'There was this void in my heart': How a horrific accident led henna artist to Dubai to help, heal people

Singapore-based writer Zai Miztiq's book was showcased at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF)


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 8:29 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 9:59 PM

Zai Miztiq was 25 and had a fledgling career as a henna artist when a tragic road accident brought life as she knew it to an end. Now, the Singapore-based writer, travels the world and motivates people, while hoping to put down roots in Dubai. “There is something about this city that makes me want to come back,” she said.

“I have been here for six months now. I just want to become a resident and live here for a few years.”

At the time of her accident, Zai was a celebrity henna artist with business interests in Japan as well as Singapore, back-to-back media interviews and a fully booked calendar for two years. Life was looking good on that fateful day when she took a taxi home from work. A horrific accident caused by the driver falling asleep at the wheel landed Zai in the hospital with doctors predicting there was a 95% chance she would never walk again.

But not one to be deterred, she took everything as a challenge and was able to walk after a year. “I had to unlearn and relearn a lot of things during those years,” she said.

“The accident really taught me not to take life for granted. Before it, I refused to listen to my body and emotions. I was tired and there was this void in my heart that I avoided. I did not take a break and that is when God stepped in and made me take it.”

Fifteen years later, Zai has written two books, one of which was showcased at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) and travelled to 34 countries. She runs her own motivational training consultancy called Step Up Journey and has built an online business empire.

Dubai Factor

Zai has been to Dubai several times for various speaking assignments, but it was after Covid-19 that she fell in love with the city. “I was locked down in Morocco for four months and finally when I was able to travel, I came to Dubai,” she said.

“I was shocked because while the rest of the world was still going through lockdowns, here it felt like the pandemic had never happened. It was almost like as if Dubai was a planet of its own. Everyone was going about their business with minimal disruption. I remember thinking that I never want to leave this city.”

Here in the UAE, the Singaporean-national has been trying to establish her business but admits it has been difficult. “I am new, and I am still getting to know people,” she said.

“But I am confident I can establish myself here. This city has a certain vibe and is always kind to those who are willing to work hard.”

Human empowerment

Through her motivational work, Zai wants to empower humans across the globe. “I started off with women empowerment,” she said. “But the more I worked with people, the more I realised that I needed to expand my horizons.”

Her first programme trained women on how to turn their passion into profit and guided them to build online businesses. “I then realised that our boys needed support too, so I started the Brave Leadership Programme to give kids a role model,” she said.

At an event, where there was a group of 12-year-olds, she asked them to write their personal goals down. Some of the answers shocked her. “One of the students had written that his goal was to not go to jail,” she said.

“I didn’t even know how to deal with it. What are the kinds of conversations that would be going on in that house that prompted this child to write like this? That is when I decided to start my Awakening Parents Programme.”

Her aim is now to empower as many humans as she possibly can and touch their lives in a positive manner

Healing themselves

According to Zai, the most important thing for people to do is to heal themselves. “I myself thought I could never be in a relationship and distanced myself from it thinking men always have a condescending attitude towards women.,” she said.

“However, I am newly in a relationship, and I have realised that it can be kind, graceful and a way for both partners to heal and grow together.”

She follows a formula of T.R.U.T.H in her life to deal with emotions. “I encourage people to think about what they are feeling, reflect if the feeling is true or helpful, understand the thought better, take action and heal themselves as well as those around them.”

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