Meet Veveonah Mosibin. She unexpectedly rose to fame after climbing a tree to get a good internet connection to sit for her online examinations. This driven 18-year-old student from Kampung Sapatalang, Pitas, Sabah captured the whole tree climbing episode on video and it became viral. It highlighted a problem that rural students are facing while trying to cope with online learning during a pandemic.
Internet Sensation Inspired By YouTube Stars
Inspired by YouTubers like Pewdiepie, Veveonah decided to record her daily struggles to keep up with the new norm of education. Internet connectivity in Pitas is a luxury and it made learning almost impossible for Veveonah. Nothing was going to stop her though, she had her mind set on finishing her exams during the lockdown period.
She found a tree on a hill and decided to get to the highest point in hopes that she would get a better internet connection. She recorded an event where she stayed up on the tree for 24 hours just to keep a steady mobile internet connection to complete her studies. That video went viral!
Malaysians all over the country began speaking out about the digital divide between the rural and urban communities. Other students in rural areas chimed in to express their plight. It became a hot topic and was a point of debate and discussions among politicians, even at the parliamentary level.
During an interview with her, we asked how her life has changed since the video and the uncalled for brouhaha.
“Ever since the video went viral, there was a lot of feedback from the community. There were those that compared my struggles to sit for my exams as an inspiration, and there were those that related to my struggles and issues of poverty here in Malaysia. I took all the feedback positively.
One of the biggest impacts since the video is that Telekom Malaysia has improved the internet connection in my area, making online classes so much easier! Also, my house now has electricity thanks to the aid provided by the Prime Minister of Malaysia himself. I am extremely grateful for all the help that I have been given, and I believe it is my responsibility to study hard so that one day I will succeed and be able to help others too!”
What inspired her to keep pursuing her education? What was her passion, hopes, dreams?
“I always wanted to study Marine Science, so right now I am pursuing my Bachelor Degree in Marine Science. I guess you could say it’s a step in the right direction. I want to be an educator/ influencer on YouTube one day, so that I can raise awareness about pollution in the environment and the oceans to the next generation. I know that my journey have just begun and I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn.”
I love studying and believe that with education we are able to change lives
What are her hopes for her community and communities just like hers in the future?
“ I hope that everyone that finds themselves in the same situation as I did will keep trying despite all the challenges. I hope they won’t allow themselves to be stuck facing one problem but will look for every possible solution to improve.”
“Our future is in our hands, so take every opportunity that is presented to us. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Think Big! Make it happen!”
Her story has inspired many more just like her to never give up when faced with challenges, especially when it comes to your education and coming out of the poverty cycle.