Adaptable and gifted, Keith spent a decade in Indonesian showbiz, before returning home and making his mark with numerous films and dramas.  He’s also venturing into production, and recently launched his Mezza9 restaurant.

Ezra Zaid, Publisher & Presenter – Uncompromising and open-minded, hear Ezra everyday on BFM asking difficult but commonsensical questions of the powers that be. All while proving “like father like son” is a cool phrase after all; with his father being ex-judicial reformer Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim.

Vincent Siow, Fashion Designer – Iconoclastic and imaginative, Vincent’s eye for fashion made him a buyer par excellence. Going one better, his recent showcase at KL’s 2015 Fashion Week bagged him Best Men’s Wear. He now designs for three commercially successful brands.

Ash Nair, Musician & Actor – Authentic and accomplished, Ash’s resume starts with a big win at Malaysian Idol 2005, then it was chart-topping songs, indie films and comedies. But his story is about rediscovering and healing one’s artistic soul after a two year sojourn away from it all.

Nazim Othman, Actor – Brave and fiercely independent, Nazim was steadily managing his own career when a doctor announced he would be battling cancer. He stared it down and won. Now he lives every moment with a unique gratitude and encourages everyone to treasure the preciousness of life.

Fahri Azzat, Activist & Solicitor – Dauntless and resolute, Fahri fights pro bono for the rights of those most easily neglected. That usually means slugging it out with the prevailing justice system where victories are rare and cautiously celebrated. Still, his conscience drives him and Malaysia is a better country for it.

Roen Cian Nagapen, Entrepeneur – Daring and self-assured, Roen’s business ventures have a knack for turning into KL’s hottest night spots, with fans lining up around the block for entry. While everyone envies his success, few he tells us, would envy the sweat and tears it took him to get there.

Liew Seng Tat, Filmmaker – Visionary and eloquent,  Seng Tat’s latest film Men Who Save The World, was nominated for best foreign language film at the 88th Academy Awards. Which is curious, as the director himself claims to be as introspective as they come.

Alex Yoong, Sportsman – Competitive and relentless, Ales is synonymous with motor racing and when that chapter ended, he revived his water skiing talents to earn Malaysia a SEA Games silver and bronze. This despite him pushing 40.

Zung, Photographer – Unorthodox and progressive, Zung has taken portraits of the Dalai Lama, Anthony Robbins and Donald Trump, along with a host of other world renown names. Born and bred in small town Sekinchan, he’s self-taught and earned his stripes by developing a unique style that has made him one of the most sought after experts in his field.

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