Friday, June 04, 2010

Sugandoi Kaamatan - A harvest festival springboard to stardom

Native singing contest catapults Sabahans to national fame and fortune

It is a small singing contest that is part of the yearly month-long Kaamatan festival, a traditional cultural celebration of a rice harvest of the indigenous Kadazandusuns and Muruts.

The Kaamatan culminates in two days of extravaganza on May 30 and 31. But the native songs that contestants sing at the Sugandoi Kaamatan (harvest singing) have shot them to national fame and fortune. This year 10 of the 35 contestants made it to the final on May 22. But Ruthnetta Romedius Taipoi, 23, who came in second, does not want a career in show business. She prefers banking.

“This is my last contest,” says Miss Taipoi. “I had wanted to be a singer; but not anymore. I’ve a career in banking.”

She has entered the contest five times but the top prize of 2,000 ringgit ($606) has eluded her. It went to Arie Famree Sius of Kota Belud who sang Guminavo Zou Diau (I love you) and Sugandoi (Singing).

Miss Taipoi’s Sopirpsi-rosi (I’m just as afraid) and Igitn Ku Gisom Kapatayon (Till death do us part) won her 1,500 ringgit. She hails from Tamparuli but represented Tawau in the contest because that is where she works in a bank. The other runner-up is Henry Francis of Labuan who got a 1,000-ringgit prize for his songs Norimuk Kugu’D Piginawaan (Love is dead) and Nokuro? (Why?).

Miss Taipoi thinks little of following the footsteps of past Sugandoi winners. Most notable is Stracie Angie Anam, winner of the 2008 Akademi Fantasia (AF), Malaysia’s television reality talent show, who has become an icon in the entertainment industry.

Known by her stage name of Stacy, Miss Anam’s coronation song “Aku Stacy” became an instant hit. She went on to win last year’s private station 8TV’s Popstar award of Shout! But she lost to Malaysian pop idol Siti Nurhaliza for the Most Popular Malaysian Artiste by just 1% of the votes. Winning the AF also gave her a scholarship to study at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Miss Anam has her own show “Aku Stacy” on Astro Ria of Malaysia’s Astro satellite pay-TV.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sugandoi Kaamatan - A harvest festival springboard to stardom

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