Posted by: Gurindam Jiwa | Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Prodigy Destroyed

Sufiah at her wedding in Oxford UK, 18 October 2003, from her now no longer available online wedding album.

This is a sad day for me after reading about Sufiah Yusof. I have always had my fear for prodigies (previous postings here and here), especially Malay prodigies. And now we read about Sufiah. Does it really has to come to this?

😥 😥 😥 😥

The article here at The News of The World is almost impossible to access. But the photos published are damning. Should I publish them here, too? I don’t know. Let’s pray for Adi Putra while reading it.

So here is the article:

Maths prodigy who won an Oxford place at 13 is now a £130-an-hour HOOKER

By Keith Gladdis

SHE was a child maths genius who won a place at Oxford University aged just 13—but now the only sums Sufiah Yusof is interested in are the ones she earns as a HOOKER.

For sad Sufiah the daily equation she has to solve is simply sex equals £130 as she sells her body to punters over the internet.

The gifted girl with the winning smile had the world at her feet ten years ago and should be a rich woman by now—but last week she was busy subtracting her underwear for our undercover reporter in her dingy back street flat.

“Would you like to start your half hour now?” said Sufiah, 23, as she danced on the bed, displaying her body for examination.

Then she listed all the sleazy plus points she would throw in for our man if he took up her offer.

Calling herself Shilpa Lee, the former child prodigy still juggles with figures on a hookers’ website, describing herself as a “very pretty size 8, 32D bust and 5’5″ tall—available for booking every day from 11am to 8pm.”

She says she is a “sexy, smart student” who prefers “older gentlemen”— but a former pal who has witnessed her downfall told us: “It is all desperately heartbreaking.

“With her amazing brain she should be able to make money any way she wants. But instead her life has spiralled completely out of control.”

Life has never quite added up for Sufiah. Her descent into prostitution in Salford, Manchester, is the latest in a long line of tragedies to have engulfed her since the sunny day when she posed with her university mortar board for the world’s press outside prestigious St Hilda’s College.

Our shock revelations today come in the week her domineering dad Farooq was jailed for sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls as he home-tutored them in maths.

And he was always at the root of all her troubles— even as she passed the further maths A-Level she needed for entry to Oxford at the age of 12. In those days Sufia was a strict Muslim child who prayed five times a day and was subjected to her father’s famous Accelerated Learning Technique.

Her days involved stretching and breathing exercises in freezing rooms to keep her brain attentive.

Sufiah would then study hard and be forced to play tennis with just as much intensity as fanatical Farooq drove her on. The routine was so effective Sufiah was seeded number eight in the country for under 21s.

But three years into Oxford, the 15-year-old sparked a massive police hunt after running away.


At the time her father bizarrely claimed Sufiah had been kidnapped and brainwashed by an organisation seeking the key to her intelligence.

But Sufiah sent an email to her family describing her life under her father as a “living hell”.

One message to her sister read: “I’ve finally had enough of 15 years of physical and emotional abuse. You know what I am talking about.”

Sufiah was missing for two weeks before being found in an internet café in Bournemouth where she had been working as a hotel waitress.

She refused to go back to her parents and instead was taken into the care of social services.

It was then revealed that Farooq had been jailed for three years in 1992 for his part in a £1.5m mortgage swindle. Before that—at the age of 19—he had been sent to borstal for his role in a conspiracy involving £100,000.

Free from the spell of her father, Sufiah returned to Oxford to complete the final year of her Masters in Maths.

But she was now more concerned with enjoying herself—and failed to finish the course after meeting trainee lawyer Jonathan Marshall.

They were married in 2004 when Sufiah was just 19 and Jonathan 24. But the strains with her family were still there.

Despite being invited, Sufiah’s parents and four brothers and sisters failed to turn up to the wedding.

Her dreams of a happy life with Jonathan were shattered when the couple divorced just a year later.

Now, in her sad little flat, she uses her body to pay the rent. Sufiah met our man, posing as a punter, at the entrance to her building wearing a tiny skirt, leather boots and a tight t-shirt. She was carrying three mobile phones.

She laughed and joked as she led him to her small apartment where a bed was already set out in the lounge.

She told him it was £130 an hour and offered him a glass of water before putting some music on to a cheap portable stereo and nervously stripping down to her red lace bra and knickers.

Sufiah then peeled off her underwear and danced on the bed. She told him she did full sex with a condom and oral sex without protection.

After our man had made his excuses, Sufiah kept him talking by telling him how she was studying for a Masters degree in Economics on a part-time two year course in London.

The former prodigy added: “I’ve got exams coming up and I’m thinking ‘Oh my God!'”

Once described by her parents as “naïve and unstreetwise”, she works alone from her flat without any obvious physical security or protection.

She even admitted to our reporter: “It’s always a surprise who you are going to meet.”

Cheerful Sufiah gave no indication of any sadness at the jailing of her father the previous day. On Wednesday Farooq, 50, was sentenced to 18 months at Coventry Crown Court for touching two 15-year-old girls when he was home tutoring them at maths.

