Multi-talented, Madhavee, a discovery par excellence | Sunday Observer

Multi-talented, Madhavee, a discovery par excellence

Madhavee Wathsala. pix by Thilak Perera
Madhavee Wathsala. pix by Thilak Perera

Madhavee Wathsala is a multi-talented young lady whose name is known by many in Sri Lanka. She is someone who has successfully combined vastly different spheres and made a name for herself. TV audiences eagerly await her presentations on HiruTV and on tele dramas while other fans await her movie appearances and songs.

Youth Observer spoke to this highly talented actress, singer and dancer to give our youthful readers an insight into her life which is agreat example of making the best of your talents.

Acting, singing and dancing are in Madhavee’s blood for she is the daughter of Jackson Anthony and Kumari Munasinghe, two renowned persons on the Sri Lankan stage, movie and teledrama fields. The two young stars Akila Danuddhara and Sajitha Anuththara are her brothers.

Thus, she was born into what she described as ‘a world of culture’ in her home. Acting, singing, dancing, drawing, history and archaeology were all woven in to the web of life at the Anthony home.

Madhavee entered the World of Arts at an early age. Mother Kumari took her to an audition at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and she was graded as an A grade child singer and today, as an adult she is still categorised as an A grade singer by SLBC.

This is no wonder as both parents are accomplished singers and has obviously endowed their daughter with the talent of singing.

She attributes much of her childhood success to Hapan Padura, a children’s singing program broadcast live on Swarnavahini. It gave her confidence and taught her much. “I am so glad I was a part of this program” says Madhavee. Musical direction for the program was by Asela Bandara Dissanayake while Jackson Anthony directed and Thusitha Wimalasiri produced it.

An actress was born when Madhavee acted in father Jackson Anthony’s EsalaKaluwara at the tender age of seven. She played the role of the younger sister of Kannagi, the leading lady. At the age of 13 Madhavi was chosen by Ananda Abeynayake for an episode in his poya day series SithaNivana Katha. She played the role of a girl who liked to harass animals and birds but underwent a complete change of heart when she was given a parrot of her own. “I am very grateful to Mr. Abeyanayake for choosing me and supporting me. It was an experience which taught me a lot and boosted my – confidence” Madhavee said.

Si Raja and Dascon are two teledramas which brought Madahavi Wathsala very much into the limelight. Dascon directed by father Jackson brought Madahavia Merit Award for acting and singing at the 2016 Sumathi Tele Awards. Her portrayal of Palinguachchi in Dascon won for Madhavi the Award for the Upcoming Actress at the Raigam Tele Awards also in 2016. Her citation included both her singing and acting abilities. In 2018, Madhavee received nomination as the Best Teledrama Singer for Si Raja at both the National Tele Awards and the Sumathi Tele Awards.

Acting with brother Akila Danuddhara in Si Raja and Patali was a novel and enjoyable experience for Madhavi.

Madhavee’s single Oba Epa in became an instant hit in 2018 and the lyrics and melody was by Shan.

When she was twelve Madhavee sang the song PipladaSunimal for her mother Kumari’s album.

Currently, she is a presenter at Hiru TV and also lectures at a private university Management and Science Instituition.

Having started her schooling at Holy Cross College, Gampaha, Madhavee has been a bright student securing eight A’s at the GCE Ordinary Level examination which she sat from Holy Family Convent, Bamabalapitiya. Her mentor in her young days has been her Maternal Grandmother, fondly known as Munasinghe Teacher by the people in the Ganemulla area as she had been an English Teacher.

After her O/Ls Madhavee switched to Visakha Vidyalaya, Bambalapitiya for her A/Ls as some subjects she wanted were not available at the convent. She then gained entrance to the University of Kelaniya to read for her Bachelor of Arts degree in archaeology and is a fully qualified archaeologist.

It is father Jackson Anthony who has inculcated a love of history and archaeology in Madhavee. He and Kumari had also taken the children to visit historical and cultural sites thus awakening a love of history and culture. When Madhavee was sitting for her A/Ls Jackson was involved in producing Maha Sinhale WanshaKathawa and this brought her into contact with professors, archaeologists, researchers and others involved in history, archaeology and culture firing her love and enthusiasm for these spheres.

Her involvement with history and archaeology fuelled an interest in Tourism in Madhavee for the two are so closely linked. It has also led her to change tracks and she is now reading for her Masters in Tourism Management at the University of Colombo.

She has served as the Curator of the museums at the J.R. Jayewardene Cultural Centre and the SAARC Cultural Centre. She also worked at Sigiriyaas assistant Curator of the museum under Curator Kusumsiri Kodituwakku.

This was a very interesting and informative experience for Madhavee, especially the exploration of the surrounding areas where there is much more of the Sigiriya heritage to be discovered. ‘Only the western side of Sigiriya has been really brought to light yet says she.

“Tourism is Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner and our culutural heritage is very under utilised” says Madhavee. “So much more can be done to attract tourists and especially in showcasing and drawing tourists to our priceless heritage”.

Modelling is another area where Madhavee Wathsala has made her mark having modeled for many bridal shows.

What you wear is a reflection of yourself and your moods said Madhavee. She wears what suits her and does not follow fashion blindly.

She is equally at home in Western, Oriental and Sri Lankan attire and is very oarticular to dress to suit the occasion.A Catholic by birth she says God and Nature are synonymous with each other. She also respects Buddhism.

“It is a philosophy, a way of life and not a religion. “ So, anyone can follow it. I love listening to bana. I also believe in Karma. According to Madhavee, in Karma you reap what you sow. Good deeds will bring beneficial results and vice versa.

Madhavee says that today youth lack a sense of gratitude and compassion and these are downsides of modern life. On the plus side she says technological development is amazing and people should make use of it.

Social media and the Internet are very beneficial says Madhavee but people especially should not abuse it. Getting addicted to them is not good and neither should they be used in ways harmful to yourself and others.

For relaxation Madhavee sings, draws and indulges in creative handicraft.

Madhavee and her two brothers wed the loves of their lives at a unique triple wedding recently. “We never started off with the idea of a joint wedding but then someone- I can’t remember who- suggested it and we said why not? and went ahead.

Madhavee married Milan Silva who is employed at Sri Lankan Airlines and Akila married Amanda Vanderwert, a free lance interior decorator. Sajitha’s bride is Bhuvinika Halvitige, a Chartered Accountant.

The couples had a church ceremony and a poruwa ceremony where all three couples were on one podium. At the Church Madhavee led the way to the altar followed by Akila and Amanda and then Sajitha and Bhuvinika.

Madhavee was dressed by Chandimal Jayasinghe and she wore a traditional Kandyan saree for the poruwa and a dress for the church ceremony. The outfits were by Charith Wijesekere.

This versatile young lady says husband Milan supports her in her work in every way and she is also very grateful to her parents, brothers, sisters in law and family, Dr. Channa Wijewardene (her dancing Guru), Ananda Abeynayake and each and every one who has helped and supported her.

Youth Observer wishes Madhavee the Best of Luck!