Marie Claire Australia

AISHA NOVAKOVICH Mother to two sons (aged 17 and 13)


Aisha Novakovich was seven months pregnant with her second baby and in the middle of her second uni degree when her husband left suddenly. At the time, she didn’t think she could go on.

“I fell into a hole of darkness – it was the loss of the dream of having a family,” she says. “I felt like I lost part of my own soul. Even though my husband wasn’t always present, I thought having someone there would be better than having no-one at all.”

But Aisha, who had been married since age 19, soon found out she was far more capable than she realised. Now she juggles her career as a lawyer with running her Muslim fashion platform, Modest Fashion Australia, and its retail arm, Secret Sky, while raising her two sons, aged 13 and 17.

It’s easier now her boys are teenagers, but it’s been tough going along the way. “When you’re a single mum, you have to be the nurturer and the breadwinne­r, and often your self-care and dreams are sacrificed in the process. You have to do your best to ensure your children’s needs are met, that they always feel safe and loved.”


She credits her Muslim faith for her drive to set an example for her sons. “My community reminded me to put my faith in God and not to lose hope. I wanted to show my boys I could do it. Also, a bit of poverty and struggle vaccinates them against arrogance. It’s been instrument­al to their growth.”

Yet her strength has also been a handicap. “I learnt to be incredibly self-sufficient, which is not always a good thing because it blocks you from receiving. There were times when I had to move house and I didn’t have money and I had people saying, ‘Why didn’t you call me?’”

Aisha admits she’s had to make career sacrifices – “You can’t do world domination and look after a sick child at the same time,” she laughs – but says the experience has shaped her. “I wear my single-mum title like a badge of honour. Because whatever I have achieved, I did it on my own. Being a single mum has given me the killer instinct, which I use in business and in life. It’s also taught me to be more forgiving and compassion­ate and show kindness because I’ve been through the darkness.”

 ?? ?? Aisha with sons Jibreel (left), 17, and Zachariah, 13.
Aisha with sons Jibreel (left), 17, and Zachariah, 13.
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