Timor Leste boy has a dream to become a journalist

By Sagran Akbar Jihad Ibnu Arif

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love what you are doing or learning to do.”

― Pelé, Brazillian pro footballer

Timor Island, or Timor Leste, is the birthplace of a boy who had migrated from this country since he was eight years old. Akbar Jihad Sagran had been living away from his parents for almost 15 years to seek knowledge.

Since the age of 6, he was separated from his parents for a better future. In 2006, there was a civil war in Timor Leste. Every night he couldn’t sleep comfortably and had to hide under a mattress to avoid the soldiers going after him.

Indonesia is a country that his parents chose for him to study. To be precise, it is in NTB Lombok. The first year of his stay in Indonesia was spent to adapt himself before entering a proper school where he studied the Indonesian language and some subjects in general.

One year didn’t seem big enough to be in the city of Lombok, as he lived with his aunt and cousins. They helped him in his study to become a successful child in the future.

After one year in Lombok learning to adapt to the environment and the language, Akbar’s parents decided to send him to a school in the capital city of Jakarta.

At first, it was hard for him to accept it, but his parents enrolled him in Darunnajah Islamic Boarding School thinking for the good of his future. The school is a prestigious one, located right in the middle of Jakarta. Its location is very strategic for walking and easy access to visit.

Over time at the age of 15, Akbar found his passion in photography where he was entrusted with documenting the events. From here, he was happy to be in the world of videography and photography.

Since he was in elementary school, Akbar has participated in journalism extracurricular activities at school where he learned to write news which was pasted on the school’s bulletin board. He worked with his friends, searched for information, and directly be in contact with the sources of news.

From here, he became interested in the world of journalism. He also joined the photography extracurricular activities where he was taught the right way to use a camera.

He was also invited to do reporting of news together with his mentor. Akbar is quite diligent in learning to write news which were later posted in the pesantren’s (or school’s) website.

Because of his great interest and creativity, he was appointed as the head of photography in organisational management at the pesantren (religious school). He also taught the knowledge that he received to his classmates.

The great tenacity in the world of journalism is enormous. He often attends several webinars and seminars, especially now, that teach about the world of journalism. He has a dream to become a news anchor in the future.

Not only as a journalist, but he also has an interest in the world of photography and videography. The two hobbies are ingrained in the big heart of the Timor Leste youth.

Several significant events were often documented, and Akbar did news items to be published on his pesantren’s website along with his supervisor’s. This created great excitement for him in paving the way to become a journalist in future.

Currently, he is studying communication with specialisation in integrated media journalism. He regards this specialisation very valuable and beneficial to him as well in charting his career.

Akbar hopes that his specialisation field would help him in his job prospects as he intends to join an established media organisation in Malaysia upon graduating.

He chose communication discipline because he considers it as his passion and a privilege to be in the world of journalism. ***

(This article is written as part of the individual assignment series for Feature Writing class)

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