Stage fright of dinosaur proportions saw Wan Nur Farha Afina Wan Fauzi of SK Anak Ikan bow out in the first round of the SIR primary-level competition in Terengganu.
KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): At 0.9 metres and tipping the scale at a mere 15kg, Wan Nur Farha Afina Wan Fauzi was an unlikely contestant at the state RHB New Straits Times Spell-It-Right Challenge at the Terengganu Trade Centre.
As the Year Three pupil of SK Anak Ikan in Besut walked onto the stage, some gasped while others smiled at the gumption she displayed in taking on others older and much bigger than her.
Her feet could not touch the ground much as she tried to get comfortable on her chair.
The headphone barely fit her head and she was having trouble adjusting the microphone to suit her height but Wan Nur Farha Afina proved she was a game trier.
But despite her best efforts, the nine-year-old bowed out in the first round after failing to spell “dinosaur”, a word that she later said she knew how to spell but had misspelled due to nervousness.
The team yesterday was a two-family affair: Wan Nur Farha Afina and her brother Wan Fikru Humaidi, 11; and sisters Nur Syaheera Aina Che Baharuddin, 9, and Nur Hanani Sofiah, 10.
Met after the prize-giving ceremony, Wan Nur Farha Afina admitted to getting cold feet after facing the largest crowd she had ever seen in her life.
“I was sad that I could not spell the word right but I was also happy that I was able to leave the stage! I kept feeling like going to the restroom throughout the entire time.”
Wan Nur Farha Afina’s ambition is to become a teacher like her father, Wan Fauzi Wan Husssin, who teaches English at the school.
Wan Fauzi said he had picked Wan Nur Farha Afina, Wan Fikru Humaidi, Nur Syaheera Aina and Nur Hanani Sofiah to enter the competition purely to gain experience.
“The competition is still new to us at the school and I realised that none of the older students was keen to participate.
“So I thought it would be a good idea to give exposure to pupils from Year Three, Four and Five.
“At least, they now know what the tournament is all about.
“And, judging by what they say, the chances are that we will be competing next year,” said Wan Fauzi who was fine with the fact that none of his students had managed to spell even a single word right.