With the finals of the fifth annual MonStar Awards coming up next week on 26 November at Panggung DBKL, we’ve identified three stand out individuals from 100 finalists whose talents and handwork have made them absolute queens in our books. The MonStar Awards is Malaysia’s largest young talent award that recognises youths whose story or talent(s) influence, innovate, and inspire their community.

To make the awards even more special, Zafigo readers are cordially invited to the annual LIVE Finale Show, where the Top 10 Young Talent Awards are presented along with a night of entertainment and fun. There will also be a RM15 discount code to help those interested to get their tickets here: MA2022ZAFIGO.

Learn more about three of our standout finalists and their personal journeys below.

Israt Sharmin Keya

‘In solidarity with sustainable growth’ was the tagline when Israt Sharmin Keya started Briddhi, a non-profit organisation that aims to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in Bangladesh.

Israt is a senior at North South University in Dhaka, and despite being so young, she’s actively taking steps towards building a better world. Briddhi is built on four key tenets: access to quality food and medical care, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), creating a society that welcomes and supports children with special needs, and promoting the independence of young women. Her goal of narrowing the wealth gap was conceived after a trip she took to a Bihari camp and some of the slums around the Mirpur area.

Read more of her story here.

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Sahilah Ain Sathakathulla

How many of us have had our accounts hacked because of unverified links we clicked on? Many vulnerable people are easy targets of online predators and scammers because they have trouble differentiating between what’s real and what’s fake.

This is where Sahilah Ain Sathakathulla comes in. Nominated as one of the top 100 MonStar Awards 2022 finalists, she is working to to ensure Malaysia’s cyberspace is safe for all. She is a Research Assistant at the International Institute of Crime and Security Sciences and is working on a comprehensive strategy for cyberspace to ensure that users are protected from harm.

She made policy recommendations at the Selangor Women’s Conference in 2022 on the Cyberspace Safety & Health Administration (CSSHA). The primary goal of this policy is to guarantee the security of all users when they are online. The three components of the CSSHA Policy are cyber data security, cyber enforcement, and digital intervention.

Read more of her story here.

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Natalie Chan Te Li

Dream, believe, and take action. This aptly describes Natalie Chan Te Li’s transformational journey of achieving her goals which earned her a spot as one of the top 100 finalists.

She identified what she truly wanted and took action. It all started with a challenge to see where she would be in five years. Natalie listed five goals and divided each aim into a few short-term targets ranging from daily to weekly and monthly. She also created a self-development programme to help her stay on track with her objectives.

Then, this year in 202, in her fourth year of transformation, she went for something bigger. She came up with an idea to help her hometown of Sandakan in Sabah and started promoting it actively via her Facebook page. She developed Facebook posts and content about Sandakan to promote tourism in the city.

This consistent effort led to significant influence. Her posts received such high levels of interaction with 4.6k shares and 300k internet users. While reach metrics is all great, these numbers translated into the real world. There was a noticeable uptick in the success of local enterprises, and their owners increasingly sought her assistance in spreading the word, which continues to attract more tourists to visit beautiful Sandakan.

Read more of her story here.

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The full list of the Top 100 Young Talents can be found here.

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