Shattering the glass ceiling – Kumudini Perera-David
by Rochelle Palipane Gunaratne
Pics courtesy Tai Hsin Photography
While breaking the glass ceiling is what we refer to as breaking of barriers that hold women back, I picture Kumudini Perera-David actually kicking it with all her might and shattering it to smithereens as Kumu to me has always been a strong and vibrant personality. While I pause to reflect, I can’t help seeing the vivacious Tina Turner pounding her staccato heels on the floor as she sings, “What you see is what you get “when I think of Kumu. Her overwhelming trait is her forthright attitude and fearless manner as she’s one of THE MOST interesting personas I’ve met.
Making her presence felt
I recall the fact that even at school she just could not be ignored as her personality shone through like a rainbow that bursts through the storm clouds and arches across the land. Although we greeted each other at school and cheered for the same house at the sports meet and other events, I had no knowledge of the real Kumu, except of being aware of a helluva talent she possessed for singing!
Advocating for change
In the ensuing years, we used to meet at various events but it did not go beyond a girly greeting until I added her on FB and read her testimony. Kumu’s knack for venting her deepest thoughts on social media was an inspiration as it paved the way for those who hid painful memories to address these burning issues considered a taboo by society. Her experiences of being abused as a child, effervescent attitude to sex drove a metaphorical nail on the head and earned her an extensive fan following, to the point in which she occasionally informed that it was time for filtering her account as it exceeded the limit.
When did you come to that realization that your experience could be shared was my first question at our lengthy tête-à-tête over coffee and chocolate milkshake, to which she responded; “It was when I overcame the stigma of being a victim and realized that I am a victor and my story could help another person to rise above the vicissitudes and crush the waves of despair which threaten to drown out the person you were created to be. Most often, a brutal awareness of being party to a stolen childhood can cause bouts of depression which steals one’s joy and it needs to be addressed professionally with the first step being the awareness. “Most often than not victims of any form of abuse, especially when they have been subjected to it as children, tend to internalize their experiences, allowing guilt to gnaw away their propensity to enjoy life to the fullest.” Recognizing the fact that you are not to blame is the first step in the healing process. As well, it is essential to deal with the anger that wells up against the perpetrator, as in most cases it is a person of trust who has manipulated the situation. Seeking redress through legal means, though ideal, may not always be viable and may cause further victimization and pain to the victim but to move forward through forgiveness is always a good option as it releases the invisible hold another person’s actions has on you,” revealed Kumu.
Till I was 33 years old I was on survival mode and trying to cope with anxiety and depression but I had an epiphany which led me to throw away caution to the wind and seek counseling and advocating for awareness and change in how we perceive ourselves, augmenting our individuality and value as people who deserve to be loved correctly and to enable us to love without fear or trepidation.
She is also known to campaign against animal abuse as she herself has literally adopted many fur babies who have been abandoned by negligent human beings.
The diabolical actions against her has not made her a person devoid of compassion as she is ultra- sensitive, making her a go to person for anyone ( irrespective of gender) who is dealing with issues related to abuse. While abuse has been prevalent since time immemorial, it has been swept under the proverbial carpet, which has enabled it to rear its ugly head continuously but gutsy folks like Kumu are adamant to rout out the evil by placing themselves as juggernauts even at the expense of being ridiculed publicly on social media. It is a stand only a few can muster and she runs the gauntlet of advocacy day in and day out with a determination that deserves all praise.
Singing her way through life
On a lighter note, we focus on Kumu’s incredible voice, her acting and artistic flair which is awe-inspiring. Her performances are compelling and makes you think that she came out of her mother’s womb singing but for those who are not aware, Kumu discovered her extraordinary talent during her late teens and she attributes Aunty Marianne of Merry an Singers fame to having lovingly drawn her out of her shell.
Exploring her penchant for teaching, she along with a few passionate individuals have formed a choir, aptly titled, Clefolution which literally means resolving both clefs- enabling equally passionate singers, be it amateur or professional to band together and sing to their hearts content. As well, the lockdown period created an opportunity for her to spread her knowledge beyond the shores through online voice training classes which she conducts on a daily basis.
While her nightingale voice has gained recognition, one cannot help swoon at her drawings and that too was a self- taught passion which she dabbles and excels in.
While Kumu’s life has been dotted with trials, she has embraced it all with gumption and stood up tall against the marauding forces, inspiring others to not merely live but thrive!
