Visually impaired M’sian woman starts cooking channel, thanks to safer modern kitchen tech

After losing her vision, a Malaysian mother-of-four turned to cooking, running a YouTube cooking channel and showing how modern kitchen tech helps the differently abled cook safely. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

Ten years ago, Sharifah Shafiza Said Salleh lost her vision due to Amblyopia or the lazy eye disorder, but she refused to let this disability stop her from living a normal life.

The 41-year-old mother of four is adept at managing her household and her impairment does not prevent her from cooking various dishes for her family, which according to her, is her favourite activity.

She said cooking has become easier and less dangerous for the visually impaired with modern kitchen appliances such as the air fryer.

“Even though Allah took my ability to see, He gives me many other advantages. Among other things, I can tell if a dish is cooked through the smell and sound of splashing oil from a pan or pot,” she said when met at the Blind Chef cooking competition at the Seberang Takir State Constituency Community Service Centre, here today.

Sharifah Shafiza was one of the 13 visually impaired participants in the competition jointly organised by the community service centre, Terengganu Sejahtera Human Capital Institute, Terengganu Malaysian Association of the Blind and Mardhiah Prihatin Welfare Association.

In July, she opened her own cooking channel on YouTube called ‘Hobby Masak Semanis Nekbat Channel’ to prove that she could cook and live a normal life.

“I opened the channel after receiving so many questions from people around me, wanting to know how I managed to cook in this condition. In fact, some are sceptical and claim that the food that we (blind people) prepare is not clean because we cannot see,” she added.

Sharifah Shafiza who hails from Dungun said she was born normal and had served as Al-Quran and Fardu Ain class teacher before her deteriorating eyesight forced her to resign.

“Of course I was sad because my life changed completely. But we must be strong and move on with life so that we can succeed like everyone else. We must break the stigma that says blind people can only sell tissues and beg for alms,” she said. – Bernama

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