Thursday, February 2, 2012

The second part of our interview with Steven Yoswara, L-men of The Year 2009 and Second Runner Up Mister International 2011. Enjoy the interview!

Friends and Roommates

Our conversation moved on to the topic about roommate. During the firstdays in Bangkok, Steven was initially paired with Mister Philippines Fhrancis Oliver Lopez. But later on he was switched with Mister Korea Ji Sung Oh. The roommate pairs were switched because Ji Sung and his former roommate, Mister Vietnam Le Khoi Nguyen, are both not fluent in English while Steven and Fhrancis are both fluent in English, so that Steven and Fhrancis could help their respective new roommate to communicate with others.

Did Steven get along well with his roommate? “Yes.” Steven answered without hesitation. “Ji Sung is very extrovert and humorist, totally a fun man to hang out with.” Steven then continued to talk about his fellow roommate. Despite having language barrier, Ji Sung was always trying to participate in conversations or jokes with the other contestants. “Since he cannot speak English fluently, he usually uses sign language. But it was not a problem for us and we all usually understand what he means.” Ji Sung sunny personality always brightens up the mood, therefore, no wonder that whenever the contestants hang out together, they usually call Ji Sung to join them.

There is also another contestant, whom according to Steven, is also very well liked by the others, which is Mister Portugal Fabio Duarte. Steven described Fabio as a very nice and caring person. “Even for the simplest and smallest thing, like when we had a karaoke during a party, it was Fabio who first called and invited all the contestants to sing together so thet everyone gets the chance to sing.” Fabio eventually went on to win Mister Congeniality award, voted by his fellow contestants, which he deserves to win so much.

A Birthday Boy and A Disappearing Boy

During Mister International 2011 quarantine, the contestants were taken to participate in various activities and visited a lot of places. So which one of them is the most memorable one for Steven? “The most exciting experience, I think, is the party at Khao Yai.” Located at Nakhon Ratchasima province, Khao Yai is the second largest national park in Thailand. One activitiy that was held there was the birthday party for Mister Nigeria Kenneth Nwadike at Phuphet Resort. In the middle of the party, Mister Thailand Direk Sindamrongsi took the initiative to hit the stage and sing for his fellow contestants. He was then joined by the Latin contestants, who started to sing some Latin songs. It is not a secret that Latin song is a always good way to spice things up, and without everyone realizing, the party suddenly became a blast. The climax of the party is a dance battle between Mister Venezuela Jeefry Tomas, who is a dancer, and the birthday boy Nigeria himself. It was a very exciting battle and both of them performed equally energetic and amazing.

Another memorable experience for Steven is the disappearance case of Mister Pakistan Muhammad Yasir during several activities. At several occasions, after all other contestants have gathered at the designated place according to the schedule, Pakistan was still missing and it was not after quite a long that he finally showed up. “We all started to jokingly make some funny gossips and theories about his disappearance because the reason of him missing the scheduled time was a silly one. “I didn’t remember what it was exactly but I remember it was a silly reason.” Steven explained to us further. The mystery of Pakistan disappearance even prompts some contestants, after Mister International 2011 is over, to create a Facebook group ‘Where is Mister Pakistan?’ as a memento of the event.

The Favorite and His Favorites

During the competition days, we had heard that Steven was one of most popular contestants among the Thai people. Did he feel the same? “Well, hopefully that is true.” Steven answered with a laugh as we asked him with the question. “But yes, there was one time during our visit to Dr Ratchayothin Century Health Clinic, an employee of the clinic specifically asked for my PIN and after I approved her, she started a social media campaign and asked her friends to vote for me.” And apparently that employee was not alone, the local sponsors of the event also like Steven. In fact, Steven is the only contestant who was asked to participate in a special photograph session by three different sponsors.

Still on the topic of the favorites, when asked about who was his favorite contestant, Steven answered diplomatically that he did not have any special favorite. “Each contestant has his own strengths and weaknesses, so it is too difficult for me to pinpoint one that I think is the best.” Regardless, Steven still shared to us his opinion on who was the best on several specific categories. For best catwalk, his favorite is no other than Mister Brazil Cesar Curti.,while for best body, it is Mister Sweden Marco Djelevic Virriat, and for best face, once again Sweden becomes Steven’s choice.

Winning Attitude

As we know, catwalk session is a prominent feature of Mister International. Since preliminary until the final, the contestants had to perform on various catwalk sessions, both in swimsuit and evening wear. The fact has made a lot of fans, including us, assumme that catwalk is the most important part in Mister International competition. As someone who has actually competed at the event, what Steven has to say regarding this assumption. Did he agree with it?

In a rather surprising but expected answer, Steven told us that the most determining factor in the judging process is the contestant’s own attitude and behavior. “Catwalk and photo shoot sessions still play an important part in judging, but from what I see and feel throughout the competition, attitude determines more.” Steven explained. Judging process is conducted, not only at the stage during the official preliminary and final night, but also on everyday activities during the quarantine. “Even on the simplest thing like the menu, some contestants often complained about their dissatisfaction with the menu prepared. From that judges could see the true character of each contestants and that was also part of the judging.”

Steven then added some attitudes that a contestant should have during the quarantine, including being discipline and punctual, always obeying the rules set by the pageant committee, and always staying out of troubles. “Another important factor is good communication skill and being genuine towards everyone. Don’t be fake. Always be yourself.” Steven shared his secret of success at a pageant.

A Representative of His Country

At Mister International, a contestant is not competing only for himself but also for his country. Therefore, each of them is essentially an ambassador of his country at international level. As a representative of Indonesia, Steven felt that our country is still underestimated by international community, despite the fact that Indonesia is abundant in natural resources, culture, art, and other positive things. Therefore, through Mister International competition, Steven wants to do something for Indonesia, to show the beauty of Indonesia, especially its rich culture, to the world.

Fortunately, Steven received full support from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. He was provided with CD of movies about various tourism and cultural spots in Indonesia, including the famous Komodo Island, which he gave to all other contestants as well as the committee of Mister International contest. In addition, for the charity auction event, Steven brought a miniature replica of Borobudur temple, made from silver, to be auctioned. For the victims of flood which devastated Bangkok several months before the contest began. The Borobudur replica was chosen because Steven wants to showcase an example of the greatness of indigenous Indonesian architecture to the world.

Now and Then

Right now Steven is in his final semester and this summer would be the time for his graduation from the university. So what is next in his life? “I want to pursue a career in entertainment.” Steven then added, “But I also have a dream to my own clothing company. With my academic background and my passion in art I think it would be a nice job to do.” Certainly Steven has a clear plan for his future. And with the many talents he has, we are sure he will be succeed in his future. With that, it is time to conclude and finish our interview with this great, humble, and nice young man. Congratulations for your achievement at Mister International 2011, Steven, and good luck always for your future!

Interviewed by : Nursasongko & Ayus Wijaya
Text by : Ayus Wijaya
Photos by : Photo by Angel, Belleza Venezolana, & Nursasongko

Steven with his girlfriend Wynne and Ayus Wijaya from IP

Special thanks to Steven Yoswara himself and L-Men who have given us an opportunity for this interview. To learn more about L-Men check its website here :
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