Manhunt finalist is Singapore's hunkiest "parrot whisperer"
Manhunt finalist tames parrots and teaches them tricks
He’s the Manhunt Singapore 2014 junior category finalist with the most unusual occupation.
Mohd Razif could well be Singapore’s hunkiest “parrot whisperer”.
The co-founder of Parrots Network, who charges $300 to $500 per four sessions to tame parrots and teach them tricks, entered this profession by chance.
A few years ago, when the buff dude was organising events such as children’s parties, he would take along a parrot to entertain the kids.
On such occasions, there would be guests who asked him to train their pet parrots.
Realising there was a demand for it, he set up his company two years ago and has been specialising in birdtraining ever since.
The interesting thing is that he has never received any training himself, opting instead to read books and research online on parrot behaviour.
One thing that he feels parrots can’t do, however, is to tell fortunes or predict winning 4D numbers.
Mr Razif, 27, who joined Manhunt to get over his shy persona, told The New Paper:
“The thing about parrots is, if you just leave them be, they’ll likely be too scared to do anything and will move only if they are commanded to do so. “The clicker training (which uses sound cues and food rewards) is the most renowned method of training parrots.
“I’ve also developed the Bird Magnet, which has helped owners successfully train their birds,” said Mr Razif, who has a female sun conure, a medium- sized type of parrot.
But, he added: “If people chance upon ‘fortune-telling parrots’, its the owner or trainer who is the one making the prediction and just making the birds carry out their wishes.”
Mr Razif is a football fan and said that his parrot, Happy, catches the late-night World Cup matches with him, perched on his shoulder.
He joked: “Happy says it’s Brazil for the win.
“She’s very cute — whenever a goal was scored in any match and I started to cheer, she would follow suit and started moving about and making noises.
“One of the reasons I started this business was because I read that more and more people buy parrots as pets.
“Last year in the US alone, the number of parrot owners rose from 10 million to 30 million.”
He has trained around 100 birds in the last two years and he said that owners of lovebirds, budgerigars, african greys, cockatoos and macaws have also hired him to train their pets.
The three modules that he offers are taming, tricks and free flying — with free flying being the most popular as owners are thrilled to let their birds fly off into the wild only to fly back safely to them.
The job does have its hazards, said Mr Razif, and even his own Happy bit him quite a few times before she was fully trained.
Mr Razif, who is 1.75m tall and weighs 75kg, said: “Anyone can train a bird if they have the patience and dedication.
“I’ve had Happy for three years and she was initially very fierce, but I could tell that she was also very talented.
“She would bite me till I bled.
“Now, she doesn’t do that any more and I’ve taught her a lot of things.”
He used to get bullied by bengs
He was the bespectacled, fat nerd who got bullied when he was young.
Tan once had his head pushed into a toilet bowl by school bullies.
But the 25-year-old Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) undergraduate is having the last laugh now.
At 1.8m tall and weighing 80kg, he can approach women for their phone numbers without batting an eyelid.
It was only two years ago, when he weighed 98kg, that he started exercising and practised the low-carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet.
Said Mr Tan: "I remember how in school, ah bengs liked to pick on me, girls used to shun me.
"I was always alone. I would eat and play computer games, till I ended up looking like I was three months pregnant.
"Now I have so much more confidence and I feel like I have gained the respect of people who knew me from before and have seen my transformation."
He just wants to be an actor
This manhunt finalist has both brains and brawn.
The 24-year-old law student at the National University Of Singapore is slated to graduate next year.
But one of his other dream vocations will surprise you.
The 1.73m-tall undergrad, who weighs 66kg, wants to be an actor.
This year, Mr Ngo got to relish his first TV role as an extra in the second season of Channel 5 crime drama Code Of Law.
Having joined Manhunt to gain exposure for his potential showbiz career, he said: "Even though I appeared only in the first scene (of Code Of Law) as the guy who found the body, acting is my passion.
"I don't know how practising law and acting at the same time is going to pan out."
"No one is perfect and even though I may be an intellectual when it comes to textbooks, I may not be so in the practical side of things," added the humble man.
He tells others to lose weight
JASON JULIUS LIM
Thanks to him, a group of Singaporeans have collectively lost over 200kg in the last year.
Lim, 29, the co-founder of sports and fitness service provider Team Axis, is one of the trainers for the seventh season of Lose To Win, a Health Promotion Board initiative.
He hopes to help even more people to slim down through his training programmes.
Mr Lim, who is 1.82m tall and weighs 80kg, said: "How I motivate people is by making them use their own body weight as resistance. When they struggle, I tell them to lose the excess weight since they can't even carry their own weight.
"My biggest achievement is helping a client lose 30kg in five months."
If he wins Manhunt this year, he will be the third Jason to bag the coveted title - Mr Jason Chee and Mr Jason Tan won Manhunt Singapore in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
"I think that third time's the charm," he joked.