Tyler de Nawi says “cat’s out of the bag” on Mustafa


What a good sport actor Tyler de Nawi (pictured, front) has been in the wake of the Logies ‘mystery’ question: “Who is Mustafa.”

The young Here Come the Habibs actor had a conversation with Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly at Sunday’s Logies in which he confided his real name was Mustafa but he had adopted a stage name of Tyler because to avoid casting prejudice.

After Aly shared some of the background in his Logie acceptance speech, it triggered chatter about who the mysterious Mustafa could be. Yesterday media revealed it to be de Nawi, following his tweets and a confirmation by his manager.

This morning de Nawi told 2DAYFM’s Rove and Sam he spoke to Aly during a toilet break at the Logies.

“I was so close to not even going up with him, but I decided to tell him that I really hoped he would win, because if someone with a really unpronounceable name like Waleed could win, someone with a name like Mustafa could win,” he said.

Asked if he was comfortable with it becoming so public, he said, “I was shocked at first, course, but obviously after that the cat’s out of the bag.

“I wasn’t planning on it coming out this week, obviously.

“I looked for Waleed after the Logies to say hello to him, but I couldn’t find him.”

De Nawi got the idea of the name Tyler from a close friend.

“I thought changing my name to Tyler would better equip me,” he explained.

“I told my friend I wanted to become an actor and my concerns about being type-cast because of my name”

“I didn’t want people to see my name, Mustafa, on a piece of paper and have them assume what I can offer as an artist. I can sing, I can dance, I’m an acrobat, I didn’t want to be type-cast.”


  1. At the 1984 AFI Awards Anna Jemison won Best Supporting Actress for ‘Silver City’ and was so proud that a multi-cultural story had been so embraced she announced, onstage, that henceforth she was reverting to using her birth name Anna Maria Monticelli.

    32 years later….

  2. Actors have always used ‘nom de guerre’ for various reasons-too ethnic, too common or inelegant or they just don’t like it-Bernard Schwartz=Tony Curtiss, Susan Weaver=Sigourney Weaver etc etc.

  3. Got to admit I that while I was glad to see Waleed’s anecdote and even happier with the audience’s reaction, I was a little uncomfortable watching the digging to uncover Mustafa’s identity.

    Good to see he’s taking it in his stride. Hopefully one day, after the issues it’s highlighted become irrelevant, it’ll just be another curious celebrity tidbit like ‘Norma’ calling herself ‘Marilyn’…

    • Secret Squïrrel

      Same here. However, I was also uncomfortable with Aly giving that much information away. I understand that point he was making but as a journalist himself, he should certainly have been aware that the media (news and social) pack would be rabidly trying to be the first to find out who this mysterious Mustafa is. Aly effectively outed him.

      That’s the trouble with secrets. You can’t tell anybody. That goes doubly for people in the public eye and triply for people on film and TV.

      • Yes, it was probably to be expected. To be honest, at the time I assumed he was referring to someone in a behind-the-scenes job, and was hoping the media would lose interest on discovering they weren’t a TV face.

        And now that I say that out loud, I’m not sure if it doesn’t indicate something of my own expectations or prejudices…

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