Multi-talented Chenuli

By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna 

Photos Pradeep Dambarage


Chenuli Shenaya Fernando from Moratuwa is a Grade 3 student currently studying at Gateway College, Ratmalana. She possesses excellent skills in writing, speech, and drama, as well as singing and dancing. She has taken part in school stage plays and participated in many speech and poem competitions while she was living in Dubai with her family. 


Chenuli, tell us about yourself.

I am Chenuli Shenaya Fernando, living in Moratuwa. I am eight years old, and I study at Gateway College Ratmalana. I was born in the UAE, and we settled in Sri Lanka in 2018. I have one elder sister who is also studying at Gateway College Ratmalana. My father is Chamara Fernando and he is working in UAE, and my mother is Nilakshi Fernando and she is the General Manager of Best of Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd.

I went to Little Oaks British Nursery, UAE and Gems Winchester School, UAE, before coming to Sri Lanka. I love to listen to hip hop music and dancing of all kinds. My favourite food is pizza and I love to play with LOL Dolls and Legos, and watch videos on robotics and watch TV. 

My favourite TV show is Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Square Pants, and my favourite movie is Dr. Dolittle. I like to paint and make stuff with my own ideas when I have free time. I am also a member of the school choir. 


What is your favourite subject in school?

I like athletics, design, and technology.


Tell us about your achievements too. 

I won first place in the School Speech and Drama Competition.

I played a role as a Chinese girl in the school stage drama. Then I was in Year 1, and I thank Ms. Ruklanthi for giving me the opportunity. Everyone said I did it very well, and after the drama, everyone used to call me a Chinese girl. My name in the drama was Chinlee.


You told us that one of your favourite subjects is Design and Technology. Can you tell us what you learn in this class?  

Yes, that’s one of my favourite subjects. We get STEM kits from our school. There will be separate small projects for us to do and with the teacher’s instructions, we have to assemble them. I love doing STEM kits.

I love to do creative work and think about how I can do a similar one differently.


What’s special about hip-hop music?

 I love how they dress up, and I love rap music.


Your hobbies include creating things using your ideas. Can you tell us about your most recent creation?  

I love to create things in my way. When I am in my dream world I get many ideas for making new things. Even with a little piece of playdough, I get new ideas to create something for my dolls, etc. 

I love to play with Legos. But I don’t follow its instructions, I make my own creations with my Lego sets. I always surprise my mother with my new creations, and she always encourages me.


How do you feel when you complete one of these new projects? 

I feel so happy, and I enjoy looking at it many times and planning my next project.


Is this why your ambition is to create new things when you grow up? 

Well, my mom says that I am so creative. I’d love to learn robotics. But due to Covid-19, I didn’t get a chance. But somehow one day I will learn how to make robots. Then I can give commands to my own robot.


Dr. Dolittle is your favourite movie. What did you think after seeing this movie?

It’s an old movie. But I watched two movies of Dr. Dolittle with my sister. I love that movie because there are a lot of animals talking. I love animals.


Is the colour teal a shade of blue or green?  

I think it’s the colour of the ocean. I love this colour. I have many things of this colour. I think I love the ocean very much, that is why I love this colour.


Finally, tell us why you say your mother is your best friend? Tell us about the things that you two do together.

Yes, my mother is my best friend. She is the best mom in the whole universe. She plays with me, teaches me my lessons, dances with me, sings with me, cracks jokes with me, and we watch cartoons and movies together. 

Moreover, I can share all my things with her. She is my bestie. When I am down she knows how to switch my mood. I love my mom. But my dad is my superhero. My role model is my sister and I follow her.