New Faces & Voices of Pre-Fall: MAMMINA AKER
The model speaks out on Black Lives Matter movement and life during a pandemic.
V MAGAZINE What is your stance on the current state of affairs in the US regarding the BLM movement, protests, and police brutality?
MAMMINA It is a sad and heartbreaking situation having to wake up every morning and scroll through social media only to see a series of injustices carried out upon innocent people’s persons and the deafening cry of the masses for justice. For once in history, the human race came together to appeal for public justice throughout the nation of America and other countries which touched my heart in a way that words cannot explain. For every suffering, there is hope somewhere and we as the human race have proven that we just have to work as a team and listen more to our minorities and topple the injustices that have trodden us for so long. I honestly have tremendous respect for everyone that participated in the protests, peaceful or otherwise across America and the diaspora.
V Are you taking part in the movement? If so, how?
MAMMINA Personally, the impact that I have been able to make in my opinion is quite modest, however, as a young black female, I consider it my responsibility to take an active stance in any issues pertaining to my race; the human race and black race and because of this, I was able to participate in the signing of petitions, sharing posts on my social media and being able to donate to a few of the credible organizations that were publicized via the media. With that being said I proudly declare myself as a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
V How did the onset of this year’s public health crisis change your outlook on life and/or work?
MAMMINA In the past few months, we’ve all witnessed how the coronavirus has upended our daily lives. I, personally, have learned to appreciate the little things. Things I had taken for granted like taking road trips, going to social events, and generally just being outdoors.
As for work, I have read about so many people who have gone out of work because of the pandemic, which makes me think about my own line of work and what the future holds in this industry. This has made me realize that I had to adjust to new ways of approaching life by developing new talents and learning to adapt to new ways of living
V The public health climate has shaped many peoples’ reading/viewing habits—What are some reading or viewing material you’ve sought out in this time?
MAMMINA During this pandemic quarantine, I have spent countless hours every day behind my computer, doing school-related tasks as I am still doing my bachelor’s degree here in Malaysia (I recently just graduated).
I have also been reading a lot of lifestyle, entrepreneurship and career improvement magazines, and self-help books such as ‘Talent Is Never Enough’ and ‘Becoming A Person Of Influence’ by Author John C Maxwell. But I’m also watching a lot of Netflix TV shows, especially some Spanish TV series as I am currently learning the Spanish language – and in my opinion, the best way to learn is to hear it being spoken often! Hahaha.
V What have you learned (or what do you think people can learn) while in solitude/practicing social distance?
MAMMINA I have learned to be a person with self-discipline, as this word has very deep connotations. For me, the only way to justify obeying the rules during a pandemic is to listen to yourself and knowing that self-isolation is a temporary occurrence while putting in perspective that your actions during the quarantine period will not only affect you as a person but also the entire surroundings. Therefore, my motto is – be responsible enough to help yourself and those whom you care about.
At the same time, I have been able to improve my personal life skills while living in solitude, for example, prepare my own meals, as well as polishing up on my other passions such as doing meditation and yoga, proper self-care and so much more. I realised that I never had time for such activities before the pandemic because of how demanding my life was.
V What’s the first thing you’re going to do after coming out of quarantine?
MAMMINA Being a nature lover, the first thing on my bucket list is to fuel up a car and have a long drive with loud music and my favorite snacks, and drive off into the wee morning hours – so I can go hiking and catch the morning sunrise, watching the city’s breathtaking views from a higher vantage point. It will be a celebration of me, telling myself how proud I am to be where I am at the moment…I miss mornings like that, so peaceful.