IT’S no secret – pageant queens are often (wrongly) stereotyped as pretty faces who can’t do much else. Try telling that to Dewi Liana Seriestha, 24, Miss World Malaysia 2014.
Dewi has been working hard to develop her considerable talents in the performing arts since she was 10.
She won Bintang Kecil RTM in 2000, was the youngest contestant on singing competition series Mentor 1 in 2005, acted in local productions like Kembali and Nilai Cinta Diana, and represented the country at the 2014 World Championships of Performing Arts competition in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
And last month, while representing Malaysia at the Miss World finals in London, all that hard work paid off as Dewi won the Miss Talent title, trumping Miss Scotland in a live sing-off.
Today, Dewi has to juggle between being a performer, brand ambassador, student and, of course, Miss World Malaysia. It might seem like a lot to handle – and it is – but Dewi is not complaining one bit.
“I have a strong passion for the entertainment business, and being in the industry gives me great satisfaction, especially when I succeed,” she said.
“I want to be an icon and a role model. That’s why I’ve always pushed myself to do as much as possible, even things that are outside my comfort zone.”
I worked my butt off. I spent three to four hours a day just practising my singing during the pageant month.
Meant for bigger things
Born and raised in Sarawak, Dewi first discovered her aptitude for performing when she joined and won the Kuching Junior Karaoke contest in 1999.
Performing came quite naturally to the young entertainer, as both her parents were musicians themselves. Her father, particularly, had an active jazz band, which served as a platform for Dewi to hone her skills.
The precocious young girl was also not averse to grabbing every opportunity to feature her many talents – be it singing, modeling or acting. Then, dgfev online casino in 2005, her family relocated to Kuala Lumpur and, well, the rest is history.
“There were many small-time competitions in and around Kuching, actually. But being in KL was another thing altogether. There are much bigger opportunities here and a more conducive environment for meeting new people,” Dewi explained.
Sacrificing for success
Being committed to what she does hasn’t been easy, even if it seems glamorous. Dewi admits she has to be completely immersed in the industry in order to be successful.
“Sometimes, I don’t even have time to myself. But I see it as a necessary sacrifice, and the support of my family has also made it easier for me,” said the music student who is in the final year of her diploma at the Akademi Seni Budaya & Warisan Kebangsaan.
Dewi admits it has been tough completing her studies while maintaining her hectic schedule, especially with the many commitments of being Miss World Malaysia.
Additionally, as the brand ambassador of Jaya Shopping Centre, she will have to split her time between studying, acting, modeling, singing and making appearances on behalf of the mall. But if there’s anything we’ve learnt about Dewi, it is that she’ll definitely be able to handle it.
Winning the Miss Talent title against women from across the world wasn’t easy.
“I worked my butt off. I spent three to four hours a day just practising my singing during the pageant month.
Not everyone would want this kind of life, but I enjoy it.
“We were already very busy with Miss World activities and rehearsals, so we didn’t have much time to relax or do anything else. I’m so glad it paid off,” said Dewi.
“This year will be a new beginning for my career as a singer. Right now, I’m just focused on completing my studies and then maybe I’ll make an album later this year.”
There will definitely be new challenges ahead for Dewi, but it is something she is already preparing for physically, mentally and emotionally.
“Not everyone would want this kind of life, but I enjoy it,” she said. “If you’re passionate about it, I’d say just be yourself, love what you’re doing and be confident.”