Fatimah Narawi, recipient of the 2021 Waja Women Award Ikon Insani

Award winner tells women to be brace, resilient

Fatimah Narawi, recipient of the 2021 Waja Women Award Ikon Insani, says women need to be smart and brave to grab any opportunity to progress.

(left) Fatimah with a diner at Fatma Cafe.

Despite many trials and tribulations, she persevered to start her own business – Fatma Cafe and Fatma Enterprise.

She said it was quite difficult to get a job then and she had to reach out for help.

“Nowadays, there are a lot of opportunities and facilities, especially assistance in rural areas.”

Apart from being active in business, Fatimah is also involved in various associations and community activities.

Fatimah was touched by the award as she did not expect it because she felt that there were others more deserving.

“I am overwhelmed. I did not expect it because there are others who are more qualified and with higher education.”

Looking back, Fatimah said she was once faced with a difficult situation when her husband and mother fell ill at the same time. “I was devastated when my mother left us.”

However, she is thankful that her husband has since recovered.

“I used to work as a babysitter for RM100.”

In addition, she also worked as a company supervisor in 1983.

Fatimah used to open a kindergarten and taught adult classes in the evenings at the Unity Department.

Fatimah actively engages in community activities.

After that, she received an offer to be an assistant teacher at Tadika Perpaduan in 1983.

“I continued to be an educator until 2010 because I wanted to open a food business.”

Fatimah continues to be active in community activities by getting involved in the Sarawak Women’s Association (PPWS) in Mukah. “I have been active in PPWS for 13 years.”

She has been the chairman of Perkim since 1997 and is a committee member of the Balingian Islamic Welfare Trust Board.

“By doing community activities, we continue to help the needy such as the elderly and orphans to ease their burden.”

As a mother of four, Fatimah hoped that women would continue to be resilient and brave to face challenges, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from that, Fatimah also wants to be a source of inspiration for women in Sarawak.

“Every struggle requires sacrifice and we need to have a strong spirit,” she said, adding that everyone needed to recognise their own potential to fulfil their purpose in life.