I was born in 1977 in Singapore as Shariffah Binte Kassim, and to be honest, the real reason I changed my name is because I hated my given name, and that’s mainly because I was made fun of when I was younger due my mispronouncing of the letter R, with my lisp and so-called short tongue. I kept it as my middle name though as it is my culture and it’s the name I was born with. Now you know.
My dad is 2nd generation Boyanese and my maternal granddad was a Bugis and lived in Pulau Bukom before moving to Singapore. I have 4 sisters, and I am the second child, and the joke was that my dad kept on trying for a boy, and gave up at girl no. 5. When I was younger, I I wished I had a brother, but right now I wouldn’t exchange my sisters for the world.
We lived in Bedok South Road till the age of 12 before moving to Pasir Ris, and that is where my family reside till today, and where you can find me almost every Sunday.
I’ve always felt like the black sheep of my family, the one who don’t belong. And there was a time when I entertained the thought that I was adopted because I felt different. And so I’ve done things totally opposite to what I should have done like I did a banking degree, instead of an accounting degree (like my dad wanted me to); I chose a school furthest from my home, I moved out when I was 22, I dated non-muslims and I didn’t make my husband convert to Islam.