|Doha : Sana Britto, Naveen Pinto Make it to Soad 3 Finals|
Sana Britto, Naveen Pinto Make it to Soad 3 Finals
Doha April 22:
Mandd Sobhann and Mangalore Cricket Club’s ambitious venture Soad 3 International has reached its pinnacle with the completion of preliminary rounds and semi-finals for Mangaloreans and Goans in India and Qatar. The unique concept of Soad is the dream baby of Mandd Sobhann which has been the vanguard of Konkani culture and heritage by promoting, preserving and enriching the identity of Konkani and Konkani-speaking people. The concept envisaged 2 seasons ago had become so popular that the third edition was very much awaited by up coming as well as the established singers. But this time around an equally famed and popular overseas organization was ready to partner Mandd Sobhann to take concept at the international level.
Mangalore Cricket Club (MCC) is one of the pioneer organizations set up by expatriates in Qatar. Ever since its inception about two decades ago, MCC has been committed to promote and nurture talents, preserve Konkani culture and traditions in its own little ways in the tiny oil-rich country of Qatar. When Mandd Sobhann and MCC came together with a single mission and lucid vision Soad 3 International was set on roll. It is the first-of-its-kind TV Konkani Singing contest to select ‘Rani Kogull-International’ (Best Female Singer) and ‘Rai Kogull-International (Best Male Singer) from among Mangaloreans and Goans in India and in Qatar.
The stage is now all set for the grand finale scheduled to be held on May 25, 2012. Out of the 120 contestants who took part in the preliminaries, two each (a male and a female) from Goa, Mangalore and Qatar have made it to the finals. The contest judged by eminent musicians has lived up to its hype and has already grabbed the attention of Konkani-speaking people spread across the nook and corner of the world after being telecast by Daiji TV - globally, ‘Namma TV’- in and around Mangalore and Channel 365 - in Goa.
The Qatar rounds wherein talented and enthusiastic contestants vied for the top honours witnessed a neck to neck contest throughout the prelims as well as semi-finals. Finally it was young and melodious Sana Britto who topped the charts among the female contestants while hardworking and talented Naveen Pinto overcame a stiff challenge and made it to the finals. Both Sana and Naveen have been regular participants at various competitions being organized by MCC in Qatar and have won numerous laurels too.
Sana, the daughter of John and Denzil Britto is a bundle of talents. Her brother Deon who is working in Mumbai after completing the engineering from Bangalore had represented Qatar national team in the Under-19 cricket team. Sana’s reaching the finals of an international Konkani singing contest is all the more significant because she was brought up in Doha and hardly had any favourable environment around her that could nurture her Konkani reading and writing even though her parents made it a point to converse in Konkani at home . She was born in Mumbai and moved to Doha at the age of two with her parents and thereafter all these years has studied in MES Indian School. Despite this if she can fluently converse in Konkani with a proper diction, the credit must go to her parents. Sana has always been a studious student. She was awarded with the title of “Best Outgoing Student 2012 - Commerce Stream”. Currently, she is waiting for her 12th std. Board results but has already secured admission in Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar for the course of Business Administration.
Her talent is not just limited to singing. She is also interested in, dancing, public speaking and reading. She has been an active member of the children’s choir in Doha since the age of 3 and at present she is the choir leader. She has taken part in several singing and other competitions conducted by various clubs in Qatar especially the Mangalore Cricket Club. She joined the Doha Gavels Club affiliated to Toastmasters International and is serving as the President of the Club for the year 2012.
When Daijiworld contacted and congratulated Sana on her stupendous achievement of reaching the finale of Soad-3 International, she could not hide her joy.
“I was extremely happy and overwhelmed that I would be representing Qatar in the finale, but at the same time I was pretty amazed since it was hard for me to believe that I stood first amongst all the other amazing singers from Qatar. Sana who considers the Konkann Kogull, the late Wilfy Rebimbus as her idol in Konkani singing, also had word of appreciation and gratitude to Doha-based veteran musician cum singer Dony Lobo who has been a sort of her mentor right from the age of three. When asked as how difficult it was for her to sing in Konkani owing to her upbringing in Doha, she agreed that initially it was difficult.
