Things looking up for Malaysian teen who slept in tree for better Internet access

Veveonah Mosibin with her parents, Mr Mosibin Makrun and Ms Rofinah Ungo. The teenager's treetop video has opened up opportunities for her while also highlighting the lack of facilities in many parts of the Borneon state she lives in. PHOTO: SABAH IN
Veveonah Mosibin with her parents, Mr Mosibin Makrun and Ms Rofinah Ungo. The teenager's treetop video has opened up opportunities for her while also highlighting the lack of facilities in many parts of the Borneon state she lives in. PHOTO: SABAH INFORMATION DEPARTMENT FACEBOOK

KOTA KINABALU • Things are getting better for Malaysian Veveonah Mosibin ever since the teenager posted YouTube videos of herself spending the night up a tree to get better Internet access while studying for her exam.

The 18-year-old became an Internet sensation almost overnight after a video she uploaded on June 13 caught the eye of viewers on YouTube. She now has more than 96,000 subscribers.

"When I started posting videos on YouTube, I never thought that it could become a hit in such a short time, and I didn't expect much, as I was just doing videos for fun," Veveonah said.

However, that treetop video challenge of hers in Kampung Sabanalang Pitas in Sabah opened up opportunities, while also highlighting the lack of facilities in many parts of the Borneon state.

"I received so many calls from the media, from people wanting to help, such as Telekom Malaysia, and got an offer from Universiti Malaysia Sabah for a degree course, and even had the chance to visit the state palace," she said.

Veveonah's visit to the state palace was to receive contributions from Yayasan Nur Jauhar and meet the head of state's wife, Toh Puan Norlidah R. M Jasni, who is the adviser to the foundation.

One of the videos Veveonah uploaded showed her climbing up a hill and making a bamboo hut for herself to study in. But the hut was destroyed following heavy rain.

In another video, the teen talked about how she chose to sleep in a langsat fruit tree to prepare for her exams.

With a supply of three packets of leaf-wrapped rice (known as linopod), a bottle of water, some study tools and a mosquito net, the teenager set out to carry out her challenge. She spoke of how easy it was for her to climb the tree, find a sturdy suitable branch to spend the day and night, place her supplies on top and then put up a mosquito net.

She started with her chemistry subject in the morning and then Malaysian studies in the afternoon.

All was well except for a moment when a hornet got caught inside her net and she had to chase it out.

Her lunch and dinner, followed by breakfast the next day, consisted of just the three packs of linopod and plain water.

After spending the night in the tree, she went home to a seemingly fuming mother (as seen in the video), who was worried sick.

"But I told her that I will be spending the night in a tree. All's good, as she knows I can take care of myself," she said.

Veveonah, the youngest of five siblings, said she hopes to be a lecturer and a successful YouTuber. She also hopes to be able to inspire others to never give up.

In one of her videos, she also spoke of her family's legendary Kancil car which, despite being beat up and old, still functions and serves them well.

She talked about how the car was used to take her to her school - MRSM Sandakan - a six-hour journey from her home town, navigating muddy terrain and gravel roads.

"For my PT3 exam (O-level exam), we were asked to prepare a report on transportation issues, and immediately I thought about my home town because silly me thought that this would help to get a road built," she said.

She got an A for the subject, but the road she hoped for was not built.

Still, she said there was no need to feel dejected when faced with obstacles, because when there is a will, there will always be a way.

"When I see so many positive and encouraging comments and messages on my YouTube channel, it just makes me want to do more and share more," she said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2020, with the headline 'Things looking up for Malaysian teen who slept in tree for better Internet access'. Print Edition | Subscribe