There’s Something About Ummi Nazeera
Ummi Nazeera is a huge fan of Captain Marvel. She has this burning desire to portray a role on the screen that can bust some serious moves, just like the superheroine.
“I absolutely love Captain Marvel and how she is portrayed. She is the perfect example of why a female superhero doesn’t need to be a goddess or extremely beautiful in order to be well, a hero!
“You can look normal and still be as powerful. Her character doesn’t paint a delusional idea of what a superhero is supposed to be like,” she said.
In contrast to Captain Marvel, Ummi in person is a sweetheart and extremely soft-spoken. This humble character of hers is one of the many reasons she grew to be one of Malaysia’s darling actresses.
Despite wearing the hijab, Ummi sees no harm in portraying a heroic role. “If anyone is looking to feature a hijab-wearing superheroine, I’m all for it!”
Going from an actress who didn’t wear the hijab to becoming one who does, Ummi is thankful there isn’t much challenge for hijab-wearing women to achieve success in the entertainment industry.
“Alhamdulillah the industry has been very kind to us ‘hijabis’. Though I never saw it as a challenge, I saw it as a rizq.”
“For example, there are lots to be considered before accepting a job offer. You need to negotiate whether you and the other party are able to find the common ground on what you can or cannot do as a woman of hijab. I can’t be hugging a strange man on screen, for instance.”
While Ummi marvels over Captain Marvel, she is a superhero in her own right too. She may not have powers like Captain Marvel, but she is a super mom. Ummi is a mother to a beautiful daughter Ayra Aneesah, who turns 1 this August.
Ever since she joined the sleep deprivation society that is parenthood, Ummi excitedly shared during this interview that she finally had a night of good sleep with no disturbance, all thanks to her doting husband.
“I’m usually the one who gets up in the middle of the night to attend to my baby, but last weekend, my husband took over, so I finally got to enjoy some much-needed sleep,” she said happily. Sleeping through 8 hours with no disturbance sure is an achievement for any parent with a baby.
Momsomnia aside (mom insomnia), Ummi is loving every bit of motherhood. “I’ve learned to be selfless. It’s not about me anymore, my life is now all about Ayra, she comes first.
“I am now much more committed to work too, in order to provide her with good education and life in the future,” she said.
In recent years, Ummi has been somewhat selective with accepting job offers but now she is open to explore more of what the Malaysian entertainment industry has to offer.
After giving birth to her daughter last year, she put her career on hold to focus on her family. But 6 months after that, she decided to resume her acting and signed on with a new management company called Rocketfuel Entertainment Sdn. Bhd.
“Now that Ayra is growing, I felt that it’s a good time for me to work harder. Before I get a second child, now is the best time to focus on achieving more out of my career,” she said.
Ummi grew up with a single mother who raised her and her elder brother, Nazreem. She watched her mother displays toughness and grit, always doing her best to overcome circumstance that was at hand all on her own. She looks up to her mom in that sense and aspires to be just as strong and independent.
“I am always reminded to not depend on anyone but myself.”
“She also taught my brother and I to always prioritise family first. No matter how busy you are, family should be a top priority with no exception.”
“Despite not having much time for me and my brother when we were little, she raised us well enough to value family,” she said.
“So to me, if you ask me to define success, it’s about having a family to go back to at the end of the day, and pursuing a career that you love.”
“No matter how rich you successful you are in terms of your career if you don’t have someone to go back to it means nothing,” she said.
GROWING HER BUSINESS
Besides acting, Ummi is also a television host. But she also ventured into the world of business a few months ago and is now an entrepreneur, selling her own line of hijabs, prayer robes and cosmetics under her brand Nazeera.
On its website, Ummi explained that Nazeera’s aim is to make the customer’s life easier in ibadah and daily life by offering products that are convenient, comfortable with affordable price tags.
“I’m going to take it easy with this business and watch it grow slowly. Alhamdulillah, we’ve been doing well so far. Watch out for new products coming soon,” she said with a smile.
WORDS OF ADVICE
At the age of 28, Ummi is a wife, mother, actress, host, entrepreneur. If there were some words of wisdom she could pass down to young girls who aspire to like her, she would tell them that not everything is easy, therefore you must continuously work to reach your goals.
“My mom once told me that no matter how much money you have, don’t ever stop working. That is where you get your income. And no matter how much asset you have, it won’t give you income if you don’t rent it out.
“Write down your goals, and make sure you focus on achieving those goals. That’s what I do,” she said.
Ummi is beyond excited for the Eid celebrations this year, as she is looking forward to her large family gathering.
“This is my second time celebrating Eid with my husband, but it would be his first time celebrating it with my family, as it was his family’s turn last year.
“My mom is especially excited to bring Ayra back to our hometown in Terengganu, as she is the only great-granddaughter in the family.
“I can’t wait to be reunited with all of my family members from all five generations!” she expressed.
Born on August 20, 1990, Ummi Nazeera Nur Hidayah Zainal Abidin rose to stardom through her role in a television series titled Nur Kasih in 2009. Since then she has starred in multiple motion pictures in Malaysia and became a household name in Malaysian showbiz, despite taking a break in between to pursue her studies in Melbourne at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), graduating in 2013. When she shared a photo of herself on the convocation day, it was also the first time she officially shared a photo of herself donning the hijab. On July 23 2017, she married Dr Mohd Izzar Anwari Abdul Khani in a private ceremony attended by family members. She gave birth to her daughter, Ayra Aneesah on August 22, 2018.
Behind the Face of Salam
- Face of Salam : Ummi Nazeera
Project Manager & Co-ordinator : Shah Shamshiri
- Text: Syahirah Mokhtazar
- Editor : Ili Farhana Mohamed
Photographer: Bustamam Mokhtar, White Studio
- Graphic Designer: Asyraf Tamam
Stylist : N. Azwa
Make-up Artiste : Saidatul Nisa
- First Look:
- Hijab: Nazeera
- Jacket: Helmi Hamdan
- Blouse: Helmi Hamdan
- Skirt: D.D Collective
- Accessories : Stylist’s own
- Second Look:
- Hijab: Nazeera
- Vest: Wan & Mary
- Blouse: Wan & Mary
- Pants: Wan & Mary
- Straw Hat: Hanna B