It has been a while since I last interviewed a fellow journalist. Husna Wahid is a Presenter for The Social Action Show on unityfm.net as well as a freelance journalist. We spoke about everything from her recent interviews with inspiring people to the hijab. Read more about her and her ´´Three P´s to success´´-positivity, productivity and proactivity:
R. You are active in many different professions: Presenter for The Social Action Show on unityfm.net and a freelance journalist? Why do you do what you do?
H. I base my actions on intention and therefore, everything I do is based around that. Media is a platform to inspire, educate and guide people by the masses. It has the potential to change the lives of many on a large scale and therefore, I take what I do seriously and with great responsibility.
I believe that awareness is the first step towards change, which is why I feel reporting the news, writing about and promoting the good work of others is a crucial step toward positive change. I like to provide a platform for inspiring people to share their stories, journeys and experiences to hopefully inspire and encourage others to become more positive, productive and proactive- I call that “The three P’s to success!”
R.Any other projects in the pipeline?
H.I am currently writing a book based on celebrating Life and embracing experiences-albeit good or bad and making the best of every situation. This book will elaborate on Points made by my recent winning monologue for International Women´s Day, which I will present at the Birmingham Museum of Art Gallery.
I have also worked with wonderful and open-minded individuals at BBC on films with content that portrays Muslims in a positive light. Despite having gained criticism for working with BBC because many believe BBC portrayal of Muslims is often misconstrued, I continue to communicate via such venues with hopes of a positive change.
Other projects include working with inspiring, hard-working and strong-willed women in my local community for example, Women´s Forum called ´´Walsall Women´s Forum (WWF),´´ where we will open up iftaar to the public and the road to Ramadan.
R. I completely understand you. As a journalist myself, inspiration is a key motivator, which is why I hope your story also inspires others. How do you prioritize what you do?
H. I have strong community values and believe in supporting one another to help them excel, achieve and succeed which is what I also base my time and efforts around. I think it’s crucial to prioritize the thoughts, feelings and development of others, which also builds me as an individual too. With that in mind, I truly believe that when one learns to prioritize and support the needs of another, we also support ourselves. It is a collective effort for positive change. I manage and prioritise accordingly.
I am a single mother of Three Amazing Little bundles of joy, mashAllah. However, I do not let this stop me from doing what I am passionate about and achieving my goals. I recognize my role, responsibilities and commitments as a mother, however I manage to organize my day in a balanced way. As parents, regardless of our challenges, Life goes on and we must work hard.
R.Who have you most recently interviewed and were most impacted by?
H. I recently interviewed a Spanish revert who went from being homeless on the streets of London to a very successful app & software developer. His story was an example of how hard work, dedication and patience are key elements towards achieving our goals, fulfilling our dreams and true success.
I can honestly say that each and every individual I have interviewed has impacted me in many different ways. I have interviewed people who have dedicated their entire lives to the service of others, who have based their lives around developing other people, who have supported others in the community as a simple act of kindness, asking for nothing in return.
I have also interviewed ‘The Singing Dentist’ who became an internet sensation with his funny viral videos on dental hygiene in a fun and entertaining manner. Then, there´s Assya Shabir, who talked about her experience, growing up with a rare skin disease.
I love all things positive and am inspired by everyone and anyone who has a positive mindset and like to promote this in order to show people that we can all achieve true contentment and happiness.
R. How much weight does your faith have on your work?
H. My faith sets the foundation and basis of my work. My religion teaches me moral values, sincerity and selflessness. I do not consider myself a perfect Muslim, but ensure that my actions reflect my beliefs and represents Islam for what it truly is – a religion of peace, love, compassion, generosity, consideration, selflessness and sincerity. It is evident throughout Islamic history that having good character, maintaining good relationships and the rights of Another, is of high value and regard. My work in media allows me demonstrate this perfectly and reach a broad audience to inspire and encourage.
R. A lot of women and girls find it difficult to take up the hijab these trying times. Some might even fear being attacked or harrassed because their hijab immediately shows them to be Muslim. What advice would you give these women and girls?
N. Do not see hijab as a barrier to success. Ultimate success is in the pleasure of Allah. Be proud to be a Muslimah, wearing the crown of Islam- the best crown and gift one could possibly have. With that crown show the world that you CAN achieve anything. Do not allow the actions of another to deter you from doing what is right. If anything, use it to propel you towards success even more. As I always say to myself and others -Do not allow the world to oppress you when Islam liberates you! Be the strong Muslim woman you are blessed to be!
R. What advice do you have for aspiring journalists, whether in broadcast or print?
N. The best advice that I would give to another is to find your passion and work hard for it!
As mentioned in my answer to the first question, ‘awareness is the first step towards change’ you cannot change what you don’t know needs changing. Journalism is more than just writing/broadcasting the news, it’s raising awareness. With that awareness people can see what needs changing and hopefully make a positive change.
R.When can we listen to you on the radio?
N.You can tune into my ´´Social Action Show´´ on Thursdays at 3p.m. which is repeated every Saturday at 3.30 p.m., however I have to take a back seat for a while as I am involved with responsibilties at home. I also do a LIVE children´s show called ´´The Tree House´´ every Wednesday from 4-5p.m. which is very successful with calls coming in from the youth.
Follow Husna Wahid