'Spare the English; I can speak Malay'

BANGI: David or Adeyemi Adetunji Dolapo, 21, has been living in Malaysia for the past 13 years and can speak fluently in Bahasa Malaysia.

However, because of his skin colour, he often gets judged for not being able to understand or speak the national language.

Unveiling his background, David, who is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Information Technology at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang, Selangor, said he was born to a Peranakan mother from Melaka and a Nigerian father.

"I was born in Nigeria, but when I was eight years old, my parents migrated to this country with me. I finished my schooling here," he said in an interview with Harian Metro.

David said that initially he couldn't speak Malay, and it took him two years to become fluent.

"It took me two years to become fluent and proficient in speaking because I interacted with friends in Malay at school.

"In my family, only my sister, mother, and I can speak Malay... My father isn't very fluent because he rarely speaks the language," he said.

Due to his appearance, David admitted to being teased and had to put up with bullies when he was younger.

"But I was self-aware, so I tried not to provoke because I knew that even if others were wrong, I would also be blamed since I'm a minority.

"As long as people aren't rude to me, I'm okay.

"But I've had encounters where people spoke English to me earnestly before realising I could speak Malay. I'm used to it because maybe they thought I was a foreigner or a tourist," he said, adding that he has received offers to be an actor and model.

On social media, David has been promoting himself on TikTok since last year. But he only did so actively starting this month.

Due to his fluency in Malay, David is slowly amassing a huge following on TikTok.

On his plans for the future, David said he plans to further his studies before seizing job opportunities within the country.

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