In June this year HOME hosted the HOME Talent Pageant 2014, a unique pageant, that focuses on skills rather than beauty, and that aims to show that domestic workers have many other talents aside from cleaning and cooking. Six months after the event, we wanted to see how joining this pageant has shaped the life of its contestants. We asked HOME Talent Pageant 2104 winner, Enok Sunani, to share her experiences on the HOME blog.
My name is Enok Sunani, and I come from West Java, Indonesia. In September 2001, I landed at Changi airport to work in Singapore as a domestic helper.
Back in Indonesia I never had the chance to attend school for financial reasons, so I took the opportunity to upgrade myself while I was in Singapore. I completed a computer course with HOME, and started English classes as well as courses in entrepreneurship.
Sisi Sukiato, who works for HOME, was the first person to ask me to join the HOME Talent Pageant. At first, I said no to her. I was very shy, and did not have confidence in myself. I am very short (petit), and I have a rather dark skin complexion. But Sisi told me I should try and make my country and fellow foreign domestic workers proud. So I was the first to register.
At the time I registered for the HOME TALENT PAGEANT, I had just completed my first course. I started volunteering for HOME, in the HOME MUSICAL group, and was keen to help out at the English classes as a teacher, or assistant teacher as soon as I had my certificate. Then, I got caught up in the excitement of the pageant.
Now the pageant is over, but for me, it is just the beginning. Last July, I performed on stage with HOME KARTINI MUSICAL at the Hari Raya Mega Bazaar to raise funds for the needy Singaporean. We were all very happy to do this, even though we were all busy and fasting at the time.
I am really glad I joined the HOME Talent Pageant. What I liked most about the pageant was getting the chance to meet people from different backgrounds and communities. And off course, the sessions where we learned how to walk on a catwalk were great. I had never worn high heels before!
We got to work with exciting people like supermodel Hanis Hussey, and performer Pamela Wildheart. These ladies have become great inspirations for me, and I really appreciate all their hard work, and that of Cristina Santos who was always there for us during our practices. And off course, I should not forget the HOME Talent Pageant committee, who are the unsung heroes behind the successful pageant. The committee, all foreign domestic workers themselves, was so friendly, kind and supportive. I salute all the candidates and committees for being professional and hard working!
During the HOME Talent Pageant I have learned to work with different people in the group, and found that communication was really important as we were all from different communities. I never knew I could do all the things I did onstage, and getting to know what my talents are is just the best thing that ever happened to me. I have gained a lot of confidence, and have even started to wear high heels more often now. What made me even happier is that and I was able to teach other candidates, and that I could practice whilst sharing what I had learned.
To me winning means achieving what you set out to accomplish, either personally, or as a part of a team.
And, last but not least … I am looking forward to the next round: HOME Talent Pageant 2015