Malaysian Activist for the Differently-abled
“Why am I not like the others?” is not a thought that should be lingering in the mind of a five-year-old.
Unfortunately, that was the case for Rozella Mahjhrin, when she overheard her schoolmates commenting on her port-wine stain. Fast-forward to now, it is still the first question that pops into the conversation every time she meets someone new.
Although it took Rozella some time to overcome her anger and self-hatred, she is now at complete peace with herself. “I guess sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to see your biggest flaw as your superpower,” she wrote in one of True Complexion’s Instagram post. True Complexion started in 2015 and it utilises the art of storytelling and photography to raise awareness on not only Rozella’s condition but also different disabilities, rare diseases, chronic illnesses, mental health issues and other medical conditions— all while sharing the message of empathy, acceptance and empowerment.
It’s been five years, and she is not planning on stopping. “I do what I do for little Rozella and for every other boy and girl who went through or is currently going through a rough time.” Last year alone, Rozella has represented Malaysia in the Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia Pacific Program and the Eisenhower Fellowship Global Program, both of which zero in on creating a more peaceful and prosperous world. She also won the Women of the Future Southeast Asia Award, in the Arts and Culture category.
She finds satisfaction in unlocking one’s true potential, despite their differences. Rozella lives by this Theodore Roosevelt quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles.” To her, we all belong, our voices matters, and everyone deserves a seat at the table.
“I wish for everyone to have equal rights and access to education, employment and affordable healthcare.”