House Drama Victory!

Alhamdulillah…I was beyond blessed to win the school’s House Drama competition, coming in first place out of 8 houses! 🏆 And just in time for Mrs Mom’s birthday!!

To be completely honest, this year’s competition really did seem especially daunting due to the range of competitors taking part in the event. Pretty much everyone there was someone I knew to be a passionate actor, and to say they were all quite skilled is an understatement. The event itself was a colourful display of theatrical talent – even the teacher hosting it himself mentioned that it was one of the best arrays of drama performances he has seen in a while!

It fills me with a lot of satisfaction and joy to have taken home the trophy for my school house, but I can’t go without mentioning the well-deserving performances from the opposing houses – particularly the skilfully performed monologue by Vardy house, the cleverly undertoned skit by Jeune house, and the very well-costumed denim-heavy performance by Prince Lee house.

It was an honour to have competed in such a competition, and I’d like to give all the participants a huge well done for the amazing performances they put on! It was a really tough competition with so many talented performances, and I’m honoured to have been part of such a great array of skill. It brings me great pride to have been able to compete for and earn the prize for one of my favourite parts of school life. Congrats to all who took part – it was certainly a phenomenal event with lots of hard work put in from everyone!



p/s: Can you guess what character my costume is for? 🧐

Thick As Thieves

It’s 41 years since Mrs Mom first graced this world with her presence – today we celebrate another year of her continuing to guide, inspire and love us all unconditionally! Any single birthday present wouldn’t be enough to embody the thanks that I wish to give to my mother on her special day, so I put my feelings into the words of this poem as a serenade of sorts for her birthday. 

Happy birthday Mrs Mom! Enjoy this special day of yours – may Allah bless you endlessly, reward you accordingly, and bestow a long, healthy and happy life upon you…Aameen 🤍

A loving son,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

10.10.2021 💌

Costume Hunting…

Shopping time – we’re out costume hunting for my House Drama performance! Costume seems like such a trivial thing when it comes to theatre productions and performances, but in actual fact, a lot of thought and care need to be put into picking the right costume so that it doesn’t look too over-the-top or out of place. Picking out and putting together a costume for the characters I’m playing is one of my favourite parts of theatre – and as you can see, there’s always room for trying on the small things that give that lil’ extra flair…and occasionally getting carried away in the process, especially when you’re surrounded by treasures at the vintage shop! 🤩

Wish me luck,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis


House Drama Competition

Alhamdulillah, I got selected to represent my house once more in this year’s House Drama competition! Two years ago, when I was in Year 8, I performed a monologue in the role of loveable childhood Charlie Brown and took home the trophy for my house – a proud moment indeed! Last year’s House Drama competition was sadly cancelled due to good ol’ Covid-19, but we’re up and running again this year. I was hoping to do a performance with a partner this time around, but it seems I’m flying solo again. But yes, I’m hard at working towards another fruitful monologue- InshaAllah!

For those of you who don’t know, school houses are basically the teams into which all the students are divided. I’m in Cary Gilson, one of the seven houses here at KES, and there are always lots of competitions going on in which the houses compete against each other to win the grand trophy at the end of the year. One of these competitions is, of course, the House Drama competition, where actors from each house perform either a monologue on their own or a short scene between two actors. Stay tuned to hear more about this year’s performance…soon!

Hard at work,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis



Junior Production Journey

Guess who managed to make it into the cast of this year’s Junior Production?

Yep, that’s right, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to act in the Junior Production again – Alhamdulillah! I kicked last week off with my Junior Production audition – something I had admittedly been rather nervous about for the past few weeks. But when it finally came to it, the audition went much better than all of the various catastrophic situations I had imagined and worried about in my head! In fact, the audition was quite fun to take part in, and we got a taster of what the production was like as well. And now, I’m glad to see that all the hard work has paid off – I’m excited to be part of another school production once more!

Previously, I’ve been involved in the Junior Production every year (excluding last year, thanks to good ol’ Covid). In my first year at KES, I acted in the school’s production of ‘Around The World In 80 Days’ – I was cast as the Parsee, the Indian merchant who owned an elephant and helped an Englishman travel safely across India. The following year, I was cast in the school’s adaptation of Peter Pan, this time as a grumpy park keeper who turned out to be part of the band of pirates in Neverland. It’s an honour to be part of something so wonderful this year as well – I’ll be telling you all more about my more demanding role in the coming days!

Auf Wiedersehen,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis



p/s: ‘Auf Wiedersehen is German for ‘goodbye’ – a lil’ clue about what the play’s about!

East Is East Theatre Trip

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the 9 subjects I’m taking for GCSE this year is Drama. This, of course, calls for a lot of scriptwriting, performance work, designing and whatnot, but there’s only one thing left that we can do that’s both helpful and really enjoyable…watching live theatre!

Live theatre is not only an essential part of the Drama GCSE course, but it’s also one of the students’ favourite parts of the course, aside from our actual performances, of course. This time around, we went after school on Wednesday evening to watch the 25th anniversary performance of #EastisEast at The Birmingham Rep Theatre. Originally based on the film from 1996, and adapted into the 1999 film, the story follows the daily life of a Pakistani family in England in the 70s, trying to live both a traditional Pakistani lifestyle and fit into 1970s England as well. The play was directed by Iqbal Khan, an Old Edwardian – yep, he is one of the alumni of King Edward’s School as well! He is also the Associate Director for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre – amazing 👀

I must say, the entirety of the show was amazing, from start to finish – it’s no wonder why the story won the awards it has! The writing, the set design, the costume, the cast, all of it was absolutely brilliant, and made for a great night out and a highly enjoyable start to this part of the GCSE Drama course. I can’t express just how much I enjoyed the show – well done to the team!

