Pics and text by Jayantha Fernando
Every weekend, Teen Inc., meets extra ordinary young people of various aspects of life. Some worked very hard to reach to the place where they are now, which leads us to feature them in our column. Some of their stories are heart-warming. On our journey in combing the island, for young and inspirational youngsters, we stopped at the heavens of Kandy, where we met this remarkable girl named Ayanthi Matarage. Other than her mother tongue, she is also fluent in French. The moment someone meets her they will notice her observational eyes. She’s currently an under graduate following a degree in Psychology. She is with immense beauty looking at a glamorous career in fashion. However Ayanthi’s child hood was not glamorous. When she was a seven, she lost her father and she had a lonely childhood with her mother. But destiny was not fair to teen Ayanthi as her mother passed away when she was 14. She says that was one of the biggest obstacles she faced in her life. But luckily she was not let alone as she was well looked after by her aunt and her grandmother. And with self discipline she grew up to be a strong young lady.
From pre-school to grade five, Ayanthi attended Good Shepherd Convent, in Kandy. And from there she moved to Kandy Girls high school. She was an avid swimmer during school and she still has not given up her favourite sport. She was a good athlete at school and she participated all inter house sporting events. She was a social person as she took part in girl guiding programmes and the interact club. Her love for arts and literature was shown as she was in the Shakespeare Drama Troupe, School LMD (Literature, Music and Drama) Society. She won the best actress award in 2004 in the all Island drama competition. And in the field of music she was the runners-up in solo singing at the inter school talent contest back in 2007. She was appointed as ‘Ambassador of Girls’ High School, Kandy’, Sri Lanka for the year 2008. She secured the best results in the Arts Stream English medium at her school for A/L in 2008.
Even now at the university she participates in various activities such as DRAMSOC (University of Peradeniya). Her streak of winning continued as she got NSW Scholarship by the Alumni Association of the University of Peradeniya, Sydney Branch in 2011. She was blessed to gain University Scholarship for best performance on the results of the 100 level examinations 2009/2010. She won the M.F. Khan Prize for the greatest competence for 100 level examinations in Arts of the same years.
Ayanthi is a strong Christian and she is an active volunteer at the Ceylon Bible Society. She was lucky enough to represent Sri Lanka and Asia as the youth delegate for the eighth world assembly of the United Bible Societies in 2010 at Korea. She say that it’s her life’s biggest achievement so far. With Nadeeka Perera as her idol, Ayanthi is looking into possibilities in posing as a fashion model as she really enjoys it. So far she has participated in ramp shows and posed in for various product shoots. She does have a restriction herself on clothing when it comes for fashion modelling. She says “I can do anything but bridal, as I will want to wear one only on my special day” with a smile. However, she is hoping to walk on ramp as her part time. Her long term ambition is to be an organizational psychologist of which she is to be graduated at the university.
Views on love
“Love” for me has a multitude of dimensions. God’s sacrificial love is the most amazing of all where He constantly reminds me to have faith and smile through my tears and wait for his plan to take place in its own time.
The love my family has for me is to date the most beautiful that a human can experience as it has undying understanding and warmth that almost seems surreal at times.
Message to people on life
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) (NIV)
I consider this to be the motto of my life as it helps me think twice about my words and actions before I intentionally harm another at all times humanly possible.
However, it is easier said than done as all humans are prone to error and therefore tend to be selfish in our ways and thoughts leading to sorrow, anger and sin.
Nevertheless, what is important is not to pine over the mistakes and the regrets but to realize that bad times pass with time allowing everyone another chance at life. Only then one realizes that one’s success in the present is mostly a result of the courage and the experience they gained from all those rough patches in the past when they once thought they couldn’t bear the pain anymore.
So I say live life, test boundaries and do not let anyone put you down or limit your potential. Most of all have faith in yourself to rise above the pain. After all “A diamond is a piece of charcoal that handled stress extremely well”.