Personality power | Daily News

Personality power

The jury
The jury

All children have abilities of one sort or another, though they don’t always reflect those of their parents. Talent can appear in any form, but may need drawing out in order to shine. Children don’t usually recognize their own talents, although they’ll pursue them instinctively. There is where competitions like ‘Junior Model International’ (JMI) comes into the picture. Dubbed as a festival of art, fashion and talent, JMI aims to develop the talents and personalities of children.

14-year-old Akesh Kulasekara represented Sri Lanka in the Teen category (Boy) of the competition. He bagged first place beating were 47 contestants across the globe on stage plus 10 contestants online who could not make it to the venue due to quarantine restrictions. The event was held at Swissotel – Dubai at the end of November. Akesh also won the ‘Best Interview’ and ‘Best National Fantasy Costume’ mini titles at the event.

A student of S. Thomas’ College, Mt Lavinia, Akesh is a bundle of talent who has always shown a passionate passion towards cosmology, which is a branch of astronomy, and modeling from a young age. He is an active member of the school’s Junior Debating Team and the Quiz Club. He is also into karate and swimming.

“I entered the fifth anniversary of “Little King & Queen Sri Lanka 2021,” which enhances the talent and personality of children. The national event could not be held due to the pandemic. So the organizers had an audition and I was selected to take part in the international competition,” Akesh explained.

He notes that he was motivated to take part in the event because he felt that JMI was a suitable launch pad to fulfill his dreams. He was selected to attend the event by the National Body ‘Studio 9 International’.

Unfurling his thoughts on how the event was conducted Akesh noted that the organizers held the event in a very professional manner. The whole production was grand and full of glitter and glamour.

“I had a wonderful time sharing a common platform with children from all over the world. The judging criteria were interview, Nations Day, talent and costumes. I learnt many good aspects by taking part in JMI like discipline, punctuality, and dedication to whatever I do. I was transformed from a happy-go-lucky teen to a responsible young man after the rigorous grooming session conducted by the National Body. My mentor was the National Director Subashini Dias Abeyegunawardene. I could not escape from her sessions giving lame excuses at any point,” he said adding that Hiran Wijesekara designed his national costume while his formal wear and talent outfits were created by ‘Big Time’.

Akesh says that the most challenging moment at the competition for him was balancing the huge head gear which was a part of the national costume. He also had a few anxious moments in which he performed some magic tricks for the talent round.

Recalling some of the most memorable moments from the pageant Akesh said that he enjoyed the desert safari and dining at appetizing restaurants a lot. The most impressive event for him was the Nations Day where he had to set up the Sri Lankan table, wear traditional attire and exchange gifts and food items from Sri Lanka with contestants from other countries.

Akesh was asked to give three avenues which impact the sustainability agenda during his interview. His answer was that the first priority among the youth in the Asian region should be environmental sustainability. He also spoke about the sustainability of the society and peace and economic sustainability. His comments bowled the jury over and managed to win him the mini title.

“My mother, Harshini Perera, is my greatest source of inspiration. She was Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Tourism World 2004. Her journey to the top motivated me. I was also fascinated by the different outlook I was going to achieve through this contest,” Akesh expressed.

His ambition is to make use of the title to empower the youth to be in the forefront of global change and be key agents in development and peace. He advises other youth to grab any opportunities which come their way to sharpen their talents and personality.

“Learning time management so that you can balance studies and extra curricular activities is the key to succeeding at such events as well as excelling academically,” he concluded with a smile.


Message from the National Body

It is another milestone reached by Studio 9 International as 17 years ago we produced Harshini Perera as Miss Sri Lanka for Tourism World, who is Akesh’s mother. She won the mini title Miss Asia Tourism.

We are proud that we have produced mother and son as title holders in the contest arena. We are appreciative of the support from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Emirates Airlines.

At the National table: Miss Teen UAE, National Director- Srilanka and Akesh


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