by Bilal Mohamed
Kazima Wajahat, creator of the Youtube series, “The Little Believers” and the new USHUB original series “The Secret Attic” took some time to talk with USHUB’s Bilal Mohamed for an interview at the 2022 Dallas Muslim Festival. Wajahat discusses her new project, “The Secret Attic”, her inspirations, imposter syndrome, and reflects on her collaborative relationship with USHUB.
Bilal Mohamed: “What was the inspiration behind The Secret Attic?”
Kazima Wajahat: “Firstly, it is our kids. With everything we do, we want to make it something that our kids will watch and enjoy. But we want it to be on a different level. We don’t want it to just be normal entertainment or Islamic media. That’s why we’ve added that element of mental health, and psychological and emotional well-being to the series.”
BM: How are you going about implementing those themes?
Kazima : “Each of our episodes has some element that deals with mental health. For example, we have an episode on grief where one of the characters loses someone really close to them and how to process that in a healthy way, not just push it under the rug, which our culture tends to do. We have an episode on imposter syndrome and limiting beliefs, like people telling someone that they can’t do something and starting to believe that and pushing against all of that. We’ve got a little bit of everything. And so we try to make it so it is applicable, like you a lot of these situations are situations that kids deal with, that our kids have dealt with. And so that’s where we kind of pull from.”
Bilal : What do you think about the concept of imposter syndrome? Because I feel like sometimes we talk about it so much that we start to believe we have it.
Kazima : “Sometimes imposter syndrome can get to the point where it is paralyzing to your work. Like there are so many times when I’m like I cannot do this because I’m not made for this, like THIS?? In the beginning, it was so hard, like I’m a writer, I’ve been writing all my life, it was my passion, not something I pursued as a career because of cultural norms, like “you have to go into something medical-related” or whatever, so I never pursued it, so I finally started writing, and then I finally did all that. And then when I was really good, or at least I thought I was good, we started script writing, and I would write the scripts for our youtube channel but it was really basic. And then I got here, and I met people like Harrison who are crazy amazing script writers, and I’m like oh my gosh I can’t do this, what am I doing here? Alhamdulilah it’s like pushing past that, and having the right crowd, the right cheerleading system around you to push you through that. Like you NEED to be around positive people, not people who push that toxic energy.”
Bilal : “I agree. I’m a writer as well so I feel super lucky to have found USHUB.”
Kazima : “Honestly me too! Muad and I will be talking about like, “How did we get here, like how? Like never in a million years would I think I’d be able to do this!”
Bilal : Are there any authors/writers you look up to?
Kazima : “I love J.K Rowling, I am a Harry Potter fan all the way!”
Bilal : “Yo, we’ve got to make something like that!”
Kazima : “We do! But you know when you get to the magic stuff, people start giving fatwas against you (laughs), but yeah, The Secret Attic is all mystery. We like going back in time and thinking about the kind of stuff we used to read and watch when we were younger that used to take us to another world, so that’s kind of what we want to do.”