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Master Kadazan via songs, says Pairin
Published on: Friday, May 19, 2017

Penampang: Singing and listening to Kadazan songs is one the most effective ways to learn the language.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the community can learn Kadazan through the lyrics and even improve their writing in their native tongue.

Towards this end, one of the avenues to highlight good Kadazan songs is through the Popular Kadazan Songs Chart competition, organised by Sabah Vfm.

"The talents of Kadazan singers and composers can also be enhanced through such programmes," he said when officiating at the competition at Hongkod Koisaan KDCA, here, on Wednesday night.

He also commended RTM for its continuous effort in upholding the importance of preserving native languages.

"Undoubtedly, the entertainment industry should flow in parallel with the changes of time, but we must remember that something which is original must be preserved and sustained so that it will not go extinct.

"This is in line with the fact that the songs in our native languages not only provide entertainment but also encourage the establishment of happy families, good values and good manners.

"This complements the government's effort towards producing multiracial communities who have a strong determination to protect their cultural heritage."

He hoped the competition will encourage Kadazandusun singers and music enthusiasts to further develop the entertainment scene in the State.

Meanwhile, Pairin reminded the people on the importance of sustaining unity among the communities.

"The government has always drafted policies and implemented various strategies to bridge the existing gap as well as to create equality among the people in the country.

"As such, the people should work hand in hand with the government to ensure the implementation of such measures is fruitful.

"We have to stand united and have mutual respect as well as share the same aspiration that the nation is ours.

"In fact, the various races, religions and cultures are the main contributions to our strength and uniqueness," he said.

Also present were Television Programme chief assistant director Francis Fahir, Sabah Vfm manager Lalita Sundram and Popular Kadazan Songs Chart producer Johanna Joseph Lokupi.

Meanwhile, Husi Noh Dogo, a ballad composed and written by Minami T. Anduini received the top accolade in the final stage of the Popular Kadazan Songs Chart competition.

He brought home RM3,000, a trophy and a certificate.

Describing the achievement as overwhelming, he said he did not expect to win it as competition was tough among the finalists.

"When I composed the song, I intended to introduce a breath of fresh air to Kadazan songs as I changed the time signature as well as the rhythm for Husi Noh Dogo… it is quite different from other Kadazan songs.

"And I am surprised that it was well-received by the Kadazan community as I was scared that it will be a drastic change for the listeners but I am pleased that they like it.

"I am also thankful to Heidi Vanessa Maruning for recording this song and to her elder sister Eva Valerie Maruning for performing the song in the finals," he said when met after the prize presentation ceremony.

The song, he said, is actually a gift for Heidi a few years ago.

"I made a promise to Heidi to compose a song for her if she managed to become a champion at a district-level Sugandoi Kaamatan competition.

"I combined my personal experiences and the experiences of my friends and injected it into the song… and I finished composing and writing the song in 30 minutes in KDCA hall itself."

Making it even more challenging for Minami in the finals was the absence of the original singer who is currently in Osaka, Japan, for a school project.

Eva became Minami's saviour when she accepted the offer to sing the song on behalf of her sister.

"When I was informed to perform the song I thought it was going to be on a small scale event or venue, but when I was told that I am going to sing in Hongkod Koisaan, I was extremely nervous.

"But thanks to Minami for his endless support and constructive criticism, I made it… perhaps not as good as Heidi but at least I can project her 'vocals' in my performance.

"Even the dress that I wore tonight (Wednesday) is Heidi's and thank God I fit the dress," she said.

Chief competition judge Alvy Durin said Husi Noh Dogo offered a fresh sound for the Kadazan music scene.

"Overall, the songs competing in the finals are up to date… there are some which are not but maybe they received a lot of demand from the listeners.

"I hope more up-to-date songs are composed to make the Kadazan music scene livelier.

"We are looking for a fresh-sounding song and Husi Noh Dogo fit the criteria perfectly," he said.

Apart from him, the competition was also judged by George Motuyon and Rita Lasimbang.

In second place was Kiva Koupusan Nu composed and written by Nick Tudol and sung by Fanzi Ruji while in third place was Koginavaan Di Sininduahan Nu (Elizabeth Bisuil/Grace Ah Ting).

Nick and Elizabeth received RM2,500 and RM2,000, respectively.

Best lyric was won by Alice Marius for Oi Ina which was sung by Wester Maljos and best vocal went to Fanzi Ruji for Kiva Koupusan Nu.

Peter Jupiter Bensing won best performance as well as the most popular award.

Other finalists were Id Puun Bambangan (Michael Lian Bensing/Peter Jupiter Bensing), Tunak Id Numpaasan (Bobby Patrick/Cathy Woritus), Hangad Ku Gompizo Noh (Petrus Martin/Presley Petrus), Isai Pahasaon Nu (Clarice Sipanul) and Kakal Zou Mandad (Maritah Tatiu/Alfred Koroh).

The programme was produced by Johanna Joseph Lokupi and the finalists' performances were accompanied by RTM Combo led by Matlan Sukudat. Other performances included Anna Stanislaus and Maria Tatiomis Guntingan. - Ricardo Unto

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