Dialog recently hosted its 14th edition of #ngage, an open tech forum where enthusiasts from all walks of life come to share their knowledge, experiences, and ideas as well discuss emerging trends in both technology and the internet. On top of that, the forum also encourages interaction between the audience and the speakers.
The latest edition of #ngage was held on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at the Dialog head office auditorium. The event agenda featured presentations from three prominent media personalities: Kasun and Chamri Deegodagamage, Danu Innasithamby, and Yazmin Yousuf.
Chamri and Kasun took the stage first to talk about their shared passion for travelling, which was apparent even before they were married and still continues to this day. The couple first began posting about their travel adventures on Instagram and later on YouTube. Within a year, their Instagram following had grown to over 22.5K followers, and their YouTube channel currently has over 30K subscribers. In addition to their prominence on social media, they also shared valuable knowledge and experience gained from travelling all over Sri Lanka, including some amusing bloopers of their vlogs as well as an insightful Q&A session with the audience.
Next, Danu took to the stage to relate the story of the ‘Jaffna boy turned Colombo diva’, a label with which he is admittedly quite pleased. Danu spent his younger days in a well-to-do family in Jaffna. However, all that changed as the ongoing civil war escalated. Like many, Danu and his family found themselves living in a refugee camp for some time before eventually moving to Colombo.
Shortly afterwards, Danu began working in radio and writing columns. But with a desire to do something different, he founded WTF. Contrary to what most people assume it to mean, Danu’s interpretation of WTF was simply a case of What To Find, Where To Find, When to find, and Who To find. Not surprisingly, he received more than a few objectionable responses for using it, but the name stuck.
Danu also spoke about Sri Lanka Smiles, a project which he created after recognising elementary barriers faced by many individuals in areas like finance, transport, attire, and linguistics. Sri Lanka Smiles is all about helping people overcome these barriers in order to achieve their goals.
Finally, it was the turn of music journalist and radio host Yazmin Yousuf to take the stage. Yazmin’s talk was about her time and experiences working in Sri Lanka and her passion towards promoting local music. Since arriving in Sri Lanka in 1997, Yazmin has worked with many prominent radio channels including E FM – coincidently where she first met Danu – TNL Radio, and currently, YES FM.
Over the course of a few years, Yazmin developed a thorough appreciation for the local music scene, much of which was not receiving adequate exposure or promotion at the time except through the efforts of people like Anil Balasuriya and TNL Radio.
Yazmin also spoke about the creation of yazminyousuf.lk, now rebranded as decibel.lk, to provide a platform for local artists to gain recognition among audiences and other musicians. As Yazmin herself asked the audience near the end of her address, “You can release a song, but what if you don’t really reach out to that one person who you could truly resonate with?”
After that and a brief Q&A session, local artist Buddhi de Mal brought the event to a close by performing a few of his original songs.
Cover image credits: Nazly Ahmed / Roar Media