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Bajau lad wins top Children’s Day award
Published on: Wednesday, November 22, 2023
By: Crystal E Hermenegildus
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Bajau lad wins top Children’s Day award
Mikha receives the Culture and Arts award on Malaysia World Children’s day, 2023.
Kota Kinabalu: Ahmad Mikhail Damsal, 14, received the prestigious Culture and Arts Award at the Malaysia’s World Children’s Day 2023 organised by the Department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development of Malaysia.

Dressed in his traditional Bajau Samah costume, a student at Sekolah Menengah  (SM) Lok Yuk Likas, Kota Kinabalu, known as Mika D’, showcased exceptional talent and dedication in dance and rap hip-hop.

“I am truly humbled and grateful to be recognised with the award. Receiving national recognition for my talent is both an honour and a responsibility,” he said. The ceremony was officiated by Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Malaysia, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Mika ‘D passion for the arts began in 2018 when he joined his school’s dance group, Tatih Group of SK Stella Maris, swiftly becoming a standout performer.

Mika ‘D’s notable achievements in the dance performing arts include participation in Kelab Bimbingan Seni Cemerlang (KBSC), guided by the State Department of Culture and Arts (JKKN), Kumpulan Gentari SM Lok Yuk Likas, and Ala Pangong Production.

Since then, he has left a mark on both national and international stages, competing in prestigious events such as the Dance World Cup (2019, 2020, 2023), World Championships of Performing Arts, USA (2020, 2023), Kejuaraan Tari Kanak-kanak Malaysia, JKKN Malaysia (2019, 2022), and the Andong Mask Dance Festival 2023 in Andong, Korea, among many others.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to those who supported me throughout this journey, especially my mother, Puan Normala Othman, and brother Danial, my Damsal families, teachers, coaches, mentors, the State Government, all my sponsors during each competition, and the incredible arts community in Sabah,” he said.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, it posed challenges for Mika ‘D’s dance performances and practices. Undeterred, he ventured into rap and hip-hop.

With an innate talent for lyricism, Mika ‘D has produced and written his own lyrics for four original songs, displaying his versatility and passion for music through his YouTube channel.

He has emerged as a creative force in the rap and hip-hop genre.

Mika ‘D contributions to the community have extended beyond the stage, as he participated in charity projects like Wazzup Borneo Konsert #kitajagakita 2.0 and The Charity T-Shirt Project.

“My hope is that all my efforts will contribute even more to the rich cultural heritage of Sabah and our country, Malaysia.

 “Thank you, Malaysia, for this incredible honour. I am excited about the journey ahead and will continue to elevate our country’s cultural pride through my dances.

One of my dreams is to represent Malaysia in the Unesco Cultural Convention, promoting our cultural heritage and arts internationally,” he said.

This award on World Children’s Day 2023 acknowledges Mika ‘D’s cultural and artistic excellence, highlighting the positive impact of young talents on society. 

“I also dedicate this award to the children of Malaysia, especially on World Children’s Day. May this recognition serve as a reminder that our dreams and passions are valid, and our voices matter. Let us continue to dream, create, and inspire positive change in our communities,” he said.

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