Revealing the Comedy Talent in KEMBALI Scholarship Program

28 March 2024

The YKIP KEMBALI Scholarship is currently sponsoring 132 students for the academic year 2023-2024 in Karangasem. With the number of students in the program, we have found that their interests are diverse. While some are drawn to the sciences and social studies, others are passionate about languages, arts and sports. Among the diverse interests within the program, one student stands out with an extraordinary talent: a comedian.

Meet Susila, a seemingly reserved Junior High School student who discovered an unexpected talent for comedy. He never dreamed of becoming a comedian, but Susila pushed himself into the spotlight when chosen to represent his class in an intra-school comedy competition.  “I lacked confidence, even speaking smoothly in front of my classmates was a daunting task for me. That day, while daydreaming at my desk, my teacher approached and encouraged me to participate in the competition. Initially hesitant, I refused but he persisted, believing in my potential. After some discussion, I took a leap of faith and registered for the event. When going back home, I shared the news with my parents. Despite their doubts about my abilities, they were skeptical that their reserved son could go through his first comedy competition successfully.”

First Time on Stage as a Comedian

The stage was set during the “Bulan Bahasa” celebration, where participants are challenged to deliver their “bebanyolan”. It’s a Balinese comedic act with the comedian wearing traditional costume and makeup. It is quite challenging because the participants must deliver their comedy in proper Balinese language.

Susila was overcome with nervousness as he approached the stage, his body trembling vigorously.  Fortunately, once he began his performance, he managed to pull himself together. He didn’t expect to win the competition; his goal was simply to fulfil his duty as his class representative. To his surprise, Susila was awarded the second place in the competition. Since then, he has found joy in performing on stage as a comedian.

Following his initial success at school, Susila continued his journey, representing his school in the same competition in Karangasem Regency. Guided by his teacher, he spent a good amount of time practicing.

His hard work finally paid off when his character name, Rungik, was announced as the first winner. Reflecting on this achievement, he said “It was a very memorable moment in my life, bringing pride to everyone around me. Winning the competition at the regency level means I could have the chance to compete at the provincial level.”

His dream came true when the Department of Education of Karangasem Regency contacted his headmaster, informing that Susila had been selected to represent Karangasem Regency in the Bebanyolan Competition at Festival Tunas Bahasa Ibu in November 2023. With guidance from his teacher and a coach from the department, he diligently prepared his script.  “It was a truly remarkable experience. While many people typically feel stressed when preparing themselves for a competition, I found myself free from such tension, as our training sessions were always filled with laughter,” recalled Susila. “I also made new friends during the competition and learned from their performances on stage. Though I secured fourth place in the competition, I am proud of my hard work.”

“I am delighted to be able to incorporate Balinese language and cultural references into my comedy performances. It is truly a blessing to contribute to preserving our cultural legacy in this way. It is a long way to go, but I am sure I could be a famous comedian someday. I am deeply grateful for the support of my family, friends, and teachers, who constantly encourage me to do my best. Also, to YKIP by giving me the opportunity to continue my Junior High School education. Without this support, I may never have had the chance to pursue my passion for comedy.”

YKIP is proud of Susila’s effort to preserve Bali’s rich cultural heritage. At our recent scholarship distribution event, we had the pleasure of inviting Susila to come as Rungik, bringing joy and laughter to all students and their families. It was undoubtedly the most entertaining and memorable school supplies distribution event we’ve ever hosted in Karangasem.

We trust that Susila’s inspiring journey shared above will ignite a sense of purpose and inspire you to consider joining the KEMBALI Scholarship Program. Your support enables YKIP to continue providing scholarships to deserving students like Susila. You can make a donation here. You’re also welcome to volunteer during our school supplies distribution events. Who knows, you might even have the chance to meet Rungik in person during your visit to Karangasem.