The court heard how in May last year Farooq arrived at one of the victim’s home for a maths lesson.

He started whispering in her ear and kissing her hair and cheek. He also touched her breast and told her she was a genius and pretty before putting her hand on his upper thigh.


Farooq’s defence lawyer Tim Hannam said: “He’s been back in prison for over five months and knows there’ll be no more teaching and any hope he had of gaining an income from the teaching method he had developed to a high degree of success is lost to him. His reputation is destroyed.”

Now it’s clear the daughter who fled his strict regime has almost been destroyed too.

Her friend said last night: “Sufiah has suffered so many knocks in her life. I just hope she can drag herself out this life she has got herself into.

“She is a good person and deserves a much better life than this. Her gift really has been a curse.”



  1. I am hoping with all my heart that it is some mistake

    I, too, hope the same.

  2. Where can I meet her ? I’d love to give her one…. or two!

    One or two what dave? It is a place nearer to you than it is to me, I’m sure you can find that out.

    I wonder, if you can try to imagine that she is your sister, would you make the same comment?

  3. Hi GJ,
    Thank you for sharing the news about Sufiah. This is the first time I learn about her.
    She is still young and it’s still early to say it’s a sad ending for her. Like most of the child prodigies they were burden with huge responsibility and expectation from external factors.

    You are right anasalwa, at 23, it is not supposed to be the end. Let’s pray for that.

  4. kesian kat dia…tapi nak wat cemana..tak sangka ni pengakhiran dia..mintak2 kita dijauhkan..

    Seperti komen cik anasalwa tadi, kita harap ini bukan pengakhirannya. Dia masih muda. Kalau ramai-ramai kita berdo’a, insya’Allah.

  5. Only the god know, why the people are suffering by his games,,

    very bad situations….

    Unlike us humans, God doesn’t play games, Mr. Siva. But I’m sure this belongs to a different discussion. But thank you for visiting and commenting.

  6. I’m so sad reading this. I just hope similar incident will not happen to Adi Putra in the future. Let us pray for Adi Putra for his glorious future.

    Yes. And pray for Sufiah, too.

  7. Just a note:

    Sufiah’s former husband, Jonathan Marshall, said to that, among others, “Quite frankly she knows well enough what she should and should not do.

    “My view is that people can blame childhood to a certain extent, but there also comes a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions.”

    Stephen Covey puts it as the 90/10 Principle. 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

  8. Saya takut dengan cerita begini. Bimbang. Memang saya penakut kerana tiada apa yang boleh saya buat melainkan mengharapkan dengan doa semoga dia selamat dan kembali murni.

    Saya pun begitu juga. Amiin.

  9. At first, I’m likely to post a same topic in my blog but rather not then. I had just pray that she would get back her sanity n dignity as well, because I think she should deserve it….ameen


  10. Very kind of you sir not to post with the same pics used everywhere now….(those pics had really broke my heart…very2 sad actually)

    The no-longer-available online photo album of her wedding had a lot of photos. I only saved one, the day it was available, that I cropped and posted here.

  11. herm….moga2 die sdar atas kesilapannya dan kembali ke jln yg betul.sayang…..pintar…tapi kalah dgn tekanan….

    neway..nice site…visit mine too >>

  12. now it’s not the time for us to blame anyone..
    let’s find a way to help her and her family..

    at least by praying to Allah..
    semoga Allah memberi petunjuk, hidayah, memberi kecekalan utk mereka meneruskan kehidupan untuk kembali ke jalan yang benar… Aminnn….

    I don’t think all are really blaming anyone. They are more of venting their disappointment. But if we look at all the news that are breaking out because of this, especially yesterday and today, I hate to think that may be some non-Muslims out there are jumping for joy.

    Do’a is most welcome, of course. Especially also for Adi Putra.

  13. Hello there, as fellow citizen of this world, I felt what you felt and I know how Sufiah’s parent felt because I am parent too. I am a non-muslim and I don’t see any reason jumping for joy over this matter. All human beings were created the same and equal, only the skin color, speech and belief that makes each person unique, special and different. Sufiah is an adult woman and she knows what is right and what is wrong, hope one day she will change her ways to the better. No one to be blame.

    Thank you for your comment Nicka, I acknowledge your point. I merely said some, not all. Perhaps there are also some “Muslims” out jumping for joy, too. Yes, all human beings are created the same and equal, they just don’t end up the same and equal.

    TV3‘s Buletin Utama today aired Sufiah mother’s views which was pretty much the same as yours.

  14. The family of Sufiah Yusof has started an official blog ( to help tell their version of their story to the world.


  16. This is good to hear, finally…

    الحمد لله

    Dec 3, 2008
    Sufiah now a social worker

    MATH genius Sufiah Yusof (pic) is no longer a prostitute and has found a new interest–social work, reported Harian Metro.

    The daily, which spoke to an Islamic non-governmental organization known as Kumpulan Penyokong and Pengasuh Profesional Islam (Pisang) reported that 23-year-old Sufiah regretted her previous activities.

    The group’s director of planning and strategy Hanafi Abdul Malek said the former Oxford University student wrote in an e-mail a week after Hari Raya Aidilfitri that she was no longer in the ‘flesh trade’ and her agent confirmed this.

    “However, Sufiah informed us that she was not ready to meet her family again, especially her mother, Halimaton Yusof,” he said, adding that they plan to meet her next month.

    Sufiah, whose mother is a Malaysian and father Farouk a Pakistani, made headlines when she admitted recently to being a prostitute, charging customers around 130 pounds (S$295) for a ‘session.’–THE STAR

  17. FOTO ihsan TV3

    Saya tidak lagi pintar
    Oleh Nurul Huda Kosnon, Harian Metro

    Kuala Lumpur: “Saya tidak lagi pintar, tidak ada wang dan sedang mencari kerja. Saya juga masih belajar secara sambilan di sebuah universiti,” kata wanita genius Matematik dan bekas penuntut Universiti Oxford, Sufiah Yusof, 30, yang kini masih berjuang untuk meneruskan hidup.

    Bagaimanapun, Sufiah tidak memaklumkan di mana dia kini sedang melanjutkan pelajaran mahupun tempat tinggal terbarunya.

    Sufiah ditemubual Haliza Hashim Doyle di sebuah hotel di Liverpool untuk Rancangan Nona TV3 yang disiarkan petang semalam.

    Katanya, dia mahu meneruskan kehidupan seperti wanita lain selain tidak pernah dahagakan publisiti.

    “Kegagalan dan pengalaman pahit yang saya alami banyak memberi pengajaran. Saya juga dapat menanganinya dengan baik.

    “Ia membuatkan saya lebih matang. Biarpun tertekan tapi ia menyedarkan saya untuk menyesuaikan diri dengan kehidupan sebenar,” katanya.

    Katanya, dia juga tidak rasa dirinya pintar biarpun dapat melanjutkan pelajaran ke Universiti Oxford pada usia sangat muda.

    “Mungkin saya ada kepandaian dan kepakaran dalam Matematik. Saya berharap dapat memberi sedikit sumbangan daripada aspek penyelidikan dan dapat meninggalkan legasi berkaitan Matematik.

    “Apapun saya perlu meneruskan pembelajaran,” katanya.

    Katanya, dia juga sudah lama tidak keluar di mana-mana media dan mahu laporan yang lebih baik terutama bagi berkongsi mengenai kisah hidupnya.

    “Tidak bermakna kisah yang dikongsi menarik minat masyarakat tapi ada sesetengahnya bersimpati dan mahu tahu kisah saya walaupun ada kalangan mereka tidak mengenali saya,” katanya.

    Katanya, dia tidak rasa sesuatu yang luar biasa walaupun sebelum ini menjadi tumpuan media berikutan kemasukannya ke Universiti Oxford.

    “Semakin dewasa, saya lebih faham bahawa tidak semua orang mempunyai nilai dan aspirasi sama.

    “Saya hargai mereka yang ambil berat dan beri sokongan. Setiap orang bebas buat pilihan dan mampu menanganinya setiap permasalahan dengan pilihan yang dibuat,” katanya.

    Katanya, dia mengakui terbabit dengan industri seks selama beberapa bulan pada 2008 lalu.

    “Saya berhenti selepas diburu, diganggu dan diugut oleh media di Britain. Saya pernah dirakam secara rahsia oleh wartawan di sini (Britain), yang menyamar sebagai pelanggan.

    “Gambar saya sebagai pekerja seks turut dipapar. Ada antara mereka yang cuba memberi dadah dan menyuruh saya menanggalkan pakaian supaya mereka dapat merakamkan aksi ketika di atas katil.

    “Itu adalah pengalaman paling menakutkan dalam hidup saya dan tidak masuk akal apabila hampir setiap hari menerima e-mail berunsur ugutan hanya semata-mata untuk menemuramah saya,” katanya.

    Katanya, biarpun, kejadian itu membuatkannya tertekan namun ia menyedarkan dia selain mampu menanganinya dengan baik.

    “Sebenarnya bukan saya saja yang diperhatikan malah ramai lagi. Laporan perubatan mereka diakses, mencari alamat mereka, mengugut, dan merakam mereka secara rahsia.

    “Situasi begini cukup membuatkan saya tertekan, hanya menyembunyikan diri dan takut berjumpa dengan sesiapa,” katanya.

    Sufiah berkahwin dengan kenalan, Jonathan Marshall yang juga penuntut jurusan Undang-undang di Universiti Oxford ketika usianya 19 tahun.

    Ketika suaminya menamatkan latihan perundangan, Sufiah kembali belajar dalam jurusan ekonomi.

    Dua tahun kemudian, dia dan suaminya dilaporkan bercerai dan sekali lagi pembelajaran Sufiah terbengkalai.

    Pada 2008, Malaysia dan Britain digemparkan dengan laporan Sufiah mencari nafkah sebagai pekerja seks.

    Artikel ini disiarkan pada : Isnin, 9 Februari 2015 @ 12:40 AM

    FOTO ihsan TV3

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