Joshua Lennet, a model of self-worth
By Jude Toyat
Having a charming personality and being well-built do not necessarily guarantee success for a model and those in the pageantry world.
For Sarawakian Joshua Lennet, one must also be well-versed in their own culture and tradition, as the world of modelling can become a great platform to showcase them to the rest of the world.
“I became interested in entering the world of pageantry and becoming a model ever since I knew I had something to offer, especially where I can promote my culture, my country and not only be judged by outer strength but what I had to offer on the inside,” said the 24-year-old up-and-coming model.
A Kayan from Long Panai, Joshua who stands at 179cm tall and weighs 74kg is also an operation technician with Petronas Carigali in Miri.
“It never occurred to me to do modelling as a side career, but when I look back at my progression since first joining the pageant world, I realised that I had something to share along this path and so I pursued it,” he said, explaining that he has since learnt a lot from his stints as a model like mixing with people, expressing himself and how he could become a role model to youngsters.
Currently doing freelance modelling, he admits that his progress has been a bit slow since he just joined Petronas in June last year, but he’s being well taken care of by Borneo Pageantry, an organisation that coaches and grooms aspiring models and pageant contestants.
“We have been doing internal photo shoots for our own profile and currently planning to set me up for a higher level. Also, I got involved in a music video with our local singer CJ for his song ‘Demam Cinta’. I hope people will also love my acting in the video.”
The attitude behind the face
Although he is a bit picky about his diet, Joshua admits that it does not mean that he does not have any guilty pleasures especially when it comes to his favourite food.
“When I’m on duty offshore, I do cardio and weight training daily. When I’m back onshore for my off week, I may skip one or two days depending on my priorities, like family programmes or others,” he said, adding that he even hits the gym when he’s free. “It just does not feel good when a day passes without sweating in the gym.”
It is often said that a good model should have good personality, but according to Joshua, who describes himself as an easy-going person, adventurous and moderate, passion comes first.
“For me, to be a good model, first thing you need is your passion. Secondly, is your commitment and discipline for what you love. This will drive you more towards your passion and improving yourself.”
He also believes that good attitude is a must.
“In every achievement you make, stay humble and never be overwhelmed by it. In fact, share those experiences with other people and be a good role model so that people will always look up to you,” he said, adding that it is important to treat others sincerely with respect and honesty and accept them for who they are, the same way he would like to be treated.
The hardest part about being in the industry for Joshua is that he has had to reject quite a few offers like upcoming shows and projects due to his work shift, which is part of the challenge of working offshore.
“However, I am getting more stable and ready to pursue my dream on this path. Other than that, it is the negativity from some parties, but that does not stop me as I am taking it positively and treating it as one of the challenges that I have to face.
“As long as I am walking in the right direction, I just have to ignore things that try to drag me down,” he said.
On what he likes best about being in the industry, Joshua said that it was the opportunity to widen his social circle and work on self-development.
“I get the chance to travel, to walk and perform on stage. Other than that, it is one of the greatest feelings when people appreciate my talent and continue to support what I am doing.”
But it wasn’t all smooth-sailing for the hunky model as he began to recount his first bad experience in the industry.
“When I first joined the industry a few years back, I had been cheated by a few parties, who said they were from a modelling agency and asked for my details and photos, but I found out that they wanted something else from me, which was just inappropriate.
“After that, I stopped proceeding with my dream in modelling. It happened a few times actually,” said Joshua, adding that after the Borneo Pageantry team took him under their wings, now he has started building himself up again.
Besides modelling, Joshua revealed that he has also an impressive talent in dancing, especially in traditional dance, so much so that he won the Mister Talent subtitle of the Jejaka Idola Berkarisma (JIB) last year, a competition he also won.
He was also president for the cultural club in high school and UiTM Kota Samarahan where they travelled and performed.
“I am also a member of a cultural club in Miri. We have been involved with weddings and other dinner events. We also performed in Kuala Lumpur for Mr and Miss Borneo Tourism Malaysia 2014,” he added.
On his goals as a model, he said that he would love to get involved in any upcoming modelling projects and get the chance to represent his country at an international level.
“I love to share what my country has to offer to the world. Ten years from now, I hope I would get tonnes of experiences that I can share with all the talented youngsters out there,” he said.
After winning the Keling Belawan competition held in Miri in 2012, he’s set to participate as one of the finalists of Mister Universal Ambassador Malaysia and the Borneo Hornbill Festival.
“Mister Universal Ambassador will be one of the platforms that will give me the chance to represent Malaysia at an international level if I were selected for the title,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the Borneo Hornbill Festival will offer me the chance to promote my culture and drive me to take a closer look at it as I need to prepare myself for the role by doing a lot of research.”
Mister Universal Ambassador Malaysia will be held in Kota Kinabalu from July 22 to 25. The event organised by JL Properties & Co, headed by its national director Faris Noah, will then proceed to a world event to be held in Bali, Indonesia in September.
Mister Universal Ambassador Malaysia aims to find a Malaysian representative with a whole package quality, involve in charity events and to promote Malaysian heritage and tourism.
Twenty finalists, eight from Peninsular Malaysia, six from Sabah, and six from Sarawak will compete in the competition that will then bring the winner to represent Malaysia at Bali, Indonesia in September for Mister Universal Ambassador World.
The winner will also get the chance to be involved in charity events focusing on HIV and AIDS kids-education fund campaign. He will also receive prizes totalling to RM10,000, including a trophy and the chance to get involved in the local entertainment industry.
For more information, visit their Facebook page at Mister Universal Ambassador Malaysia, or log on to www.mruniversalambassador.com.
Meanwhile, the Borneo Hornbill Festival will be held in Kuala Lumpur this May. The Mister Borneo Ethnic Pageant of the festival will award the most deserving ethnic warrior from Sarawak and Sabah.
“I hope that every competition that I am or will be going through can offer something for the contestant even after the competition is done, like a charity or a community project,” he said.
Living by his motto, ‘You are born to be the head, not the tail’, Joshua has some advice to youngsters, including pageant contestants and aspiring models out there.
“Follow your dream. Be humble and continuously learning, never give up. Always be yourself, which is the best thing that you can offer. Have faith in God, have a good attitude and always walk on the bright side.
“Lastly, always stay positive because involving with this, you are going to face a lot of negativities that will try to put you down. However, do not be afraid, take it positively and show them what you got.”