| James Kon |
MUHAMAD Bahri bin Bohari has never let his disability get in the way from achieving his goal of becoming a teacher and living a normal life.
Born without arms, the 31-year-old teacher at Dato Basir Primary School has been using his feet for day-to-day tasks such as writing, mobile phone texting and driving a car.
During a motivational talk to about 100 Year 10 students at Rimba II Secondary School in the run-up to their ‘O’ Level exams yesterday, he said, “Believe in yourself that you can do it, and work hard to achieve success and your dreams.
He also shared a quote from American author, salesman and motivational speaker Hilary ‘Zig Ziglar’ Hinton: “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
He said, “I always told myself that I can do anything.
Now I can write, learn, drive, play football, use mobile phones, cook, swim and do much more.”
He added, “Study like there is no tomorrow, because if you keep putting off your studies for tomorrow, you’ll probably be too late.”
Despite his disability, Muhammad Bahri was able to complete his undergraduate degree in Primary Education at Universiti Brunei Darussalam from 2008 to 2012, before proceeding to the University of Leicester to complete his Master in International Education, Innovation and Reform from 2012 to 2013. One of the hardest challenges in his life was trying to get a driving licence.
As he recalled, “Unwilling to burden my parents, I tried to get a driving licence. However, it took me four years to get a document that testified to my eligibility for driving lessons. I finally received my licence in 2011.”
The talk concluded with a question-and-answer session followed by a presentation of souvenir to Muhammad Bahri by Principal of Rimba II Secondary School Hajah Siti Khadijah binti Haji Damit.
In an interview with the Bulletin, Muhammad Bahri said his parents have been a tremendous source of support, saying, “I am very lucky to have parents who raised me with the proper requirements and abundant love.
“I realise that not everyone has been given such an opportunity. It has been always my goal to share my achievements, and I hope that my story can be an inspiration for the younger generation.”
On his advice to persons with different disabilities, he said, “Give yourselves enough chance to develop or acquire new skills, before saying that you can or cannot do it.
“I believe that limitations do not limit our activities, but they challenge and motivate us to find other ways beyond our expectations. This is because the main difference between us is the way we do certain things.”