Hungry for more,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis


📸 Photo Credit to @therepbirmingham

GCSE Art Portfolio

This term, I’m working on an art project of mine for GCSE Art & Design. Our keyword for the project is ‘Reflections’, and we started off during the summer holidays by taking a series of photographs based on the theme (some of which I will be sharing with you soon!), and for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been thoroughly delving into the topic and exploring lots of different parts of the project.

For this term, the end result that we’re planning for with this project is an engraving or etching based on our which is essentially a piece of art scratched into something like a metal plate or a woodblock. Ink is rolled onto the piece, then it’s pressed down onto a piece of paper to reveal the finished print.

For now, though, we’re just at the planning and research stage, which starts off with the holy grail of art projects…a mind map ✨ I was busy for hours on end editing, printing out, glueing in and annotating my photographs with my various ideas, thoughts, musings and anything else that might contribute to the project. I even took the liberty of adding some little doodles around the page to make it pop. The aim was really just to make a bustling, buzzing page full of information to make a strong first impression for our portfolio – and to be honest? I think I’ve done quite well on that respect; I’m very proud of the work I’ve put into it!

I was pleased to hear the positive feedback from my art teacher as well; according to her, my use of space, arrangement and bursts of colour made the mind map a great opening piece for the portfolio. Plus, I’m really glad to see that she loved all of my photos! A great start to the project, don’t ya think?

Work in progress,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis


Blank Face

am i just some blank face in

your head?

surely the neurons you hide in that

calcium encagement of yours

do not trouble you

in such a way

little mind-men working away with

their figurative scissors

snip snip snip

around the faces of those mentioned

in passing, those mentioned in tales

and fantasies, and those described like

vague clouds of smoke

snip snip snip

thousands more left like


some blank face in

your head

A poem written by,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis



p/s: Took this photo in the garden of #TheOldForgeCottage just after the sun had set and the streetlights came on. I positioned myself behind a rose bush, took my camera out and got to work. The poem above is just a lil’ something I wrote using my photo as inspiration. Think lightbulbs – thoughts, ideas, memories, and the occasional absence of them. Enjoy!

Back To Real Life School

Surprise…the long hair has finally had a trim! To usher in the new school year, I’ve decided to go with a classic look – I can definitely say that I’m feeling fresher with this new look now. Back-to-school ready? Check! ✅

Now that school has started once more, I’ve had to set aside a little less time for things like my poetry, songwriting, and other rekindled passions. This school year, I enter Fourths, or Year 10 – the fourth year of secondary school here in the UK. This term marks the start of my journey into the IGCSE course, which I’ll be examined in at the end of my next academic year. In total, I’m now studying 9 subjects: English, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Art, Drama, French, Latin and Ancient Greek. Yep, you read that right, I’m taking 3 languages as electives for my IGCSEs! 🤩

Now that the first week of school has passed, I’ve been able to do a few interesting things to kick off everything. The most notable one so far is that I have decided to audition for the Junior and Senior Production. Since I’m in Fourths, this year I can choose to audition for both the Junior and Senior Production. The Junior Production is an original play titled ‘Burn’, and for the Senior, it’s none other than the classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’! So far, I’ve auditioned for the Senior Production, and my audition for the Junior Production is this week – wish me luck! ✨

But honestly, that’s not all I’m excited about. Although these next two years will be incredibly busy now that we’re working towards our IGCSEs, I have a feeling that all of the academic and co-curricular parts of my school life now will prove to be invigorating and full of exciting opportunities. Here’s to a new academic year! 🙌🏻

Looking forward,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis


p/s: Who’s your favourite character from ‘Pride and Prejudice’?

My 15th Birthday Reflection

Today marks my 15th birthday. One year older! And somehow, for the first time in all my 15 years, I find myself at a loss for words. I look at the past events, all the things I’ve done, I’ve experienced, and I’ve achieved these last few years, combined with all the blessings I’ve received along the way and for whatever reason, I am honestly speechless. I sat down to write this thinking that it would be a simple birthday post, then the whole feeling hit me.

Trying to push the whole ‘speechlessness’ thing aside hasn’t really worked, so I thought it would only be best to dig a bit more into it. And doing so has led me to realise that maybe, just maybe, this time around, after having reflected on my previous years, I’m meant to be speechless. It’s my cue to take my metaphorical slate, wipe it clean, and do something different by branching out – may The Almighty open up more doors for me!

Admittedly, challenging myself to try new things and trudging forward is not an easy job; in fact, it does seem rather daunting to myself at times, which is why I couldn’t consider myself luckier to have been accompanied all this while by my parents – Mrs Mom & Mr Dad – my two closest companions. To be quite frank, ‘lucky’ doesn’t even begin to encapsulate the blessing that Mrs Mom & Mr Dad are. With any path I have taken, they have always given their utmost support, and I know very well that with any path I choose to take from now, they will not only give their invaluable support, but expert, one-of-a-kind guidance.

Such an incomparable, unique and personal support system has given me the self-strength that I needed to challenge myself more. In past years, I’ve prayed to God for health, happiness, safety, and other abstract concepts along the same lines. For this year, I think that the only thing I’d really like (aside from that eternally-treasured spot in Jannah for me and my loved ones) is opportunity. After my pondering, and my realisation of the opportunities I’ve had and how they’ve panned out, I pray for more chances at using opportunity. Let’s see where my 15th slate takes me this year.

Happy Birthday To Me,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis