Fourteen-year-old Kirushalini Francis is from the fishing village of Maniyanthoddam in Nallur DS Division in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. She is the youngest child in her family of 4 siblings. Her father is a fisherman who goes fishing in someone else’s boat and gets a meager daily income. Her mother is a housewife. Kirushalini has two older sisters and one older brother. She studies English and ICT at Horizon Academy and attends Holy Family Convent, Jaffna (a public school) for formal education.
Kirushalini has an amazing talent as a dancer, singer and organ player. She sings in any language if you provide her Romanized lyrics. She plays the organ for her church choir. If you watch her dancing, you would be surprised by the way she imitates any professional dancer’s steps and dance moves. She is good at her own choreography too. You can watch her dancing in these two video clips attached to this memorandum. Here she is dancing to a song sung by the present-day Bollywood singing sensation Shreya Ghoshal for the movie Guru. The original dance was performed for the song by none other than the former Miss World, an electrifying actress Aishwarya Rai. Little Kirushalini imitated the steps in no time and also added some of her own steps to add spice to the beauty queen’s dance. (In the video, the song is sung by two teenage girls at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam over the voice and the soundtrack of the original song composed by the Academy Award-winning Indian maestro A. R. Rahman.)
Having seen Horizon Academy kids’ dancing talents on Facebook and YouTube, the organizers of the Annual Prize Giving 2018, the Rotaract Club of Jaffna Peninsula invited some girls from Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam to perform a dance item to entertain the crowd. These three kids, Kayalvili, Kirushalini and Vanmathi (11, 12, 11) immediately took the challenge and performed this dance on the stage. These young girls are so confident now they would perform even before a crowd of thousands of people. (See the video recorded at the event below.)
Though small in stature for a fourteen-year-old, Kirushalini is a pretty good athlete too. Whatever sports she takes part in, be it cricket, soccer, volleyball or any other sport, she is a very keen and a smart player. She mostly uses her brain than brawn in the execution of her smart moves in any sport that she takes part in.
The only other student I can recall who can match little Kirushalini’s kind of talent, in my 21-year-old teaching career was Ms. Radhika Rajapaksha, who I met when she was just a 9-year-old child, who later became one of the smartest students of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya in Anuradhapura district. Radhika is now a qualified English language teacher who is reading for a bachelor’s degree in arts as an external student in a leading university in Sri Lanka. Radhika too as a child was adept in all fields that little Kirushalini is good at. I hope Kirushalini would reach even higher status academically in the future.
At present, her ambition is to become a dance teacher, but with her natural talents, I would say, the “sky is the limit” for her. Good luck, Kirushalini with your endeavors academically and aesthetically for the future. Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam will be behind you to see you grow up to your full potential and be a role model to the rest of the students. We will do our best to help you achieve your dreams for the future.
Nanda Wanninayaka – Chairman – Horizon Lanka Foundation