Photos by : Joy Roshan
In a dazzling event organised by Kuwait Canara Welfare Association (KCWA), led by Hilary Stevan Rego in its 30th year of inception, Sabita Mathias from UAE and Clement Fernandes from Qatar were crowned winners of the 6th season of the prestigious GCC-level Konkani singing contest Gulf Voice of Mangalore. The grand finale held amid a huge gathering on Friday, November 9 from 2 pm onwards at the Sabah Al Salem Theatre, Kuwait University Campus, Khaldiya.
Teena D’Souza from Bahrain and Christelle Pinto from Qatar were adjudged first and second runners-up respectively in the female category, while Shelton Pinto from Kuwait and Aenson Mathias from UAE bagged the second and third places, respectively, in the male category.
Six female and male singers from each of the six Gulf countries performed their best in three rounds, in what turned out to be a gripping contest and a tough call for the judges. The 12 finalists – Shallet Florine Menezes and Ralph Paul D’Souza from Saudi Arabia, Christelle Noella Pinto and Clement Fernandes from Qatar, Sabita Maria Mathias and Aenson Mathias from the UAE, Gloria D’Souza and Shelton Rainer Pinto from Kuwait, Amanda Lavita Lobo and Pradeep Alexander D’Souza from Oman and Teena Roshan D’Souza and Anugraha D’Souza from Bahrain – came a long way in the contest, defeating their competitors in the auditions and semi-finals in their respective countries of residence.
The event started with prayer and welcome song by previous GVOM winners followed by introduction by MC Deepak Andrade. The event was formally inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by Chief Guest Austin D’Souza Prabhu, KCWA’s Spiritual Director Fr. Noel D’Almeida, KCWA President Hilary Stevan Rego, GVOM Founder Lawrence Pinto, Walter Nandalike Managing Director of Daijiworld, GVOM Season 6 Convener Steevan Misquith and event sponsors Naveen Ranjith D’Souza of Keentech Electrical & Contracting Co., and Mahesh Nayak & Mohandas Salian of LandTrades builders & Developers Mangaluru.
President Hilary Stevan Rego welcomed the guests, sponsors, and audience on behalf of KCWA. To remember the event for life, a souvenir was released during the event after the cake was cut to mark the 30-year celebration of KCWA. Tributes were paid to GVOM founder, the late Louis Rodrigues, and 2008 finalist the late Dolphy Vaz.
Leslie Rego, the master compere then entered the stage soon after the GVOM theme song with dance from kids amid live music. Judges of the event Melwyn Peris, Joyce Ozario, Alwyn Noronha and Cajetan Dias were introduced and judging files were handed over by Steevan Misquith. Finalists were called on to stage accompanied by kids who handed over flowers to all finalists. With his signature mix of great poise, style and wit, Leslie took charge of the entire competition, keeping the audience engaged throughout. The first round consisted of songs chosen by the singers, for which they had prepared well in advance, followed by performances in chord round as per the choice of judges, and finally, a common song to contestants in each of the categories.
Every singer exhibited top performance in every round, belting out the numbers with confidence and clarity. The competition was tough to the core, and it was extremely difficult for the judges to choose the best. However, the experienced jury, comprising Melwyn Peris, Joyce Ozario, Alwyn Noronha and Cajetan Dias showed top class professionalism, appreciating and encouraging the singers while giving them helpful tips.
After two rounds that thoroughly tested the prowess of the contestants, four each from male and female categories made it to the third and final round. They were Gloria D’Souza of Kuwait, Sabitha Mathias of UAE, Christle Pinto of Qatar, Teena D’Souza of Bahrain in the female category; and Qatar’s Clement Fernandes, Kuwait’s Shelton Pinto, UAE’s Aenson Mathias, Bahrain’s Anugraha D’Souza in male category. The last hurdle required the finalists to sing a common song.
The winners were crowned and felicitated in the presence of Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu, Walter Nandalike, Mahesh Nayak, Lawrence Pinto, Fr Noel Almeida, core committee members of KCWA, and GVOM Season 5 winners Robin Sequeira and Joylene Gonsalves.
