KOTA SAMARAHAN – On December 12, Sakura College of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak organised its annual open day activity called Metamour4sis.
The event was aimed at encouraging students residing at the college to get involved in the activities organised by the committee such as sports, cultural performances and talks among others.
The college invited former model, FelixiaYeap, who is well-known for making an enormous leap of faith, to share her journey with the students.
The sharing moment was expected to inspire many people, not only those who wanted to convert to Islam, but also sisters who were facing challenges in life. Approximately 950 students attended the talk at Arena Gemilang, DeTAR UNIMAS.
Currently known as Raissyah Rania, she is the eldest daughter of two siblings. She came from a broken family of a single mother, growing up and studying in Ipoh. Despite of her familyâ€™s financial crisis, she succeeded in her SPM obtaining excellent results of 6A1s. However, it stopped there and she could not further her studies due to troubles at home.
Struggling To Survive
At the young age of 17, Felixia moved to Kuala Lumpur where she worked as a Malay Language teacher at an international kindergarten in Bangsar. She lasted there for two years. Felixia started modelling when she was 18 and a decade later, she is still involved in modelling, of a different kind.
Felixia won many awards in modelling competitions that she participated in. She was the first runner-up in Miss Malaysia Tourism and Miss Chinese World.
She is also enlisted as the finalist for Miss Malaysia World and Miss Universe Malaysia. Back in early 2013, she was selected to be a Playboy Bunny.
During her time as a kindergarten teacher, she was paid a monthly salary of RM800 and RM150 from that went to the rental of a storeroom. Her body was longer than the storeroom, she said, and because of that she had to hug her legs just to sleep.
Felixia only spent RM2.50 per day where she would get either Nasi Lemak or a fried chicken for her meal. She sent the rest of her salary to her mother for her brotherâ€™s education, Felixia said.
Taking The Leap
Growing up in a broken family made her wary of religions, Felixia said. The first time she wore the hijab was when she was selected in a casting for a Celcom advertisement. A few months later, she was again hired for a Hari Raya advertisement and her agent told her that she must wear the hijab again.
She had no problem with that and accepted the offer without hesitation, said Felixia.
Since then she realised that she wanted to cover herself.
Felixia went on to the next job at an auto show, where she was asked to wear tight, sexy attire. She wanted to stop but could not as she had signed the contract, she said.
For the next 11 days, each time she took her break, Felixia said, she would rushed to the ladies room and broke down in silence. After the contract ended, Felixia finally decided to cover herself. That was in Dec 2013.
When asked the reason she made the decision, Felixia said she wanted to be respected. By covering herself, she found the tranquillity that she has been searching for, she shared.
“If something as simple as a piece of cloth, I found peace with it, what about the whole religion?”, Felixia told the audience.
From then on, Felixia started to find out more about Islam and the more she found out, the better she felt, she said.
The best thing was when her mother noticed her positive changes. Having a supportive mother encouraged her to recite the Shahadah.
Raissyah Rania is a name that she found in her dream. She told the audience that she dreamt of several men in white Jubah, glowing with lights.
Behind those men was a board written with two glowing golden words, “Raissyah” and “Rania”.
Felixia then decided to go with Raissyah Rania which she said meant â€˜charming leaderâ€™ after her conversion to Islam in July 2014. – Bernama