Young Achievers: Malaikah’s calculated world

  • Staying within the lines: digital artist Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar wants to develop an algorithm that sets limits on environmental consumption (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

    Staying within the lines: digital artist Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar wants to develop an algorithm that sets limits on environmental consumption (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

  • Drawn by Malaikah Abdul Jabbar, who features animals in much of her digitally created art and animation (Photograph supplied)

    Drawn by Malaikah Abdul Jabbar, who features animals in much of her digitally created art and animation (Photograph supplied)


Digital artist Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar has pulled together her interest in computers and the environment to create a programme to cut down on plastic waste.

The 17-year-old animator has used her skills to draw, animate and sell animal-themed artwork for the past three years — but now she wants to help save the seas from trash and cut back on air pollution.

Malaikah said: “We can’t exactly just ban all use of plastic, so we worked on a way to calculate how much plastic we’re using and how much we need to cut back.

“Everybody has so many good ideas to help the environment, but what’s going to stop us from slipping back into our old ways?

“We need something to keep track of ourselves.”

Malaikah was speaking after she attended the sixth annual Hackathon, held in Hamilton on December 20. The event, hosted by technology charity Code441, focused on finding technology-based answers to environmental problems such as climate change and to boost the use of renewable energy.

Malaikah came up with the idea for an “eco-calculator” to figure out what a country had to do to become more sustainable.

She said: “For Bermuda, the app could probably measure and calculate how much garbage is being burnt, what percentage of trees we have left in Bermuda and how much flora and fauna Bermuda needs to keep the air clean.”

“It could also calculate what percentage of parrotfish Bermuda’s waters need for us to keep Bermuda’s famous beaches.”

Malaikah said that her work was still in its early stages, but would be a useful tool when developed.

She added: “Protecting the environment is a big thing in many places and people are putting a lot of effort into saving it.

“Some people argue that you can’t exactly put an end to all the accomplishments we’ve made, and they have some very good arguments, but the calculation system could be a way to find a balance so the Earth can still survive.”

Malaikah, who is home-schooled in Paget, said that she also used computers and the environment in her digital artwork.

Malaikah explained that her interest in drawing and animation was sparked when she was in middle school. She sells her work for about $10 a piece through art-sharing websites.

She makes about $50 a week in sales and some Bermudian businesses have shown an interest in her artwork.

Malaikah said: “At my tennis camp, my tennis teacher asked me to make him an animation for the camp, which I’m still working on.

“There was also a children’s dentist who asked me to make a poster, then someone wanted me to do a mural. There have just been so many requests.”

Malaikah hopes to set up an animation company to sell advertisements to island companies.

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Published Dec 30, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 30, 2019 at 6:32 am)

Young Achievers: Malaikah’s calculated world

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