INSPIRASEE OF THE MONTH:
miza razanah binti awang mohhhaimim
Miza Razanah binti Awang Mohhaimim is a 21 year old English Studies major in her second year of studies. She is an aspiring writer, poet and the acting Chairperson of UBD Performing Arts Club(PAC) for the current semester. Miza describes herself as an avid writer; she has been writing for as long as she can remember and she was one of the scriptwriters for UBD PAC’s Villa Layla production last semester.
Her involvement in the creative field progressed naturally from her love of writing. Writing has always been a hobby of hers, but she hasn’t always shared her work with others as she considered it to be very personal. She eventually made an Instagram account for her poetry as a push to showcase her writing to others. A strong interest in theatre and musicals propelled Miza to be involved in UBD PAC. During her 2nd semester, she decided to try out doing UBD PAC after plucking up the courage to do so, and the rest is history.
Miza expressed that writing is an outlet for her to put her thoughts into words. Her fluency in written and spoken English has certainly allowed her to advance in her writing. Other than that, she is also a talented singer, which comes in handy for her theatre work.
One of Miza’s major fears when she puts out a new poem or idea is the possibility that people might not like them. She is still trying to overcome her doubts and constantly reminds herself that even if there is somebody that does not enjoy her work, chances are there are other people that do. Miza also shared that her stuttering has sometimes gotten in the way of her performances, so she is currently working around that.
Miza had a short gig for 2 months as a DJ and technician for Progresif Media. The opportunity came from a collaboration between UBD.fm and Progresif Media; Miza joined the audition for DJs and was ultimately successful in securing the spot. She was taught the nuts and bolts of DJ-ing; it was an experience she really enjoyed and hopes for the chance to do it again.
She has cultivated the habit of keeping herself busy since her childhood days, hence time management comes naturally to her so she does not have a specific strategy. However, she stressed the importance of knowing what tasks to prioritise. She aims to complete any pending university assignments before taking care of other matters, but if there are urgent matters that require her attention then she would deal with them first.
One of Miza’s most treasured moments in her journey was when she performed her own poetry piece during an event called “Take the Mic Night” hosted by Brunei Writers. It was memorable as she had the opportunity to perform a piece that was very personal to her. Additionally, Miza had to memorise her script for her performance; something she had never done before so she recalls that feeling as very nerve-wracking. This was further perpetuated by the fact that she constantly stuttered when she was practicing. However, amazingly on the night of her performance, everything went smoothly as hoped, not to mention the support and encouragement she received from her friends and family in the audience, even though they are not poetry fans.
Miza recounts the time when she felt overstepped when working with a friend who was supposedly her assistant in the task. That experience changed her perspective on how she should approach people. “There is a saying that you never know someone until you’ve travelled with them or worked with them,” said Miza. The unpleasant experience still makes Miza wary of working with friends till today, because she does not want to ruin a friendship over the fact that they are not good team members as it has nothing to do with the actual friendship.
When people who came to know about Miza through her online platform meet her in real life for the first time, they usually exclaim “Wow! You are tall!”. As she tends to put up a confident front, people are surprised to learn that Miza has a lot of insecurities when she opens up to them. In fact, her insecurities sometimes are the prompts for writing her poetry. She is aware that her negative and self-deprecating thoughts are not good for her so she is actively working to get over them. She does this by hyping herself up instead of letting the negative thoughts dominate her.
Miza admits that Villa Layla, which was UBD PAC’s production last semester, was a rollercoaster ride. Covid-19 restrictions delayed preparation and there were doubts if the production would even go on due to issues with getting approval to stage the show. The times of uncertainties were heartbreaking as Miza, who was working as a script writer for Villa Layla witnessed the hard work of all the PAC members from the beginning and not being able to savour the fruits of their labour was upsetting. In the end, UBD PAC managed to put up the show, albeit at a smaller scale than planned. It is bittersweet as although Miza heard many good reviews about the production despite the challenges and obstacles they faced during the preparation stage, she felt that she could have done more to make the initial plans for Villa Layla come to life.
Miza credits her close friends for being her support system and keeping her stable. She frequently goes out with them as she does not like to be alone and values time spent with them. Although Miza isn’t a keen texter, she feels that she can text her close friends all day. They also hype her up when she is feeling down about herself.
When asked about her goals and hopes for the future, Miza just wants to keep going. She wants to constantly improve her writing, and she hopes UBD PAC will grow and get their well-deserved recognition for their talent , and the fact that they are just amazing people as a whole. “UBD PAC is not just a club. It’s something more,” Miza reflects.
Being involved in the creative industry brought about a multitude of opportunities for Miza. UBD PAC helped catapult to her DJ gig alongside meeting friends who are like family to her. Writing poetry has enabled her emotions, especially anger to be expressed in a healthier way.
“Start. And keep going. If you ever feel like quitting, take a break, but don’t quit completely. You never know where you will go,” she says discerningly. “If you’ve started, keep going. If you haven’t started, Start.”