DURIN EDWARD JELANI, who dreams of becoming a pilot, was crowned the winner of the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) 2010 Kumang Gawai pageant.
The 21-year-old lass from Sarikei, went on a double joy when she was also crowned Miss Star Photogenic.
Durin won RM5,000 for the grand title and RM1,000 for the subsidiary title, which was sponsored by The Star. On top of that, Durin is now an SDNU ambassador.
“I’m glad to have been crowned the winner in two categories tonight. I did not expect to win the grand title, let alone two titles, because all the finalists were beautiful and intelligent,” she said after the finale at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre in Kuching on Saturday night.
On her prize money, she said part of it would be used to help her family and the rest for her studies.
“I come from a poor family. My father is blind and my younger sister has dyslexia. Being the eldest in the family, anything I earn will have to be shared with my family,” said Durin, who works as an administrative clerk in a private company.
Judging for this year’s SDNU Kumang Gawai pageant has been tweaked, placing more emphasis on public speaking.
Some 20% is based on speaking abilities while poise and personality covers 30% and the remainder is on beauty.
Durin had what it takes. She has the poise, personality, beauty and speaks fluent English with confidence.
When on stage, she told the more than 1,000 audience including the guest of honour Social Development and Ubanisation Minister Datuk Seri William Mawan Ikom, if she became the SDNU ambassador she would do her best to carry out her task, especially in promoting the state’s unique culture and tradition.
Another favourite Ethel Lampai Ringgit, 23, had to be satisfied with second placing while Elaine Madu Martin was adjudged the third place winner.
The former walked away with RM3,000 plus trophy, sash, bouquet while the latter won RM2,000 plus trophy, sash and bouquet. All finalists also received RM400 consolation prize.
Other finalists were Belinda Gibson, Florence Awat, Erlin Pandong, Leely Onasis Ukoon, Shirley Jimeli, Ema Greek, Wandylia Salleh, Jessica Brown, Prishiela Robert Galayan, Adeline Ngelambong and Natasha Charmaine Rickson.