Her husband passed away two years ago and left her with six children. That alone would have sunk anyone.
The prospect of raising one kid as a single mother is already daunting enough. Raising six kids alone is a gargantuan task. That burden could be likened to the one on Atlas’ shoulders when he was condemned to hold up the heavens by Zeus for eternity in Greek mythology. And that’s putting it mildly. But Marsidah Muhammad Din was unfazed.
And as if losing her spouse wasn’t bad enough, the economy ground to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the country, almost cutting off her already meagre source of income to support a family of seven. But her determination to succeed did not waver even during the public health crisis. She didn’t give up, even though life was tough and even harboured the dream to one day be her own boss.
That dream drove her to give her all to make life better for herself and her six children. Already sewing women’s and children’s clothing for almost two decades, she started sewing face masks for sale, a business opportunity that presented itself during the pandemic, to tide her over the tough times as the funds from her late husband’s EPF (Employees Provident Fund) was quickly drying up.
Slowly, but surely, she is expanding her sewing repertoire to include men's clothing and office attire. This is made possible through attending the sewing workshops organized by KEMAS (Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat). Marsidah spoke fondly of her learning experiences with the trainers at the workshops. She resolves to continue attending those workshops to continue learning.
Marsidah showing us how she sew her face masks
She started sewing as an 11-year-old--helping her mother throughout her high school years but went full-time into sewing in 2004. “Sewing helps me to de-stress,” Marsidah said, when Generasi Gemilang met up with her recently. “As the economy improves after the MCO (Movement Control Order), I hope to earn more and grow my business and God-willing would be able to realise my dream to own a tailor shop one day.”
Marsidah is a graduate from Entrepreneurship program conducted by PRUKasih (an initiative by Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad), in collaboration with Taylor’s College and Yayasan Generasi Gemilang (GG). Through the program, she was inspired and motivated to grow as a person as well as take on new challenges. “I hope to use the knowledge I have acquired to explore ways of growing my small business,” she said matter-of-factly. “In addition to physical sales, I’m hoping to be able to make in-roads into marketing my products online. This is all so new to me, but God-willing, I would be able to eventually pick it up.”
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