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43-year-old Nazirah starts her weekdays as early as 6.30AM for her full-time job as a beauty consultant in an Ipoh mall.

She only turns in for the night at 2.30AM. On the weekends, she works part-time as a clown at a local cafe, Konda Kondi.

Going by the persona Mama Pinky, she does this all for a heartfelt purpose: to feed stray dogs and cats, as well as pay for their medical bills to nurse them back to health.

Sympathy towards these helpless creatures is the reason she does it, she said in an interview with Malay Mail

“Unlike humans, they can’t tell whether they are hungry or in pain. So whenever I find stray cats or dogs, I will feed them and if they are wounded, I will bring them to the veterinarian,” said Nazirah.

She also has roughly 50 cats under her care at home, and has been helping stray animals for over 5 years.

A Different Kind Of Frontliner

Nazirah looking after her cats / Image Credit: Nazirah Abdul Rahman

When the country was put under a strict lockdown, though she was lucky that her company paid her a basic salary, she was not able to work either jobs as both workplaces were closed. 

Hence, we wondered what happened to the strays who’d grown so fond of her over the past few years.

Could she still feed them? Or were they now left to fend for themselves?

Despite not earning much, Nazirah told Vulcan Post that she would still go to the market everyday to feed the stray cats and dogs because she knew that the animals would wait for her every night.

“During the MCO, I would go to the market only 3 times a week and put extra food so that I do not feel worried if I can’t feed them the next day,” she said.

Once the lockdown was lifted though, Mama Pinky returned to her usual routine to raise funds for the stray animals. 

Mama Pinky performing with a clown mask on / Image Credit: Nazirah Abdul Rahman

After work on weekdays, she would spend about half an hour travelling on her motorcycle from her home in Batu Gajah to perform at Konda Kondi.

She would then put on her clown makeup and costume and begin twisting balloons by 9PM into various shapes like hearts, dogs, and flowers for donations. 

Normally ending at 11PM, she’d then head over to the Pinji market in Ipoh to feed the strays before returning home around 1AM.

Back home, she feeds her adopted cats and cleans up after them before turning in for the night.

In an interview with The Star, she said that no matter how late it gets or how much she has to travel, she’d still find a way to feed the strays at the market.

“I am worried that if I don’t drop by, the animals would just be waiting there, expecting me to come around,” she said. 

Always Been Passionate About Strays

Nazirah got her start as a clown 2 years into adopting her many cats when she realised that the cost to look after them was growing.

“I needed to find more money for my cats’ expenses such as treatment, food, vaccines, and sterilisation.”

“Spontaneously, the idea of becoming a clown came to mind so I tried to learn about how to be a clown,” she said.

A clown community in Taiping, Perak was where she picked up the skill of twisting balloons while coming up with new shapes for them too.

From there on out, she decided to specialise in shaping balloons and built her own identity as Mama Pinky.

Some of Mama Pinky’s unique balloon shapes / Image Credit: Nazirah Abdul Rahman

“Donations during clown performances at cafes are voluntary. Sometimes plenty and sometimes little, but it is very helpful to pay the cat’s treatment bills,” she said. 

“One of the things that makes me happy is when the cat I brought home to receive treatment gets gradually healthy and no longer suffers from serious illness. It’s a satisfaction for me to be able to save the animal’s life.”

Sometimes, the amount of funds accumulated from clowning isn’t enough to pay the cat’s treatment bills.

So, Naziah would even fork out additional money to send sick animals to the veterinary clinics in Ipoh, which can cost around RM400.

In addition, Mama Pinky also accepts event bookings such as birthday parties and events.

I try to manage my time as best I can so as not to interfere with my work. When the cat is all healthy and happy, it is an inspiration and passion for me to continue to help stray cats.

Nazirah Abdul Rahman AKA Mama Pinky
  • You can find out more about Mama Pinky here.
  • You can read about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Nazirah Abdul Rahman, AKA Mama Pinky

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