6th #GreatHeights Series – Nadzry Abu Bakar, Part 1
By Afiza Zulyadaen
The star for this week’s KYSER #GreatHeights series is none other than our current KYSER Vice President, Nadzry Abu Bakar – Executive Director of BluBlack Productions Sdn. Bhd., TV producer, broadcasting lecturer, and also a football club manager/coach. From the pioneer KYSER batch 1997, I had the great pleasure of interviewing him and we talked about his KYS experience, passion, career, challenges, and life aspirations.
Coping with the life in KYS
Starting the interview, the humble and friendly father of four reminisced on how it was unbelievable for him to be accepted into Kolej Yayasan Saad (KYS) in the first place. “It was so unbelievable at that time that I went to meet with the principal then, the late Mr. Ramli Maidin, to ask whether he got the wrong person.” The principal’s answer to him was simple, “your sports achievements are too excellent to reject”.
“I was quite slow when it comes to studying, but if it is for training, I will be the first one to be on the field”
Kedah-born Nadzry passion for sports, especially football, has led him through his life since young until what he is now. However, when he enrolled into KYS, he was struggling to cope with his other studious peers. “I was quite slow when it comes to studying, but if it is for training, I will be the first one to be on the field”. In desperation to ensure a quality SPM result, he decided to drop the gruesome subject of Additional Mathematics, apologizing to Mr. Tan Cheh Li, his Add Maths teacher then. “I never regretted my decision. Alhamdulillah, my grades improved after that and I still managed to maintain my active participation in football and rugby for the school.”
Most memorable KYS experience – 1st Annual Rugby Match
“We just had to win this. We didn’t want to be anyone’s disappointment.”
When asked about his most memorable experience in KYS, he mentioned about the very first KYS annual rugby match. It was against the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), one of the top school rugby teams in Malaysia. “MCKK was already an established team with tournament experiences at that time. Whereas more than half of the KYS rugby team had no experience except for three months of training. On the day of the match, Tan Sri Halim came with a helicopter and a few of his friends were also there.”
The pressure was intense and they were doing badly for the first half of the game. Led by Nadzry as the captain, the KYS rugby team was scolded by the coach and the principal during the half-time break. The biggest ‘slap’ to them is when Tan Sri Halim went away for the day using his helicopter. “We just had to win this. We didn’t want to be anyone’s disappointment.” Their raging determination finally got them to victory. “Who would have thought that we managed to defeat one of the top school rugby teams in Malaysia? The scolding that we got and Tan Sri leaving disappointed, showed to us that they actually believed in us and have high expectations of us.”
Laying out the path
Similar to him dropping Add Maths for his SPM, Nadzry again made a bold move in his university time by quitting his Econs/Law study in Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) after a year as he was struggling to meet the Arabic language requirement. Although it was quite against his family wishes, he believed in his decision and enrolled in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam for Mass Communication Bachelor Degree, majoring in Broadcasting. “I have always liked to talk and knowing that I’m not a studious person, Mass Communication seems perfect for me. Most of its evaluation are on your presentation skills and field work.” He continued his education to Master’s Degree in Communication also in UiTM Shah Alam while working for his first job after graduation.
Starting his career as a Producer
“Working in media industry usually means you have little time to spend for yourself to the point you have to sleep in the studio”
Nadzry’s career started by working as an Assistant Producer in All Asia Broadcast Centre or prominently known as ASTRO. Excelling in his work, he was soon promoted to be executive and supervising producer, covering the Astro SuperSports channel. His attachment as a TV Producer in ASTRO has paved ways for him to experience being part of internationally renowned sports events such as Football World Cup 2006, Euro 2008, Olympic Beijing 2008 and Commonwealth Games New Delhi 2010 to name a few.
“I enjoyed doing my work but it is also exhausting to be working like this for a long time.” Feeling unsure of his career path, he took up another job as a part time lecturer in HELP University for a year. “I know I like to talk, and educating others is fulfilling too, but after a year of being a lecturer, I found that this may not be the career for me as I don’t like sitting down for a long time marking examination papers. However, because of my experience in lecturing, I always got invited to be the guest speaker in several universities until now. In a way, I still get to lecture once in a while without having to mark examination papers”, said Nadzry with a laughter.
Read more on Nadzry’s career and how his fulfill his dream to have a football field in Part Two here.