A celebrity couple | Sunday Observer

A celebrity couple

Dushyanth Weeraman and Stephanie Siriwardhana are household names and role models for the new generations. Why?

Dushyanth Weeraman is a singing and dancing star who is making waves in the music industry with songs which speak to your heart and keep your feet a-tapping. Stephanie is a beauty queen now involved in philanthropy, singing, compering and hosting.

As young marrieds they say they are enjoying the journey and spending time together is obviously key to them. Despite their hectic and sometimes conflicting schedules they make time for themselves.  Both enjoy cooking and eating out. Discovering new eating-places is something they love to indulge in. Hanging out with friends, movies, travel, reading and naturally music rate high on their relaxation agenda.

For Dushyanth, his entry into the world of entertainment was a step-by–step process. At his Alma Mater, Royal College he was a performer and having an older brother, Santhush on the music scene  was also an influence. However, the catalyst for Dushyanth to dazzle as a star was his winning the all island Showboat singing championship in 2000. Veteran singing teacher, Mary Anne David who was present at the event ordered him to be present at her singing class the next week. Dushyanth joined the class and started vocal training in Western classical music. Soon, Dushyanth was starring in local musicals. He played the lead roles in Jehan Aloysius’ productions of RAG and the Workshop Players’ ‘Phantom of the Opera’ where he played Raoul. It became a talking point among theatre goers. He also played the lead role in Guttila, an innovative musical based on the Guttila Jathakaya by Uddaka Tennakoone with the music being handled  and produced by Duleep Gabadamudalige. His first song Pana Senahasa was released in 2004. It was a hit song as are  all his songs which include the much loved Jetthu Noney, Karaliya, Nelum Vilen, Vasana Lovak, Mathake Hasarel, Dedunna Wage, Gomara Mala and Omari Latha. Currently, Dushyanth is going places with his bands Kurumba and D-Star doing gigs at weddings, corporate events, dances and others of their ilk.Winning the Sirasa ‘Dancing Star’ was another feather in Dushyanth’s hat. For many years he taught dancing to many children and adults alike. Dushyanth later entered the silver screen with his debut movie Dancing Star which made history by breaking all time records at the time. Soon after, Dushyanth starred with Sir Ben Kingsley in the Hollywood acclaimed movie ‘Common Man’.

When asked about how he came up with and wrote his songs he said, “It just happens. Sometimes, it is some words running through my mind or else it would be a melody or something that is happening around me could inspire me. I even wrote a book about how I came up with each of my songs as there is a story behind each one of them.”  Whatever the initial inspiration is, Dushyanth Weeraman always comes up with chart toppers as evidenced by his track record. Dushyanth won the TOYP (Ten Young Outstanding Persons) Award in 2013 for the category: contribution to Arts Literature, Culture and Media.”

Stephanie Siriwardhana is the epitome of ‘beauty with brains’. Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Universe in 2011 she is now heavily engaged in philanthropy. The Stephanie Siriwardhana Foundation is involved in the well – being of the less fortunate and focuses  much on the female inmates at the Welikada prison. She is also very much in demand for corporate promotions and makes sure to include a joint charitable project into her partnerships.  Stephanie is a host and compere and has also turned singer as her husband Dushyanth pushed her to breakaway from ‘bathroom singing’ and turn professional.

 Stephanie had her early education in Sri Lanka and then moved to Italy and from there to Canada. She graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada with a degree in Journalism, Communications and Political Science.

She was crowned Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Universe in 2011 and participated in the Miss Universe Pageant  in Brazil the same year. It was her mother and brother who persuaded her to take part in the pageant and it happened by sheer accident. Her brother, Nicolas, had picked up a newspaper page to soak up some water on the floor and had seen the advertisement for the contest. He showed it to their mother and they both decided it was a great opportunity for her and entered her for the contest.

Stephanie says that taking part in the beauty pageant was an incredible experience . “I made many friends who are doing amazing things and they remain so to date,” said Stephanie. “Many  of the ladies are doing meaningful and inspirational things in society.”  All in all it was a great learning  experience.

As caring and compassionate human beings they are ever ready to lend a helping hand. Stephanie with her Foundation is striving to empower women and girls to have a quality life and make a positive change in society.

Asked about how he met Stephanie, Dushyanth said, “It was backstage at the Bishop’s College auditorium. We got chatting and clicked so we first became friends. Then a month later I asked her to be my girl friend.

The backstage romance culminated in a fairy tale wedding in Italy, in the city that is lost to time: Bagnoregio. The beautiful and ancient church they got married at was the same church where Stephanie’s parents said ‘I do’ 32  years ago. The reception was held in a spectacular old castle. and the traditional poruwa ceremony was held with Stephanie in the osariya and Dushyanth in the Sri Lankan national dress in the garden of the Castle. For the Church ceremony, Poruwa and Reception Stephanie’s dresses were designed and created with love by Michael Wijesuriya. It was a very initimate wedding with Dushyanth’s and Stephanie’s close friends and family flown in from different parts of the world to celebrate Dushyanth and Stephanie tying the knot.

“Our wedding was cocooned in love,” said Stephanie. All the people who helped me were  from the days of the Miss. Sri Lanka for Miss Universe pageant and has  become as close as family to me and were there to help make me beautiful for my big day!

The Convent in Bagnoregio has a special place in Stephanie’s heart  and she often goes there for retreats and just to spend time to strengthen her bond with God. Naturally, she took Dusyanth there to introduce him to the nuns. On the way to the Convent, Dushyanth really proved his mettle and showed what a caring and brave man he is. A car with an old lady had crashed into a tree and toppled into a field. It was in imminent danger of catching fire and two men were desperately attempting to extricate her but couldn’t seem to. The car Stephanie and Dushyanth were in slowed down to see what was happening, and before it even stopped Dushyanth sprang out and rushed to the car and heedless of the danger to himself, grabbed a stick and broke the window in one try! He crawled in and extricated the old lady who was hanging upside down from her seatbelt. He was a true hero!

A young couple who despite their celebrity status remain with their feet very much on the ground and do their bit by others-this is Dushyanth and Stephanie. What of their future plans? The latest of their adventures are on YouTube where these two celebrities are creating natural content spreading lovely, fun and meaningful messages whilst being humble and grounded. Stephanie will be launching her own clothing line and Dushyanth will be releasing more great music!!

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