“To the Muslim woman, the hijab provides a sense of empowerment. It is a personal decision to dress modestly according to the command of a gender-less Creator; to assert pride in self, and embrace one’s faith openly, with independence and courageous conviction. “
Majiziya Bhanu believes that hijab is never an obstacle for any woman wearing it. If she is free to show her body, she is free to cover it too. This 23-year old woman is breaking stereotypes everywhere she goes. No, she is not a journalist or an activist, she is a body builder. Majiziya Bhanu took to stage to compete in the women’s segment of the Mr Kerala competition in Kochi earlier this year and showed everyone that wearing a hijab is in no way an obstacle to a woman.
“It is only after their names are announced that one realises that the contestant is a Muslim, I feel proud to wear the hijab, which is a part of my identity. It does not limit me in any way but gives me dignity and strength.” said Bhanu
Ms Bhanu was an ordinary dental student before she realized her passion of body building and arm wrestling. Even though she belongs to an orthodox village, her parents supported her decision of making a career in body building and here she is, winning national medals in power-lifting and arm-wrestling, while also continuing her dental training.
In the two years of her career span, she has already been selected thrice as the strongest woman of the state by the Kerala State Power-lifting Association. Ms Bhanu has been bringing home laurels, but there is no doubt, that it requires a lot of practice. She can be spotted wearing a hijab during her practice sessions in a gym in Khozikhode. Majiziya Bhanu used to travel sixty kilometers by train everyday, and return home by 9pm.
“In the initial days, men used to stare at me as I had my hijab on. But soon they realised that I was as serious as them in my workouts. Then all the eyes disappeared,” Ms Bhanu told IANS.
Today, her own village has a gym and is used by both, men and women alike. Little girls come to her for advises and ideas.
Majiziya will be participating in the World Arm Wrestling Championship 2018 in Turkey next month. It goes without saying that she is extremely busy preparing for this competition and team InfectiousFeed wishes her a big All the Best!