By Team Mangalorean - UK
Not many artistes have sustained the obscurity that they have been pushed into, be it their failure to make an impact or relocation or other personal reasons and commitments. A very few have shrugged the ‘one hit wonder’ tag and survived in the ever evolving entertainment industry. One such artiste is Stanislaus Mendonca, who now resides in the North West of England.
Born into a simple yet hard working family, Stanislaus never allowed the hardships of life come in the way of exhibiting his talents. Born at Angelore he was brought up in Cascia parish where his family moved due to circumstances. It was in this parish that he got his first break and began performing on stage. He began acting and singing as early as a teenager and later on went on to write his own songs.
It was during this time that he was in the spotlight and came into contact with Wilfy Rebimbus, one of the most famous singers of Konkani. Under his inspiration Stanislaus successfully staged two ‘Stan Nites’ in Mangalore, at which Wilfy himself was the guest of honour.
Seeking a better future, Stanislaus later moved to Oman where he still continued to contribute in every way possible towards Konkani.
Now he is settled in Sunderland, UK with his family. He is the current president of UK Konkans (www.ukkonkans.com), a pioneering organisation established in the UK to promote Konkani and support existing talents and bring out new talents on stage.
Despite his busy schedule (he was planning to go on holidays to Mangalore) Stanislaus was kind enough to talk to us in an exclusive interview for Mangalorean.com.
It is our privilege to have you with us for this short interview on behalf of mangalorean.com. Anjelore to Cascia to Oman to Sunderland – Are there any stop-overs missed out here?
Well life has been kind to me and taken me on quite an interesting journey thus far. These destinations or stop-overs that you may call have been necessary to make me what I am today. Some of these have been forced upon and some voluntary. You have been spot on, no stop-overs missed.
You are now a father for the second time. How do you cope with life’s demands with a new baby, new place and with absolutely no support from any family members? Has the new responsibility changed anything at all?
Well, as you know, life has its own ways to bring things around. Just when you think all is done, it produces surprises. A new baby is a blessing upon us, and that is yet another reason for me to spend more time with the family. Responsibilities make a better person from what you are and therefore, I must say the new responsibility is perhaps bringing out the best in me. Also, not having any vital support on the family front makes me and my wife Jyothi more resilient to the hardships that life throws at us.
With the challenges that you face in your daily life, do you get enough time for yourself to do what you like to do most?
Time waits for none. Challenges come your way, whether you like them or not. You have got to plan your time and arrange your priorities and that makes you successful. I plan everything in advance and ensure that I stick to it, thereby not causing any inconvenience to myself or those who depend on my schedule.
What made you decide to join UK Konkans?
My love towards Konkani and the enthusiasm that keeps me going. Moreover, I had heard about their events and read their reviews which convinced me to be a part of the organisation.
You are the current president of UK Konkans. Could you enlighten us on what is UK Konkans and what does UK Konkans aim to achieve.
The true fact is that I never dreamt of holding any position within UK Konkans. I must admit that I had an aim and enthusiasm to keep Konkani alive and buzzing wherever I go. UK Konkans is one of the pioneer organisations set up exclusively to support Konkani speaking people and promote Konkani cultural and social activities. Through a democratic process, our members wished me to be the leader to run UK Konkans and I am trying my best to offer more and more programs to our Konkani community and serve my mother tongue in every possible way.
Do you get enough support from Mangaloreans in the UK and in what way does our Mangalorean community support you to achieve your goals.
Definitely we have excellent support from our Mangalorean Konkani people. Every year we organise two regular events, viz. "Konkan Day" and "Nathalanso Sambhram" and people travel from far away places to join us in large numbers. It is amazing to see Mangaloreans travel so many miles and hours to attend our events. We are ever so grateful to each and every one of our supporters and well wishers without whom it would have been impossible to reach this far in such a short period. The smile on their faces and the words of appreciation we receive from them makes us feel successful and encourage us to give our best to them with every future event.
What other activities have you been involved with in the past?
I have always been active in one way or the other. A few to mention where I was personally involved are my own two "Stan Nites" performed at Don Bosco hall in Mangalore in 1996 and 1998. I have acted in many Konkani Dramas and have been singing for more than 15 years for various music groups in Mangalore and around.
How was the support you received from Mangaloreans in those days differ from that you are getting now in the UK.
It would be unfair if we begin to compare. Here in the UK we have countable Konkani families; moreover I am quite new to this place, but still, I can confidently say that people are getting to know me now and extending their support to me in one way or another. In Mangalore, you have a vastly spread community and the support I received was tremendous.
Is it worthwhile the amount of time and energy you put into these various activities that you are involved with now?
Yes it has helped me to bring out my talent and get recognised in the society. It is an awesome feeling when your hidden treasures are given a boost and you perform to those very people who support you.
Where is the next destination for you?
I am a strong believer in destiny. The journey is long, but one should be contented where ever it takes you. Like everyone, I too have a dream. It would be wonderful if I could get an opportunity to perform in the Middle East where Mangaloreans are in plenty. If some Konkani association comes forward to support me I would be indebted to them. But as I said I don’t know where my destiny will lead me.
Do you have any projects in the pipeline?
Yes! My first Konkani Album will be released very shortly. Catholic Sabha Kelarai has organised my third "Stan Nite" on 5th November 2006 at Kelarai School Grounds. My album will be released on this occasion.
We are grateful to you for your time and this interview. Do you have any special message for mangalorean.com and for our community?
You guys have been doing very well in supporting every Mangalorean and their causes. Keep up the excellent work that you have been doing over the past three years. I wish to thank mangalorean.com for taking the initiative to expose me to the world. Please support new talents and encourage them to come up. I would expect our community to support every new artiste and work together in keeping Konkani alive and passing on the baton on to the future generations.
Mangalorean.com thanks Stanlislaus Mendonca for sharing his thoughts with us and wishes him many more accolades in his singing career.