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Tough as nails

Aqilah Abas’ quest to find her calling led her to the world of acting and pro wrestling

02 Jun 2020 / 14:46 H.

ACTRESS, model, and teacher are just some of the many roles Aqilah Abas has undertaken in her life. Originally from Perak, she debuted as a referee in the squared circle of Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MyPW) last year.

Undefined, Aqilah finds her drive in trying out new experiences. Now living in Selangor, she fills her time with social networks, classes, and family.

How would you describe yourself?

“I am a dreamer from a small town called Batu Gajah. I was formerly a teacher and digital marketer, and I now reside in Damansara Perdana, along with my siblings who are scattered around Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

“I am an active learner and hold a degree in TESL. Currently, I am active in pro wrestling, modelling, and acting in advertisements.”

How did you turn from a teacher and digital marketer to a model and actress?

“Teaching was not exactly what I wanted to do with my life, so after a few months I decided to quit and migrate to KL to try out other things. I got a job offer as a digital marketer in this small business company, and the boss also suggested that I model for her products.

“At the same time, I took acting classes and I was able to build a network with people in the entertainment business. It was a turning point for me when my acting teacher encouraged me to go for castings, and I managed to land my first role in a local TV drama called Cinta yang Ku Rasa.”

She misses her family a lot during the MCO period. – Courtesy of Aqilah Abas
She misses her family a lot during the MCO period. – Courtesy of Aqilah Abas

How do you do so many different things?

“I developed a lot of interests in many things. Mostly in arts, music and sports. Naturally I just love learning new things, [from] painting, drawing and singing to track games, volleyball and pro wrestling.

“Of course, I don’t do all of these things at once, usually it’s one to three things in a day, like playing the keyboard, watching TV shows, and dancing. These are the things I do when I’m not working. However, career-wise, I focus on acting and modelling.”

How did you get into pro wrestling?

“I found out about this local indie wrestling scene in 2018 from a friend who was into wrestling at that time. I had never been to a local wrestling show before. I’ve always been a fan of WWE since I was a teen.

“After [Wrestlecon Championship belt winner] Nor Phoenix Diana went viral [last year], I heard there was a tryout in MyPW. Long story short, I plucked up the courage to show up on that day and joined the pro wrestling boot camp.

How long have you been training?

“I joined the boot camp in August 2019 and made my debut as a referee in October. Stepping inside the ring for the first time was surreal! There is still so much to learn and practice, and I can’t wait to return after this pandemic is over.

“Many of the folks are helpful and my coach, Shaukat Fonseka, has been sharing so much information for us students to keep on learning despite not being able to meet at the MYPW development centre. I am friends with some of them and we are still learning about each other. In all, everything is good.”

Aqilah with her trainer. – Courtesy of Aqilah Abas
Aqilah with her trainer. – Courtesy of Aqilah Abas

Why pro wrestling?

“As a teenager, I’ve always wanted to learn pro wrestling but I’ve never had the chance. Now that I know there’s a platform to learn, here I am. I don’t want to put high expectations on myself in this field, because I don’t want to disappoint myself if things don’t go as planned. Let’s just see where it goes.”

How has the MCO affected you?

“It made me appreciate my family and friends more. I miss my family a lot! But, thank God for technology, I’m able to video call every one of them, and I’m glad to know that they are all healthy.

“I’m not really a social butterfly but I miss social gatherings. I miss going to class and seeing my friends. Having a slumber party with my cousins and just being able to shop around at the mall.

“Nevertheless, I’m counting my blessings. Let’s just pray that this pandemic will end soon and that everyone will be alright.”

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