BY ZARINA ABDULLAH
KUCHING: Cheryl Syahmina Toh Mohammad Christopher Toh is the epitome of beauty with brains.
Not only is she blessed with good looks, she is also smart, talented and has a clear vision of what she wants in life.
Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication (Strategic Communication) from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), the 23-year-old Kuching-born is no stranger to TV Sarawak (TVS) viewers.
Better known as Cheryl Toh, she is a newscaster for the English news, which airs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5pm.
Although she is currently pursuing a Master in Communication – also at Unimas, she said this was not a barrier for her to have a career.
“The most important thing is to be good at dividing (one’s) time. Undoubtedly, I’m very lucky because this career is very closely related to my studies,” she told New Sarawak Tribune recently.
Being one of the youngest personalities at TVS, she said, was a challenge but what was important to her personally was to respect her senior colleagues, never shy away from seeking knowledge, give her full commitment and have a good personality.
“In the past, I aspired to be an English teacher, but that changed after I became an English teacher at a private learning centre in 2018 – from there, I realised that I was more interested in communications,” said Cheryl, who has been involved in broadcasting since the age of 20.
Experience at TVS
Cheryl, who once participated in Miss Unity Malaysia 2019, said she started reading news live for the first time during the launch of the station on Oct 10.
“I was just told the night before that at 10am tomorrow I would have to read the news live – making me the first TVS English newsreader to do so.
“I admit I was a bit wary but I’m very grateful to the producer for giving me such a golden opportunity – and most importantly, I’m proud to be able to do it,” she said, adding the proverbial butterflies in the tummy still exists until today.
Describing herself as a person who is always committed, highly motivated and confident, Cheryl said she aspired to be a full-time news presenter and if given the opportunity, she would like to host youth and political development programmes – in the next five years.
Further elaborating, the Chinese-Iban-Melanau lady said to be a successful newsreader, the key was to have a good attitude, able to accept criticism, be proactive, have good mental resilience, articulate and have a problem-solving mind.
“In terms of language, a newsreader should read and communicate a lot and diligently do research.
“Being a newsreader is not as easy as it looks because we have to put our soul into the news to ensure it is successfully delivered effectively in a short time.”
Naming political analyst Dr Jeniri Amir as her mentor and idol, Cheryl said she really admired her former lecturer for his wisdom, eloquence, quickness in solving problems and knack for dealing with stress.
She also looks up to Najwa Shihab, a well-known Indonesian host and journalist.
According to Cheryl, she was extremely grateful to have her family, lecturers and friends’ undivided support.
“I would like to thank TVS also for giving me this golden opportunity. For me, this can be an inspiration to anyone who wants to venture into the broadcasting industry.”