“But honestly, I would give the entire credit for this to my parents especially my mother, because she always made it a point to sit with me and explain the meaning of the whole song beforehand. They always encouraged me to sing in Konkani and never let me forget my roots in spite of living in a foreign country. Additionally, MCC Qatar has also played a significant role in polishing my Konkani singing skills through their annual talent shows and other competitions,” she said.
She rates this contest very highly not just because she is a part of it but because the competition has been tight and experienced judges have hardly given any leave-way. “Maand Sobhaan and MCC have taken the first steps towards making Konkani significant to the world. The show has also given an opportunity for youngsters like us to showcase our talents and realise where we stand in the crowd. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the organisers for this great opportunity,” is what Sana had to say about Soad-3 International.
Naveen Pinto, a member of MCC Qatar hardly needs any introduction. He has been a regular face at various singing competitions organized by various Doha-based organizations such as Konkani Speaking Committee of the Our Lady of the Rosary Church, MCC Qatar etc. He was one of 6 semi-finalists from Qatar at the last edition of popular Konkani reality show Gulf Voice of Mangalore. Naveen’s wife Preema has already carved a niche for herself in Konkani singing by bagging the first Runners-up at the Gulf Voice of Mangalore II held in Dubai couple of years ago.
Naveen Canute Pinto who hails from Siddhakatte holds a diploma in mechanical engineering and is employed with Qatar Steel for the last 4 years. A shy-looking Naveen lives with his wife Preema and children Anna Angel in Doha. He is indeed the proud owner of a sonorous voice. It is often said that there is a woman behind every man’s success and Preema has been that woman who has brought out Naveen’s singing talent. Preema hails from famed Menezes family from Hospet and singing runs through her family. Her younger siblings Pratap Don Menezes and Priya Menezes have already made it big in Konkani music. More than the talent, it is his hard work and enthusiasm that has helped him to reach these heights in Konkani singing.
Daijiworld caught up with Naveen recently and when asked about his feeling on reaching the finale, he said that he was delighted since he had put in a lot of efforts in preparing for the contest. The late Wilfy Rebimbus is Naveen’s role model in Konkani singing because the former too had a humble beginning and rose to great heights owing to his humility, efforts and perseverance.
“The entire contest was like a stepping stone leading me nearer to the ultimate goal of supreme success. Further suggestions from the acclaimed judges made me realise my flaws and work on them and they also boosted my confidence,” he opined. While speaking about the mission taken up by MCC and Mandd Sobhann he said that coming together of two different bodies world apart for one common greater cause of making Konkani singing talents popular and provide opportunity for younger talents would provide a great impetus for Konkani movement across the Konkani horizon.
Sana and Naveen had a different view on singing in front of camera and singing live on stage in front of the large audience. While the former felt that she is at ease singing live in front of the large audience than in front of the camera, the latter said that facing camera was much easier than facing hundreds of audience at the live show. Both of them have almost similar message to the youngsters. ‘Don’t forget your roots since without roots there cannot be healthy plant. Wherever you go, you need stay in touch with your roots. Only then the legacy of Konkani left to us by our ancestors will be continued,’ they said.
Sana said that she will contribute to Konkani in her own ways and shall continue Konkani singing whether or not she becomes Ranni Kogull. On the lighter note though we would recommend that young and new Konkani composers should wish that Naveen becomes Rai Kogull because he has said that he is planning to support a few of them if he wins the contest.
Sana and Naveen are aware that they would not have a cakewalk in the finals as they are up against some of the best singers from Mangalore and Goa. This is why they are not leaving any stone unturned and are making all efforts to have a good preparation. They know that it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they want to grab the opportunity (and the coveted trophy) too with both hands.
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