Gaining Financial Independence - Zaiani's Story

12 April 2023

5-min read

Mohd Zaiani was an energetic young child before he was met with an accident that left him completely blind in his left eye and only partially sighted in his right. This ill-fated event would go on to change the course of his life forever. Before long, he dropped out of high school, finding himself unable to adapt to the conventional curriculum, and started working as a masseur to earn a living. The job, by no means a high-paying one, was the only employment Zaiani could get.



Armed with just a primary education and a tendency to believe only the good in people, Zaiani made for a vulnerable target for scams. In 2006, a friend tricked Zaiani into signing a paper, one he had trouble understanding to begin with, listing him as a guarantor for a credit card. In just a few months, the “friend” had maxed out the credit card and disappeared, which resulted in Zaiani being saddled with a RM30,000 debt.


The incident set off a series of unfortunate events; from the authorities repossessing his home which he shared with his brother, to his son being sent away to live with extended family. The separation, Zaiani recalled, was “the saddest moment in my life. I felt like I had failed as a father and that memory will stay with me forever.”


During those dark days, Zaiani would alternate between begging on street corners and providing massage services, barely making enough money to survive in the city. When he was invited to join the R.I.S.E. programme, he was understandably wary and figured it was another scam but a trainer assured and convinced him to enrol. R.I.S.E. proved to be a positive experience for Zaiani as he was able to soak up valuable information on topics such as Sales Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Operational Planning and even Business Management. The training provided an opportunity for Zaiani to hone his personal skills as well.


After completing the R.I.S.E. programme, Zaiani wasted no time in advertising his home-based massage and cupping therapy services by handing out flyers to people in shopping complexes. In doing so, he started receiving calls from interested customers which lead to more appointments. As Zaiani’s business steadily grew, he decided to open a stall in Seremban and hired several assistants, some of whom were PWDs, to accommodate the increase in demand. From there, he branched out into opening two new stalls in Ulu Bendul and Kampung Raya, Seremban.


Since learning about money management as part of the R.I.S.E. training, Zaiani now has a detailed financial plan where he allocates a certain amount to savings, expenses and investments. He was strict in keeping up a good financial routine and approached the daunting task of paying off the RM30,000 debt in the same manner. In 2018, Zaiani paid the debt in full and with the additional money saved, he bought a second-hand car for his family. Often, he would hire a driver to drive him around to his massage appointments.


More importantly, in order to avoid his children suffering the same fate he did growing up, Zaiani is focused on his children’s education. His eldest son has secured a scholarship to attend a boarding school for his secondary education. Zaiani believes his son has the potential to be a successful person and is now saving up for his tertiary education. Despite achieving a considerable amount of success, Zaiani remains generous to those less fortunate and regularly donates money to charitable causes.



For more information on the R.I.S.E. programme, visit:



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