Dr. Sarah Fazy wins Outstanding Business Woman Award 2022
Recognition of self-made success and dedication
Sri Lanka’s leading Cosmetic and Aesthetic Physician Dr. Sarah Fazy, also fondly known as Dr. Cherry was awarded the Outstanding Business Woman Award 2022 by CEO Magazine’s CEO Awards.
Dedicated to honouring leadership in the business world, the CEO Magazine provides a platform for all genres of corporate icons. At the recently held awards night, Dr. Fazy was honoured for her dedication and for being a self-made woman of success. Her clinic, 360 Wellness, was founded on the principle that the technology reshaping skincare today must be available to all people aiming to improve and maintain their skin and well-being.
King Charles’s Coronation guest list: who’s who of everyone expected to attend
From foreign royals to charity leaders, the invitees are expected to reflect a modern and multicultural Britain
Save-the-date emails have been sent and preparations are underway as the countdown to King Charles’s Coronation in May begins. The final guest list is yet to be confirmed, but the attendees are certain to include an array of foreign royals, heads of state and politicians.
Charles is also understood to want a diverse congregation to reflect modern, multicultural society and ensure that his ceremony is inclusive.Representatives from his many charity affiliations and a large cross section from the voluntary sector will consequently be in attendance.
In contrast, only a small minority of politicians and peers are expected to be invited and far fewer members of the aristocracy than the vast numbers that attended Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.While 8,000 guests crammed into Westminster Abbey for the late Queen’s investiture, the guest list this year has reportedly been cut to around 2,000.
Here, we detail all the guests who are likely to attend the May 6 ceremony.
British Royal family
While King Charles’s Coronation will be a slimmed-down event in comparison to 1953, nearly the entire Royal family will be out in force.Members from across the family, including extended cousins and grandchildren, are expected to attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Even the youngest members of the family – including Prince Louis – are expected to be involved, posing a challenge for their parents about how to rein them in.The big question that remains is whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend.
While the couple have stated that they have been in correspondence with the King’s office regarding the Coronation, they have not confirmed for certain whether they will attend.A spokesman said: “An immediate decision on whether the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”
If either of them does attend, it is understood the visit will be brief. It is not thought that either Archie or his sister, one-year-old Lilibet, will travel to London for the ceremony.Meanwhile, the Duchess of York also revealed at an event in New York earlier this month that she had not yet received an invitation.
“I’m travelling at the moment, so maybe it [invitation] has gone to another place,” she said.
While many members of the family will attend the ceremony, just senior royals are expected to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a fly-past, in line with King Charles’s wish for a more streamlined monarchy.
Queen Consort’s family and friends
Camilla’s family is set to get equal billing at the Coronation, with her five teenage grandchildren expected to be thrust into the limelight for the first time with official duties. It has not yet been confirmed what roles they will carry out, but The Sunday Times reported that the Queen wanted her grandchildren to hold the canopy over her while she is anointed with holy oil. But Palace sources suggested that no such role would be given.
Meanwhile, it is likely that the Queen Consort’s six companions – her replacement to the former ladies-in-waiting – will also attend the event. They were appointed to support and accompany Her Majesty on key occasions.
Members of foreign royal families are also expected to be invited to the ceremony in an historic break with tradition. Convention dating back centuries stated that a coronation should be a sacred ceremony between a monarch and their people in the presence of God.
But King Charles is set to do away with the tradition and invite his counterparts from around the world. A source told The Mail on Sunday: “I believe the rule began because a Coronation is meant to be a monarch’s private event with God.
“At the Queen’s Coronation there were no crowned monarchs, only the protectorate rulers like the Queen of Tonga. It’s been a tradition for centuries.”
The source added: “Inviting the King of Jordan, the Sultan of Brunei, the Sultan of Oman and the Scandinavian royals – who are all friends of Charles – will be a good bit of soft power and diplomacy.”
Some international royals have already indicated that they will attend the ceremony, including Prince Albert of Monaco.Speaking to People magazine, the monegasque head of state said: “I’m certain that it’s going to be an incredible ceremony and a very moving one. We’ve maintained contact since His Majesty became King, but I haven’t talked to him personally since the Queen’s funeral.
“I’m certain His Majesty will add his own personal touches to the ceremonies, but what those will be, I’m sure I don’t know.”
British MPs and peers
Parliamentarians have been in uproar after learning that only a minority will be invited to the ceremony itself. Members have been lobbying the Cabinet Office to argue their case, convinced that they have a right to attend.It was initially planned that just 20 MPs and 20 peers would get a ticket for Westminster Abbey.
