The Inspiring Running Niqabi From Durban

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Zaheda finished strong in her Half Marathon in Durban few weeks ago ?

Zaheda is one of the running sisters from Durban, South Africa who joined Nashata Virtual Run For Charity in March edition to support Baitul Aman Children Center in South Africa. Zaheda is 43 years old and a mother of 3. She runs in veil and in March and she collects the highest mileage among all which is 170km. Here are a few sharing about her passion in running in Q&A:

1. Q: When did Zaheda start running?

A : Fitness has always been a big part of my life from a young age but I only started running in my final year at school. I went to a school where athletics played a major role, but I never participated. In my final year, I felt like I wanted to finish knowing that I at least tried. I finished second last but I was bitten. Starting off was very difficult for me, I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I almost gave up but I didn’t. Everyday, I’d go back to it until slowly I started getting better and better at it and I was doing longer distances each time. I became hooked as I was happiest when I was out there. In terms of speed and pace I’m pretty slow but I’m working on it.

2. Q: How frequent does Zaheda run?

A: I aim for 25KM a week but this year, I’m quite busy so sometimes I was only running on my treadmill, 3 to 5km, 4 or 5 times per week. On a week day, I limit my running time to an hour.

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These are some of the recorded mileage collection for Nashata Virtual Run for Charity South Africa,..she manage to collect 170km in March 😉

3.Q : When and where does Zaheda run?

A: I run early in the mornings. I live in the area which is very near to the beach, so I always run along the beach on the promenade. I am a mum of 3, my kids are independent and grown up but I  try to run at time that doesn’t affect my family life. When I get back from my run, they are getting up and I’m there to prepare their breakfasts and school lunches and see them off to school.

Zaheda runs very early in the morning

4.Q : What motivates Zaheda to run?

A : My sister, Zainab run much faster, very disciplined and she is incredibly amazing and I draw my inspiration from her. We run together every Sunday and we always encourage each other to keep improve ourselves. Other than that. I have always found that running helps me get back in shape and I feel good when I’m running consistently. Unfortunately, life sometimes doesn’t allow you to do as you please always. That been said, I am also finding my time for it with proper time management and discipline you can always make it work; this is what my sister, Zainab taught me.

Note : Zainab runs at Nashata Virtual Run for Charity too and she runs FAST!

5. Q : How is Zaheda’s diet like?

A : As far as my diet, I’m not the most disciplined but I’m training myself to control my indulgences as well as my portions. What you eat really affects the way you run. Don’t take fizzy drinks, even the sugar free variety. I don’t really take supplements except my calcium supplement, so I try to eat healthy food and keep well hydrated. I also can only run on a empty stomach, if I eat before run I will feel lethargic. But, yes everyone is different, this works for me.

6. Q : How running change Zaheda’s life?

A : Running has had huge impact on my life. It helps me deal with the stress in life. I am healthier, fitter and I find that I don’t get sick often, Alhamdulillah. It is good for your body and mental well being. I often joke with my friends that I’m addicted to the endorphins and need to get my fix daily.

7. Q : What does Zaheda wear when she runs?

A: Initially I ran in an abaya but after a few near falls, I started customizing my gear and now I’ve discovered Nashata whose range I’m totally in love with. I now have the freedom of doing what I love, looking good and modest all at the same time.

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8. Q : How did Zaheda discover Nashata? 

A : I discovered Nashata by chance really, I searched Islamic Sportswear and it came up. Then, I followed them on Facebook. Eliza is very professional and it was absolute pleasure purchasing from her.

9. Q : What is Zaheda’s advice to other novice runners?

A :  My advice is please don’t give up. It is difficult at first but it gets easier and enjoyable. Listen to your body, rest when you feel like it and don’t feel guilty. I adorn the niqaab or face veil, I’m wearing it for 5 years now, Alhamdulillah. Initially I thought I’d never run again as I had never seen a niqaabi run. I used to do strength training with a personal trainer and we found that I was getting really strong but not really loosing weight and she suggested I start running again and for a while I found excuses, silly ones, what would people say, what would I wear until finally she pushed me so hard that I was out of excuses. Things that I learnt are don’t give up on your dreams, the only thing holding you back is YOURSELF. There is certain kind of magic in misery, ask any runners out there.

