Joyce Nyupeh wins Kumang Gawai Dayak Samarahan title
By Jude Toyat
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can do it. Do not be afraid of your fears, they are there to let you know that something is worth it,” said 22-year-old Joyce Nyupeh after being named the winner for Kumang Gawai Dayak Samarahan 2015 at The Summer Shopping Mall here on June 12.
She beat eight other finalists in Kumang Gawai Dayak Samarahan 2015 for the coveted title, walking away with a cash prize of RM700.
Of Bidayuh parentage, this is her third accomplishment in the beauty pageant line. She was the first runner-up for REDEEMS Dayung Sikora in 2012, and the winner for Dayung Sangon organised by Women’s Association and Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) in Bau in 2013.
“I did not expect to win since I am the only Bidayuh in this competition, the rest are Ibans. I am very happy and thankful to be named the winner. The winnings will be used to buy accessories for my traditional costumes,” she said when interviewed after the event.
The only child in her family, Joyce who aspires to become a teacher cited her mother, Nyupeh Chongem, as her biggest influence. “I am raised by a single mother. I admire her hard work, perseverance and determination in raising me alone. I promise to myself that I will always do the best for her.”
Coming in second in the competition was 21-year-old Christie Elevon Runggai of Iban parentage from Kapit. The Diploma in Information Management student from UiTM Kota Samarahan won the cash prize of RM500.
Meanwhile, Form 6 student from SMK Kota Samarahan, Felicia Senen, 18, of Iban parentage from Samarahan placed third and received a cash prize of RM300. All top three winners also received a trophy, a sash, and a certificate of participation.
Other finalists that include Georgina Steel (19 from Sarikei), Sanganwati Kenadawang (21, Samarahan), Mialanie Miang (18, Miri), Loveline Cathi Mangi (23, Lundu), Laie Ligam (23, Kanowit), and Nyura Tedong (21, Kanowit) received consolation prizes of RM100 each and a certificate of participation.
The performances for the evening were Iban singers Alon Lupeng and Jessica Remaya. Elvis impersonator Ges Berundang also performed several Elvis Presley songs. The ‘miring’ and ‘ngiling tikai’ ritual were also performed.
The grand final was hosted by organising committee member Bolhassan Mohammad and RTM newscaster Gracia Vicky Chua, while the panel of judges comprising Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) president Margaret Phillip Bedus, Associate Editor at Tribune Press Sdn Bhd Valentine Tawie, Miss Cultural Harvest Festival 2013 Rosalind Sajah Robert, Miss Cultural Harvest Festival 2014 Stepheni Johari, and Iban singer Angela Martin.
Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang also attended the event.