Earlier in the evening, Daijiworld founder Walter Nandalike released audio album ‘Jinye Rang Vol 1’ by poet Walter Dantis, in the presence of Robin Sequeira, Ashith Pinto and Fr. Noel Almeida.
In his address, Walter Nandalike commended KCWA for its service to Mangalureans in Kuwait and back home for the past 30 years. “I feel privileged to have been part of every finale of Gulf Voice of Mangalore. GVOM is not just a contest, but a bond that brings Mangalureans spread across the GCC countries together,” he said.
Elias Sanctis and Dr. Austin D’Souza Prabhu were honored during the event. Elias Sanctis thanked KCWA for honouring him and lauded the association for hosting such an event, while Dr. Prabhu, in his thought-provoking address, emphasized on the virtue of giving and helping, and appreciated KCWA for rendering its service to the society selflessly for the past 30 years. Austin D’Souza Prabhu felicitated GVOM Founders Lawrence Pinto and Rita Rodrigues, spouse of late Louis Rodrigues. Anil Fernandes & Rudy D’Souza conducted the felicitation ceremony.
Austin Prabhu was bestowed ‘Konkan Karavali Veer’ title by KCWA for his enormous service to Konkani language, culture and society.
In a note of gratitude, KCWA thanked philanthropist and NRE entrepreneur Ronald Colaco for extending strong support to Gulf Voice of Mangalore Season 6 and making it happen.
Event Sponsors Naveen Ranjith D’Souza of Keentech Electrical & Contracting Co. Kuwait and Land Trades builders & Developers Mangaluru were honored by Fr. Noel D’Almeida and Walter Nandalike. Freya Saldanha managed the sponsor’s felicitation.
The entertainment at the dazzling event did not stop with just the amazing performances of the contestants. Adding an extra sparkle were Melwyn Peris, and GVOM-5 title winners Robin Sequeira and Joyline Gonsalves who rendered beautiful songs that drew loud applause from the audience. The orchestra led by Rajgopal deserves a huge applause for complimenting the singers to perfection. The team consisting Rajgopal on lead guitar, Deepak Jayasheelan on keyboard, Prakash Anthony on drums and percussion, Rajesh Bhagavat on tabla/dholak, Tony D’Silva on bass guitar and Sandeep Vasishta on saxophone and flute gave an enigmatic performance just before the start of the third and final round, with a highly electrifying rendition of Konkani hits in their instrumental form.
GVOM Season – 6 convener Steeven Misquith delivered vote of thanks. Sponsors, finalists, musicians, organizing countries, Daijiworld, Radio Daijiworld, judges and compere were felicitated with mementos. Linette D’Souza conducted GVOM – 6 Quiz Mega Draw.
Mangalore Konkans Dubai will host the seventh edition of Gulf Voice of Mangalore in UAE. The GVOM flag was presented to the president of Mangalore Konkans James Mendonca as a token of appreciation for taking forward the event to the next season.
During the course of the event, a WhatsApp contest sponsored by Unimoni was held for the audience to predict the winner of GVOM-6. Three top winners were presented attractive prizes.
Land Trades Builders and Developers, Mangaluru and Keentech Electrical & Contracting Co Kuwait sponsored this event. Main sponsors of the event were Vermont Builders & Promoters and Bliss Signature Professional Unisex Salon. Caesars Group of Restaurants, Al-Rathat Est, and Crown Logistics Co are the gold sponsors and Unimoni Exchange and United Steel Factory were the pearl sponsors. Khorafi Plastic Industries Co, Al-Habshi Est, Al-Diyab Mohd Haji Est, Golden Line Construction Materials Co, Khalil Bahman & Partners, Royaltech Electrical & Contracting Co. & TVS Group were the silver sponsors. Jet airways was the travel partner of the event.
Daijiworld was the media partner and Radio Daijiworld was the radio partner of the event. Daijiworld.com, which was the webcast partner, streamed the entire event live from Kuwait. CAMCO Global provided sound and lighting for the event. Reema D’Souza, Joyston D’Souza and Aquin Fernandes facilitated LED presentation.
KCWA thanks all the sponsors, well-wishers, volunteers, team Daijiworld, Sagar Transport, and hotel Residence Inn by Marriott and Kuwait university management for extending their support towards the success of the event.