InsyaAllah, may all women out there will be inspired by Zaheda, the running Niqaabi 😉

#NashataRun4Charity for South Africa Children Centre

In March 2017, Fatimah, Intan Suraya, Nahsuhah,  Saamiyah, Zaheda and Zainab (not her real name)  volunteer to run more than 600 km as a team to raise funds for Baitul Aman. For every 1km they run, Nashata will contribute RM1 to Baitul Aman. You can help sponsor them too and make their run worth more for the children at Baitul Aman.

As of 22nd March, the running sisters have ran 457 km. Zaheda tops the team with 124km to date. Make their sweat worth more and more for the children they wish to help. Sponsor at least USD5 to these runners at LaunchGood or RM22 at Nashata

Zaheda runs in niqab and the most in the pack!

Zaheda from Durban runs in niqab and the most in the pack!

Zaheda runs the most and fastest in the pack!

Zainab runs fast and diligently. She keeps us on our toes!

Intan Suraya runs a full marathon and 2 half marathon in March

Intan Suraya runs a full marathon and 2 half marathon in March

Nahsuhah - The fastest and youngest in the team

Nahsuhah – The fastest and youngest in the team

Saamiyah & her running team

Saamiyah in Nashata Azza Toplectic & her running team at her 1st full marathon Oct’16

We update the team everyday and support each other

We update the team everyday and support each other

Why you should sponsor the run?

You can be a part of the cause and help our running sisters make a bigger impact for Baitul Aman. Make their sweat worth more and more for the children they wish to help. Sponsor at least USD5 to these runners at LaunchGood or RM22 at Nashata

Why Baitul Aman, La Mercy?

Our running sisters from South Africa feel strongly about children and education. They collectively chose Baitul Aman to be the recipient of the cause. With the increase of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, the number of abandoned babies and neglected children from diverse backgrounds requires Baitul Aman  to cover conventional child and youth care programme as well as others. The home takes care on average 48 children including abandoned babies.

What is the duration of the fund raising?

Our running sisters started running for Baitul Aman from 1st March ’17 and will stop 31st March ’17. However, the sponsorship continues until 10 April ’17

What happens to the sponsorship?

The amount sponsored via launchgood will be transferred directly to Baitul Aman.  Fatimah, Saamiyah, Zaheda and Zainab (the runners) will visit the center to deliver sponsorship from Nashata at the end of the campaign.

You can be apart of this too. You can :

  • Sponsor the runners at least USD5
  • Virtual run with the runners wherever you are. You can post your runs and use hashtags #nashatavirtualrun4charitySouthAfrica #nashatavirtualrun4charity
  • Follow and support the runners on social media. These are the hashtags for the run #nashatavirtualrun4charitySouthAfrica #nashatavirtualrun4charity

About Nashata Run For Charity

It is a virtual run that aims to raise funds for ‘Charity of Choice’ in a new country every month. Nashata runners together with a group of runners in respective country would run virtually for the whole month. Nashata pays RM1 for every 1 KM each runner’s mileage. Nashata Run for Charity fosters 3 things:-

  • Stronger Sisterhood
  • Strengthen Fitness
  • Support a Cause

Started first in Brunei in Feb ’17, the run gathers four female runners from respective country and two Nashata runners who volunteer to run as much as they could to raise fund for a charity of their cause in the country.

In March’17, six Nashata runners from South Africa & Malaysia pledge to run to raise funds for Baitul Aman Children’s Home in South Africa. Be a part of the cause and help the runners make a bigger impact by sponsoring them with Nashata.

… more countries to be announced soon. If you are interested to participate please email contactus@nashata.com