Nurul Jihadah Hussain

“I am a globally recognized community leader and non-profit founder. In December 2015, I founded The Codette Project – and has been running it since. In 2018, I was selected as one of 115 global community leaders as part of Facebook’s global Community Leadership Programme. In 2020, I was also selected as one of Singapore’s 100 Women in Tech. It is my goal to create better communities, networks and opportunities, and to diversify what success means in society – to prove that success can look like anyone!” 

#CandidWithCodette

What is the last book that you read? 
How to Eat by Nigella Lawson

A sentence or paragraph from it that caught your attention: 
“Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next. It’s about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat. And in cooking, as in writing, you must please yourself to please others.”

What does feminism or being a woman mean to you? 
Not putting up with someone else’s assumptions on who I should be, and trying to make the best choices for myself.

Most absurd thing someone has said or assumed about The Codette Project:  
That we don’t welcome people who aren’t minority/Muslim women. That we hate men. That minority/Muslim women aren’t interested in tech. 

There have been quite a lot of absurdities, to be honest. 

You were listed in both Harper Bazaar’s League Of Extraordinary Women In Singapore and Singapore’s 100 Women in Tech List. How do you feel about that and what is one positive change would you love to see in the tech industry?
I’m definitely honoured, but I would love to see more minority/Muslim women included in these lists! I’ve seen so many amazing, successful women who deserve to be here with me. 

What do you think is holding back minority/Muslim women from reaching their ultimate potential? 
The assumptions held by non-minorities, non-Muslims and non-women on what our success should look like, and how we should get there. #thankyounext

What’s something you want to try but haven’t had the chance yet? 
I lived in Japan for 2 years but never went to Harry Potter world in Universal Studios Japan, so I’d really like to go!

If you were to host a talk show, what would you call it?
Ms N’s Place – a play on the phrase mise en place

What advice would you give your 16 year old self? 
Things will get better. 

An underrated film that has inspired you: 
Yamakasi by Luc Besson.

Unpopular opinion: who is a feminist icon you think deserves more recognition?
Eowyn, shield-maiden of Rohan, from The Lord of the Rings. Also, Hermione Granger, especially the versions from good fan-fiction.