These numbers have now been more than doubled, according to those with knowledge of the event. On top of this, there will be extra places reserved for former prime ministers, Cabinet ministers and some members of the Privy Council.An extra event for MPs and peers has also been added to the Coronation line-up – a special reception in Westminster Hall which will take place on the Tuesday before the Coronation and will be attended by the King.
The final decision about which peers and MPs will make the cut will be made by the Cabinet Office, which is keen to ensure that attendees are representative of all parties, geographical locations, ages and backgrounds.
Foreign heads of state
The heads of state and representatives from a number of key British allies and Commonwealth nations are expected to attend the ceremony.Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, is the first head of state to be confirmed as attending the event.
Meanwhile, the most noticeable abscence may be US President Joe Biden, whose attendance is reportedly in doubt. One official suggested it was “unlikely” Mr Biden would be present, while another senior administration official only said the United States would be “represented”. However, they could not yet say whether Mr Biden would go personally, or send a delegation.
Members of the public
Representatives from many of the King’s charity affiliations and a large cross section from the voluntary sector are set to be present at the ceremony. It has already been revealed that refugees and the NHS will be at the heart of the star-studded concert taking place at Windsor Castle on May 8, the day after the Coronation.
One of the highlights will be the performance of the Coronation Choir, a diverse group drawing together singers from the nation’s community choirs, including refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs.
Butterflies and dinosaurs, spaceships and girl-power this avurudu
Hold onto your hats, kiddos! The much-anticipated 2023 Avurudu Collection for kids by Tropic Of Linen has finally arrived – and it’s packed to the brim with quirky prints and playful detail.With its reputation for unique and adorable festive outfits that are a cut above the rest, Tropic Of Linen has earned a name as the go-to destination for Avurudu kids wear – outdoing themselves year after year. This year is no exception, for the 2023 Avurudu edit features not just one-of-a-kind designs, but also incorporates a ‘play’ element in all of its exclusive, two-piece sets.
For the little ladies, Tropic Of Linen has taken the classic redde and hatte designs of vintage Ceylonese tradition and spun them in to something truly unique. The result is a stunning collection of outfits that pay homage to the beauty and charm of traditional Sri Lankan fashion, while still being perfectly on-trend for today’s festivities.
The auspicious ‘multi-colour’ theme for this year was what influenced designer Minha Akram to seek inspiration from the vibrant butterfly, with its beautiful myriad of colour. “We wanted to create something different, while also bringing a sense of play to our outfits,” she said. “Butterflies are spirited, light, fun, and filled with beauty in every combination of colour. So, we created very wearable, play-centred outfits by building in beautiful 3D butterfly wings on to the backs of the tops, resulting in a cross between costume and everyday clothing.”
Girls aged 2 to 9 are in for a treat with five exciting designs to choose from. Little mermaid fans can go pretty in pastels with a seashell motif that will make them feel like a true sea princess. For the bright and bold personality types, ‘Fly High Butterfly’ is the perfect fit, with its 90s girl-power and retro pop art-inspired prints.
Heralding a changing of seasons and the essence of springtime, the lovely ‘Birds and Blossoms’ beige ensemble is for the true flower child, dancing and twirling through the festivities in style.The serene island girl, amidst sunny lemons and the blue ocean will be fresh, bright, and beaming in the Santorini-inspired vintage style set.
Tropic Of Linen has also crafted a delicate and whimsical outfit filled with old world charm and a more elegant quality -the ‘Avurudu Rose’-, featuring exquisite red roses and flowers on a dreamy soft blue background.Avurudu may only come once a year, but all girls’ tops have been designed to be worn over and over again, when paired with other shorts, skirts, or trousers.
Tropic Of Linen has not forgotten the little gents of course, with sarong-shirt sets featuring lively and contemporary prints and designs. For the toddler age group the sarongs come in fun and cutesy prints, while the older ‘big boys’ can rock more modern and edgy motifs. Blast off into unknown galaxies or astro surf to the stars with out of this world space-inspired sets. Even unleash their inner dinosaur with some rock n’ roaring outfits. Easy-to-wear expandable hidden belts come built in to each sarong, so both kids and parents feel secure in knowing the sarong will hold up to all play!
With Tropic of Linen’s attention to detail and unwavering commitment to bringing only the best and most stylish designs to the fore, it’s no wonder parents and kids alike flock to the store at #1 Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7 every April. Kids will love Tropic of Linen’s play centred designs and its characteristically comfortable cotton and linen wear, with also a strong chance to be the best dressed kid on the block this Avurudu season.
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