SINCE she was a young girl, Iffah Mohd Hazim had always dreamed of becoming a newsreader.
In August last year, the 27-year-old achieved her dream of becoming a sport presenter for national broadcaster RTM (Radio Television Malaysia).
Iffah’s next mission is to become a lecturer, and she is working hard to make this dream a reality in the future.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a sport presenter.
“I started my career as a co-host for the 30-minute sport programme Planet Sukan in RTM, for two years.
I started in 2016 and stopped in 2017 ... because I had pay more attention to my internship [which was also at RTM]. I was doing a bachelor in communication, [with a major in] broadcasting.
“During my internship, I had to cover all kinds of news, from general news to entertainment. It was a good training ground. In August last year, I was offered [a chance] to read sports news on RTM1.”
Do you play any kind of sports?
“I used to be active in sports when I was in school. I played netball, and I was a sprinter. Unfortunately now, I am not active in sports. Sometimes, I go hiking.”
What is your biggest challenge as a sport presenter?
“Since young, I have had a fear of speaking in front of people and on camera.
“Even though I have been an emcee for seven years, and faced the cameras as a TV host and newsreader for nearly three years, I still have this fear.
“I will have stage fright, and feel nausea before any of my assignments. Strangely enough, the moment I am in front of crowds and the camera, my fear disappears.”
Do you face discrimination reading sport news as a woman?
“There are people who have said I am a woman, therefore I do not know much about sports.
“They believe I have a pretty face, and that is the reason I am given the chance to read the sport news.
“But I choose not to argue with them. I will correct them in the most diplomatic way. I will show statistics to back up my facts. I believe actions speak louder than words.
“[Things] are slowly changing. People are more open to the idea of women reading sport news.”
Where will we see you five years from now?
“I [would] love to be a lecturer. I would like to teach communication. I’d like to teach young people, and mould their minds. My father was a lecturer and my mother was a teacher. Perhaps they have instilled the love for teaching in me.
“Besides, I have worked in the broadcasting field and I could share my experience with my students.
“My experience will be make the subject far more interesting.”
What do you think is your weakness?
“My friends always says I am too nice, and as a result, some people take advantage of me. But I like being nice. I like making people smile. Seeing them smile makes me happy. I do not want to change this habit of mine. Being nice is not crime.”
Tell us about your childhood years.
“I was born in Kuala Lumpur. But when I was one year old, my parents moved to Manchester, [in the] United Kingdom. My father was pursuing his studies there.
“When I was seven years old, my parents returned to Kuala Lumpur because I was starting Standard One, and my parents wanted me to have my education here.
“My classmates used to tease me because I spoke English with a British accent, and I could not speak the national language.
“Thank god, my standard one teacher was very patient with me, in teaching me [Bahasa]. The ironic thing is that I am now reading sport news in the national language.”
What is your favourite hobby?
“I love to eat. I love to check out new places to eat. I love any kind of rice, from nasi tomato to nasi kandar.
“I used to have a Youtube channel called Makan Mana Beb, with my friend where we [did] food reviews. But I abandoned the channel because I did not have time for it.
“I was also a party planner. I have planned birthday parties to baby showers. [But] I do not have the time to be a party planner any more.
“Recently I started another Youtube channel with [five friends]. All of us are in different fields and we give tips to young people on a weekly basis. We talk about beauty, styling, art, entrepreneurship, fitness and public speaking.”