My mum, the time-keeper

My mum, the time-keeper

Throughout her life, actress Izyan Mellyna Ishak, 27, has worn many hats - student, nurse, football player and businesswoman - often juggling two of those heavy-duty roles at the same time.

She credits her mother, preschool principal Mastura Khalid, 52, for instilling in her good time-management skills.

Growing up, Izyan and her two siblings - an elder brother who is an information technology engineer, 29, and a younger sister, 23, a part-time student -but M had their daily routines planned out.

Says Madam Mastura, principal of the Mountbatten branch of the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) kindergarten: "Once my children turned three or four, I created weekly timetables for them- what time to wake up, shower, go to school, take a nap, do their prayers, among others. Then it's lights out at 8.30pm."

"I wanted them to have an idea of how to manage their time and prioritise the things they need to do."

Says Izyan: "I think, because of the timetables, I am all about organisation. I started to make my own timetables for school, for acting and for everything else."

She is starring as a hijab-wearing woman who becomes a wrestler against her mother's wishes in comedy-drama Banting, Singapore's first commercially released Malay-language movie since the 1970s.

Madam Mastura is the reason Izyan is now an actress - she enrolled both daughters in acting, singing and dancing workshops when they were young. Her son preferred football.

From these workshops, Izyan was scouted and made her debut as a dancer in Malay children TV show Ya Alif! at the age of eight. She later also acted, sang and became a presenter on the show.

Since then, her acting resume has included performances of The Vagina Monologues in Canada and The F Word in Scotland, both in 2011.

After getting her nursing diploma, she worked as a nurse for three years at Singapore General Hospital, then Outward Bound Singapore, before setting up her own wedding planning business last year.

Her husband is a 29-year-old senior technician.

Her father, a 55-year-old safety co-ordinator, was out of the country for a work trip when the interview was conducted at Madam Mastura's workplace.

In the movie Banting, your character kept her involvement in wrestling a secret from her mother. Have you gone through a rebellious phase in life and done something similar with your mother?

Izyan: I can't hide anything from my mother, it's like she can read my mind. When my Primary School Leaving Examination was coming up, I had to go home straight after school. Once, I decided to stay back to play a game of Captain's Ball for half an hour, thinking she would not notice. But when I came home, she knew I had been playing sports after school when I was not supposed to.

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