What’s In My Bag: Abdul Jami Shaik

Jami, the husband of Frankitas owner Francisca Turner Shaik, doesn’t carry a lot on him when he’s out and about.
Tuesday 20 March 2018

Do the contents of your bag really reflect your personality? UNRESERVED psychoanalyses a KL power couple – Francisca Turner Shaik, the owner of colourful accessories brand Frankitas, and her husband Abdul Jami Shaik – by sticking our noses in their bags.

“Gosh, he is such a tech geek,” Franki says of her husband’s bag. While she appreciates aesthetics, Jami doesn’t worry about how things look, as long as they work. He is a creature of practicality and steers clear of clutter. “My wife and I are opposites. I value function over form,” he says.

But you must have something in there?

Laptop. Wallet. Phone. Notebook. Pen. Jami is a man engrossed by the tech fads of the new age, his work bag contains the bare essentials. He is still old-school about documentation.

“I prefer to handwrite notes and then transfer them into emails. That notebook goes everywhere I go,” he says.

Is this a technology love affair?

Jami’s need for organisation bleeds into his love for technology. To make sure he has access and control over various things, he has made his life digital.

“I can access my entire laptop, my server and my home desktop from my smartphone.” To demonstrate, Jami whips out his phone and with a few taps, the room lights go out and come back on again; this time, it changes colour, as if a party were about to start.

“I built everything here myself, all the computers,” Jami adds, sweeping an arm around the house. He’s happy to show us the homebuilt server that lets him share movies, pictures and other files with his friends and family.

Jami, you must be a big gamer then?

“Oh my god, computer games!” Franki exclaims, clearly both amused and mildly peeved at her husband’s hobby. “He loves Defence of the Ancients. He loves to game.”

“I spend a lot of time messing around with not just games, but I like the graphics, I like the capabilities,” Jami clarifies. “I like the software, hardware and the actual experience of gaming.”

You’re total opposites. How do you compromise?

“Jami doesn’t shop, I do all of his shopping,” Franki says. “Oh god, I sound so controlling.”

“No, I don’t think it’s controlling at all,” Jami interrupts. “It’s liberating! I don’t have to worry about anything.” He would need it all to be planned and structured: “Where are we going, what are we doing, what are we buying, and when are we getting out of there,” he grumbles, already annoyed with the idea.

“Electronically, my husband provides and caters to my needs – whatever gibberish tech techy stuff he does – and all the fashion stuff I provide for him,” says Franki.

“If there is something that I really want, like a foreign film that isn’t available here, he’ll make a point of finding it and suprising me with it.”

“That’s a good marriage no?” replies Jami, smiling.

jami-franki - jami
Abdul Jami Shaik and Francisca Turner Shaik

Our psychologist says:

“Jami has one foot in the tech world because it signifies order,” says Dr Urmilah Dass. As for his meticulous notebook-keeping, Dass feels that Jami is a man who is both technologically advanced but still oddly old fashioned. An interesting juxtaposition.

Next: See inside Franki’s bag

This article is part of a longer feature that first appeared in the April 2018 issue of UNRESERVED.