INSPIRASEE OF THE MONTH:
muhammad nur afiq izzuddin bin abd. mujib yahya
Muhammad Nur Afiq Izzuddin bin Abdul Mujiib Yahya is a 20-year-old Economics student in his second year of studies. He was the Head of Executive of Media & Public Relations (EMPRO) for the 2019/2020 academic session. He has been involved in leadership roles since 2013, when he first joined the Brunei Scouts. Since then, he has accumulated a wealth of leadership experience with his active participation in NGOs; notably Persatuan Kemajuan Insan(KESAN) and Projek Bina Ukhwah. Impressively, for his work in KESAN, Afiq was one of the recipients of “Most Aspiring Youth 2020” from Majlis Belia Brunei.
Afiq credits his involvement with the Scouts for kickstarting his interest in leadership. His camping experiences and the general scout system taught him a lot about teamwork and unity. Being the eldest sibling to his two brothers , he was determined to be a role model for them so he joined multiple leadership and self-development programs. This was sometimes met with the dismay of his parents, especially when he signed up for a program without informing them first. However, as time went on, his parents realised the benefits the programs have given him.
His mentors are also his inspirations- shoutout to Haziq Hisham, former Vice President of Majlis Belia Brunei & current Vice President of Persatuan KESAN, Faiz Hamid,Muiz Awang and his MPP colleagues. He highly recommends a book titled The Power of Giving, as it has inspired him to be a better person. He quotes from the book, “ The positive impact of giving remains long till the day we die, as we continue to live on in the memories and good feelings of our friends, family and the community; all else is forgotten.”. He believes that reading books are a great way to supplement practical leadership experiences.
During his A-Level years, he developed a desire to make an impact to the greater community; he was keen to share his knowledge and skills to the youth of Brunei, especially to the youths who are not academically successful and deemed incompetent by society. He wanted to inspire them and make them realise they can make This stemmed from his personal experiences as he studied in a secondary school where many students had discipline and academic problems. After he enrolled in UBD, he wondered where his former classmates were and he had an innate sense of wishing that they would have seen themselves like he did, thus his desire to help troubled youths.
Afiq joined Persatuan KESAN in early 2019. He began with a program called Belia Brunei Berbakti where he was awarded the best male participant. After that, he became a Catalyst of the organisation. Catalysts are not official members of Persatuan KESAN but are people who actively participate in their programs to develop themselves. Afiq commends the organisation’s young leaders for not only helping him hone his leadership skills, he also appreciates them for instilling Islamic values through their programs. On the other hand, for Projek Bina Ukhwah, he recently organised a large-scale event in December 2020 called Senyuman Emas 4.0. It was a platform to raise awareness about senior citizen welfare and allow youths to bond with the eldery community.
Naturally, for his dedicated work as a local leader, it is no surprise that Afiq has been granted the privilege to represent both UBD and Brunei in international events. Recently, he was invited by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to participate in the SSEYAP Next Generation Leaders virtual conference which ends in February. Last year, he participated in the ASEAN University Student Council Union Conference and UiTM Kedah virtual conference.
Being self-motivated and determined are two of the attributes that have helped Afiq be successful as a leader. In addition, he is very sociable; connecting with others and networking come naturally to him. In his secondary school days, he was a Pembibing Rakan Sebaya so he received training on how to give motivation and consultation to his peers, a skill that he still applies today.
When asked how he balances his time between his academic life and leadership duties, he honestly doesn’t know how he does it. “This is actually a FAQ I have been getting since my A-Level and even my O-Level days,” exclaims Afiq. Although he does not have a solid time management plan, he believes it is important to prioritise. There are many programs on offer nowadays, but Afiq acknowledges that he does not participate in all of them, only the ones he sees value in and will likely benefit him. From the perspective of a leader, he explains it is impossible to get everything done by himself. Thus, that is the importance of having a team and delegating tasks to the team members so the work does not take a toll on him.
Inevitably, his leadership journey has been met with its difficulties and challenges. He mentions that being a leader comes with times of loneliness. Although a leader always has a team, the team members may respect the authority of the leader to the point they do not socialise with him for the fear of disturbing him. Thus, Afiq makes an effort to mingle with his team members and colleagues. Other than that, as previously mentioned, he has no solid time management plan. This sometimes poses a problem especially when he is presented with a multitude of event invitations or opportunities at the same time. He overcomes this issue by gauging his time and devising ways to compensate if he gets really busy. In the past, he felt unaccepting of criticism as he felt hurt by them. However, he soon realised that accepting feedback and criticism was integral to be a good leader and improve his skills. When he opened his heart to genuinely accept criticism, Afiq felt very refreshed and maintains the same view today.
Afiq credits his family for continuously supporting him in his journey. His parents supported him constantly even during his rebellious phase. Apart from his family, he is also grateful for his mentors, especially mentors from Persatuan KESAN. No matter how busy they are, they have always tried their best to make time to help Afiq when he needs guidance or emotional support. Lastly, his MPP colleagues have also been there in times of need and fun.
He recounts that being acknowledged as best male participant for Belia Brunei Berbakti under Persatuan KESAN is one of the most memorable occasions of his leadership journey. It was unexpected and that acknowledgement was the first he had ever received. That was the turning point that pushed him to do more and give for. He also holds his recent Most Aspiring Youth Award 2020 from Majlis Belia Brunei close to his heart as it is a testament of his hard work and dedication since 2013. He is also proud of the success of his recent project, Senyuman Emas 4.0. During his time in the MPP, he was the visionary behind the launch of the PMUBD website and Inspirasee of the Month, which he cherishes as it showcases and empowers UBD students.
Afiq still hopes to reach out and empower youths in Brunei, especially those deemed troubled. “I want to help them realise they can make a difference not only to themselves; but also to their families, community, and perhaps the world,” stressed Afiq. He is already in progress of achieving this goal , he was recently involved in giving a motivational talk to IBTE students through Persatuan KESAN. His ultimate goal is to make a change in social issues and youth development. He hopes to continue his tertiary education until he achieves a PhD in Economics.
Afiq reveals that he is currently in the process of establishing a new club under PMUBD called the Leadership Chambers. He urges any PMUBD member keen to learn how to be an effective leader or follower or simply want to develop new skills to join the club.
“Always do your best. Seek feedback from others. When you are faced with challenges, use that as an opportunity to be innovative and solve problems critically. Always do good and try to positively contribute to the community,” wise words from Afiq!
Reach him at @afiqphy on Instagram or email