By Sukanya Nandy/Indian Express
New Delhi, March 20 (Indian Express): How often do you get to see a woman bodybuilder wearing a hijab? Meet Majiziya Bhanu from Kerala, an Indian professional power lifter and a bodybuilder, who has been breaking stereotypes.
She has won a silver medal for the country in The Asian Power lifting Championship 2017, held at Indonesia and a gold medal in The Woman’s Fitness Physique, 2018 held at Darbar Hall Stadium, Kochi.
Majizia, who is currently studying dentistry, began intensive power lifting training during the end of 2016. She has also been selected as the strongest woman of Kerala thrice by the Kerala State Power lifting Association.
It was her parents — Abdul Majeed and Rasiya Majeed, who supported the athlete and did everything possible in their power to help her achieve her dreams.
“They asked about many games but unfortunately, none of them was available in our village or the nearby town. But I never gave up, I did everything that I could do within the limits and later when I felt like I could go out and explore, I really made it.”
On February 25, 2018, Majizia participated in the Mr Kerala Championship, her first time in a bodybuilding competition. The 23-year-old is all praise for her husband, who she says, motivated and encouraged her to take up bodybuilding.
“It was actually my husband, Nour Ahmad Kohan Alizaey, who made me participate in Mr Kerala Championship 2018. Even though I’m so active and strong in Power lifting, I have never ever thought about bodybuilding. It’s him who encouraged me and gave me strength.”
“I just want to let the world know that the Hijab is never an obstacle for a woman, who has unstoppable passion. I really wanted to prove that it is not just a piece of cloth, it is the strength and dignity, not a limiting factor or an excuse. Being a girl or being a Muslim doesn’t matter, every religion and every culture is valuable and respectful,” Majizia said.
She wants to participate in World Championships in the future and open a sports academy. She strongly believes women need to stand up for their own rights.
“All women have the same rights as men. I stand for my own rights, I fight for my own dreams. My parents supported me and helped me make my dream come true. All the challenges can be managed if we work hard for it.”
(The featured image at the top shows Majizia Bhanu parading with conventional fellow contestants at a championship in Kerala in 2018)