Syazwani Hj Rosli
Qeez Idrus, or ‘Aqilah Nur Ezzati binti Mohd Idrus, has been in the local music industry since 2006.
Her musical journey began when she was just a child.
“My family said I used to follow the melody of the songs with some jumbled words I formed. When I was 14, I joined a school choir and was coached by Zul F. He also included us in his performance during the Pelangi Awards. That was the first experience I had as a backup singer,” she said.
It was then she realised her love for performing on stage. This drove her to participate in singing competitions such as Bintang Remaja.
She began to learn about time management, punctuality, professionalism and the performing scene in Brunei when she participated in Passport to Fame. “I am more into pop and R&B. The inspirations for my songs usually come from my life experiences.”
Qeez Idrus has performed in several national and international events including Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Japan.
She also represented Brunei in several international events including the Abu TV Song Festival in Hanoi, Rapsodi in Singapore and Alai Pa Plern in Thailand.
“What’s next for me? I will never stop making new songs or music. Insya Allah I will be releasing another single.”
She does this while also being a housewife and a mother to three boys. She also expanded her horizons to entrepreneurship.
Being a mother while fulfilling other responsibilities can be an endeavour of its own, but for Qeez, her perseverance shows that a housewife can achieve success with strong determination.
Qeez said her mother is her biggest inspirations when it comes to entrepreneurship. “My mother has been an entrepreneur since I was a child. I think being in business is in our blood and it motivates me, especially when I had my first child. That triggered me to start my own business,” she said.
“I created an online business named T’Sliur,” she said.
Having only one child, she said managing the business on her own was manageable.
As her family grew, her business went to a pause and she focussed more on her children.
However, Qeez is a person who loves to learn new things. She took a leap of faith and came up with a clothing line ‘Qeez Idrus Wear’.
“I started designing my own hijab line with trendy hype look, with a hint of graffiti. My first collection ‘Uprising’ sold out when it was released,” she said.
She planned to release a new collection, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shipments were affected and she had to put it on hold.
Theis did not stop her from coming up with another food product called ‘Cocoa Madness’ after she found out that choco jars went viral in Malaysia last year. She began experimenting, perfected the recipe and began selling them.
“The response was overwhelming. I sold around 20 jars daily then it climbed to 100 jars,” she said.
She was also able to provide opportunities for the locals to become their authorised agents.
“It was unbelievable. To think that I only started the business with a capital of just BND50,” she said.
Qeez said there are struggles being a ‘mompreneur’, housewife and artiste.
“I am the kind of person who is always punctual. I got that from my father who is very stern when it comes to time management while my mother is the organised one and loves to do things quickly,” she said.
“I also love things to be organised so I plan my day ahead. My husband also helps out – we are a good team. When I have to spend time for my business, he lends a hand with our children,” she said.
Qeez said she can manage her business anytime or anywhere. “As long as I do it while I am able to take care of my children,” she said.
For housewives wanting to venture into entrepreneurship, Qeez encouraged them to start with a good niat and to always be prepared for the hurdles.
“Be open to knowledge and always have patience. You have to be tough, be able to multitask, be organised with the business and managing households, children and others. Always stay calm and organise your time. I always say this to myself when I am exhausted: ‘Hustle hard Momma!’ because I know I have to hustle hard for my family. If I can then you can too!
“Supporting other local businesses is good. Do not see them as a competition. We are here to help each other grow,” she added.