TEO ZI LIN
“I hope to be a good example to the disability community, especially for people like me who have hearing impairments and wear hearing aids. Do not to be afraid of being discriminated or ridiculed. We have our strengths and should not give up in our pursuit of success,”
At the age of 8, Zi Lin had a high fever which affected her hearing and speech development. Since then, she has been wearing hearing aids.
Growing up, Zi Lin was self-conscious and avoided talking to others as she feared bring judged. She decided to pursue a Diploma in Mass Communications but realised how poor her speaking skills were in her first year. Determined, she worked hard at improving her speech and sought help from her lecturers and classmates. Her efforts paid off when she got on the Director’s List in the first two years of her diploma studies and bagged numerous awards such as the Mediacorp Gold Medal & Prize, the Batey Ads Prize and the Singapore Press Holdings Prize. She also completed her polytechnic studies with a valedictorian speech that drew overwhelming applause and cheers on graduation day. Her stellar academic achievements have garnered her a scholarship award by the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation for her university.
In 2015, Zi Lin discovered cosplay through attending the Anime Festival Asia Singapore (AFASG). Together with her best friend, Zi Lin ventured into the world of cosplay. She realised cosplay opened a new world of endless possibilities – some gave her a form of escape from reality and the freedom to be whoever she wanted to be, without being judged. She has cosplayed a lot of male characters, most from shounen animes, such as Todoroki from Boku no Hero Academia, Luffy from One Piece, and Shin-ah from Akatsuki no Yona, Sherlock Holmes (BBC), Chirrut Imwe from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Ip Man, and Gao Jian Li from Qin’s Moon.
“I hope to be a good example to the disability community, especially for people like me who have hearing impairments and wear hearing aids. Do not to be afraid of being discriminated or ridiculed. We have our strengths and should not give up in our pursuit of success,” said Zi Lin, who is a Communications and New Media undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS).