Images: Zachariah Aidin Druckman
If you’ve survived university or college life, we applaud you. We know you’d be familiar with the same routine of getting up on mundane Mondays (or Tuesdays and the rest of the week) to attend short classes with ridiculously long gaps.
Sometimes, you’d say a little prayer in hopes that your class gets cancelled.
Getting to class is already considered as some sort of self-achievement, but actually being able to pay full attention is another story.
So, what if there’s someone in class that’ll give you the motivation to attend all the classes? And no, we’re not talking about your hot classmates.
The person we're talking about is, of all people, a lecturer.
Meet Zachariah Aidin Druckman
, a 28-year-old lecturer who’ll definitely get your attention because he enjoys cosplaying to class.
Zachariah, or also popularly known as Cekgu Zac on Twitter, has been cosplaying since his days as a student.
We know a lot of you may have a lot of questions, so we at Rojak Daily
reached out to the lecturer to find out more about his persona.
Bringing Everyone’s Secret Childhood Dream To Life
When Zach was younger, he always dreamed of dressing up as his favourite characters , as well as owning the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’
Green Ranger and Darth Vader costumes.
And just like any regular kid, he enjoyed his cartoons, superhero TV shows, and animes.
But his interests never left his childhood as he still enjoys watching them until today. (Well to be honest, most of us still do too.)
In 2008, Zac enrolled into university and slowly began collecting costumes and eccentric sweaters. His first costume was the Akatsuki Robe
from 'Naruto Shippuden
' – which he told us is his all-time favourite anime.
A few years later, Zac graduated and became an English lecturer.
One day, he stumbled across a viral photo on popular meme app 9GAG where a professor in America went to class dressed up as a Jedi. So, he thought to himself “why not?” and decided to put on the Akatsuki Robe to work.
The rest is history.
We know a lot of working adults out there (including us) are secretly jealous of Zac for being able to bring his childhood dream to life.
Just imagine, wouldn’t it be so cool to tell your younger self: “Hey mate, one day you’re going to work in your favourite anime costume and you’ll get away with it, okay?”
“What On Earth Was He Thinking?”
The first thing that came to mind when we stumbled across his photos online was: “How on Earth did he pull this off and what was his students’ reaction?”
We would totally understand if it was a one-day thing, but it turns out that he wears tonnes of different cosplay outfits to class almost every other day.
“I would normally get mixed reactions from my students. Some are amazed while the rest might think that I’m a weirdo,” Zac told Rojak Daily
As for his fellow lecturers, he thinks most of them are quite okay with it and occasionally looks forward to what he’s going to wear.
His ex-colleague even told him “best sebab nak tau hari ni Zac pakai apa”
('It’s cool and I can’t wait to see what Zac will be wearing today').
Zac is currently serving as a full-time English lecturer at UiTM Shah Alam and says that the university hasn’t reacted to his cosplays so far and whatever he wears is still within the university’s guidelines.
“If you noticed, my eccentric outfits are usually jacket based so that on the inside I will be wearing a shirt and tie.”
“Even so, I will always have my blazer on standby for just-in-case purposes. I will not be cosplaying to a major meeting. That is suicide!”
Not A Hobby For The Faint-Pocketed
Zac currently owns close to 60 cosplays outfits
and he has shown no signs of slowing down. His current favourite costume is the Vegeta costume from 'Dragon Ball'
He even participated in a 10km run in that costume! Well, that’s a good strategy to win, because we’re sure a lot of people would have slowed down to do a double take.
His dream costume, he told us, would definitely be a fully functional Darth Vader costume which, unfortunately, costs a bomb.
Zac also admits that it’s an expensive hobby as he has spent thousands of ringgit in total. One costume can fetch up to RM350
! Not only that, he also occasionally gets his costumes custom made, so those would cost even more.
No Rain On Zac’s Cosplay Parade
His cosplay outfits are a far cry from the word ‘subtle’ and he has created quite a stir whenever he dons one. Naturally, it will attract the attention of fellow fans and haters.
“I get flak from people all the time. Critics will always be critics. I remember once a dude told me “Kenapa nak pakai sebegini? Kenapa tak nak pakai macam Nabi
?” ('Why are you wearing this kind of outfit, why don’t you wear clothes like our Prophets?').
Ironically, a day after he was told off, it was a Friday, so he decided to wear the jubah
(robe) to class.
However, most of the his critics are keyboard warriors.
“They’d usually leave random comments on Facebook or unmentioned Tweets. Sometimes my students would also screenshot these comments and show it to me.”
The English lecturer, who’s also currently pursuing his PhD, seems pretty much unbothered by these criticisms and even applauds them for openly criticising him.
He says that his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles are all public and open for private messages.
Some might even find Zac’s antics a bit ‘childish’ but he wants to thank those for saying that.
“Frankly I prefer to display a “childish” side rather than my serious side because when I am serious, I can put the fear of God into you, especially when it comes to my classes.”
“If maturity is defined as being serious 24/7 all work and no play, then no thank you! To me “maturity” is defined as knowing the place and time to act.”
Zac tells us he knows where to draw the line, as he won’t attempt something stupid and immature, such as dressing up as Pikachu to attend an official university event or going to open houses during Eid.
Always Be Yourself and Be Proud of Who You Are
The Illinois-born lecturer is not one to shy away from his eccentric outfits. He’s also happy that in a way, he’s able to grab his students’ attention and bring excitement to his classes.
“My method is that I try my very best not to make the class boring. Plus, at the same time, I get to be who I am rather than who I am not. It somehow excites me to teach.”
As for those who secretly loves cosplay and are too shy to wear it in public, Zac wants you all to know that if your costume is not controversial, why not?
“A lot of people won’t understand you, so ignore them. Always be yourself
Well, we applaud Zac for having such high confidence and for always staying true to himself. Trust us, you truly are an inspiration to the underdogs of the cosplay world.
You can follow Zac on his Twitter
account to keep tabs on his cosplay adventures.