KUALA LUMPUR – A football stadium painted pink? And players wearing jerseys of the same colour?
It’s all the doing of one woman, who insisted on a broad stroke of femininity in a man’s sport as a prize for sponsoring the Kelantan team.
She is 44-year-old Hazmiza Othman, former school teacher, reigning cosmetics queen, and entrepreneur extraordinaire.
She is known to the public by her “business name” Dr Vida, with the title Datuk Seri which the Sultan of Pahang conferred on her in 2014.
The multi-millionaire often dresses in her own syle of Muslim attire, usually in pink or some other bright colour which is heavily beaded, and always with a tiara on her head to complement the necklace, bracelets and rings that she wears.
So, how did the 154cm indominable Kelantanese from Machang become involved with the football team of her home state?
After the success of the reality program Gegar Vaganza, which she sponsored and was shown live by Astro Ria last year, Dr Vida’s name gained the limelight early this year when the Football Association of Kelantan (KAFA) agreed for her to sponsor the football team despite imposing two conditions.
The conditions were to change the team’s name to Pamoga Qu Puteh The Red Warriors, adding the name of one of her products to the famous team, and that Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV in Kota Baharu would be painted pink.
Even during the signing of the agreement for the sponsorship contract of RM16 million by Dr Vida’s company with KAFA recently, its president Datuk Seri Annuar Musa and his team wore pink and were willing to be photographed with her trademark – the V-sign over their lips mouthing her tagline “Qu Puteh Qu Puteh barulah putih”, and they also appointed her as KAFA honorary advisor for 2016/2017.
As a strong follower of the local football scene, Dr Vida told Bernama, her involvement in KAFA, one of the best teams in the country, was a move to diversify her products into a new market.
For Dr Vida, to be where she is now was a long and hard road. Starting from selling ‘kacang putih and nasi bungkus’ to her school mates for extra pocket money after her father’s death, she expanded her products to ‘kain batik’, ‘telekung’ (Muslim women’s prayer robe), sambal daging and keropok (crackers) during her university days at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang.
She was also working part time as factory operator and at fast food outlets to pay for her university expenses, she said.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Education (Malay Literature and History), and becoming a teacher at Sekolah SJK (C) Poi Lam, Ipoh, she never stopped looking at business opportunities and took up beauty care namely hairdressing and make-up.
With a bank loan of RM100,000, she opened up a beauty saloon and described it as a very difficult period because with her teaching salary of RM3,000 per month, she had to pay back the bank loan of RM2,000 per month, and used the balance of RM1,000 to pay for her house and car as well as for food.
After 12 years working as a school teacher, she became a teaching staff with the National Vocational Training Council (MLVK) by giving courses on hairdressing and beauty care, and from there the idea of coming up with cosmetic products emerged when the program of giving free facial treatment to members of the public at supermarkets by her students received overwhelming response.
“From there, I created my cosmetic products, Vida Beauty which was a combination of my name Miza and Ida and using the alphabet ‘V’ which I consider as having a high value,” she said.
Even with the RM1 million grant from the government as capital to start her cosmetics business, she failed to break into the market because the RM500,000 that she had invested to advertise her products in the local magazines and private radio and telvision stations failed to promote her products.
Dr Vida, who was depressed and suffered high blood pressure, had learnt her lesson from the failure and decided to invent her own formula using sea cucumber (gamat) and pomegranate to come up with a health product, Pamoga, which succeeded to reduce her hypertension.
With the new spirit, she marketed her product personally through the Kelantan FM radio program, “with a duration of 15 minutes per session, my product suddenly received a response which was beyond expectation. That’s what happened six years ago,” she said.
Dr Vida, who is now also investing in film and drama making as well as several sideline businesses, said her move to become a model for her products and create her tagline and the emergence of her bling-bling was to sell her products, and the outcome was very encouraging.
Dr Vida also said that the challenge in the business was not only in the form of sabotage and slanders but also imitation, that is, Pamoga produced in Damansara and managed to seize 40,000 of the imitated products following action by the authorities several years ago.
She said her biggest challenge was the loss of two of her four children in a fire at her house in Ipoh several days before Aidilfitri in 2013.
Muhammad Eddie Zuhdie Mohd Amin, 11, and his younger brother Muhammad Edrie Zikrie Mohd Amin, 10, as well as Dr Vida’s factory worker, Muhammad Norsyamil Zaidi, 26, perished in the fire at the Vida Beauty workers quarters in Meru Hills, Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh at 9 pm on Aug 3 2013. – BERNAMA