What do Theresa Goh, Fathima Zohra and Nur Syakirah Syazwana have in common?

Disability, not disabled. These women beat the odds with mental strength and sheer willpower!

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Can you imagine not having all bodily functions like you do right now?

Nur Syakirah Syazwana may be born with a disability, but she leads her life fully enabled.

Just like Theresa Goh – Singapore’s most decorated Paralympic medalist and Fathima Zohra – quadriplegic and advocate for disabled persons, Syakirah leads a full life today juggling many roles. She currently is a fitness dance instructor, fitness brand ambassador and food delivery rider!


In the beginning, Syakirah felt shy and uncomfortable with showing others her condition. She’d hide behind walls or fold her arms constantly. Passersby may point at her while commenting on her hands. Before going to school, she was afraid she’d be bullied in school too. Thankfully, her schoolmates were kind and supportive!

Tipping point

At 15 years old, Syakirah made a choice to stop hiding! People may say what they say, and this may never change. She had fleeting negative thoughts of what comments she will hear or how was she supposed to handle the stares.

But she knew she didn’t want to hide forever, and SHE can change how she faces her own disability. Combined with her never-give-up attitude, she has conquered challenges like everyone else.

Jack of all trades, master of all!

Job-hunting is something we all have done or will need to do at some point, and that’s no different for Syakirah. Being born without hands, she never gave up on seeking employment. Before landing her role as a fitness dance instructor and food delivery rider, she sent out countless resumes.

After attending an interview for a receptionist role with the gym she works at now, she actually left thinking she wouldn’t get the job. But she received a call on the very same day! Her bubbly and uplifting attitude paved the way for her work progress, and she was offered to try being an instructor. With support from her manager and co-workers, Syakirah left for Indonesia for certification classes before returning to Singapore with a new title. Today, she’s a certified fitness dance instructor and enjoys grooving it out with her students.

When COVID-19 hit, gyms were closed, and hers wasn’t spared. Joining her friends, she applied for the position of food delivery rider and eventually got the job. Some naysayers may think she’s unhandled to carry the bags of food, but she has proved them wrong.

Landing in the stars

Beating the odds, she shines bright with her positive energy and happy vibes. Just check out her fun dance moves!

For everyone willing to listen, she has one piece of advice: keep positive, heads up, don’t turn back.

We can learn the growth mindset for the rest of us to help us get that never-give-up attitude. Let’s stand tall and proud like Syakirah!

Do up have a story or a personal experience that will encourage and inspire us? Send it to us and help give someone hope.

Image credit: The HomeGround Asia

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