IIUM’s Aminata wins ‘Pidato Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu’

By Nabila Natasha Osman

GOMBAK, 4 December 2021: IIUM international student secured top spot in the International Student category of the 2021 Prime Minister’s Cup International Malay Language Public Speaking Competition held last Sunday (28 November) at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, UTM Johor Bahru.

Aminata Koutoub Sano from the Republic of Guinea won first prize among 22 other participants in her category, with her speech titled “COVID-19: Antara Hikmah Dan Musibah” (COVID-19: Between Blessing And Disaster).

“Just do it, life is too short to limit your memories.” These are the words of Aminata that motivated me during an interview with her.

This year was Aminata’s second time entering the competition. The first time was back in 2018 where she got to know about Pidato Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu (PABM) through a message that was circulated.

What inspires Aminata to write her speech is when she realised the existence of imbalance perspective of the positive and negative aspects of COVID-19 within the society.

“A lot of the time people think only of the negative effects of the pandemic and never the positive effects, or they think the negatives completely override the positives.”

Hence, she felt the importance to shine light on all the great things and positive aspects that this pandemic has brought upon us.

Aminata did most of her training with her trainer Dr. Mazlena Mohamad, through online platforms, who also helped her in polishing up her script. This reminds us to not let the restrictions of pandemic to stop us from working hard in achieving our goals.

Aminata Sano expressed her gratitude towards the people who helped her throughout the competition. She is grateful to her good companion Nafisa Mayukh who helped her with the Malay vocabulary and grammar.

The Malaysia-born Guinean also stated, “Training was really 100% true effort and dedication from both sides (trainer and trainee).”

Although Aminata’s mother tongue is Maninka, she started learning the Malay language when she was in primary school studying at International Islamic School Malaysia (IISM).

Back then she was so fluent in Malay that she was placed in the native class with all the Malay students. However, when she got to secondary school, she took French and lost most of her Malay vocabulary.

Since then, her medium of re-learning the Malay language has been through her friends and Google Translate. Aminata is a final year student of Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design (KAED), majoring in architecture. ***

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