Better together

Child protagonists have big dreams

Child protagonists Emily Kitamura, Estovan Cheah, Shaista Eman, Emma Tan, and Arjun Jai (below left) performing in the third act of the show, as they represented the younger selves of the five show protagonists. The young quintet, all of whom were pe
Child protagonists Emily Kitamura, Estovan Cheah, Shaista Eman, Emma Tan, and Arjun Jai (below left) performing in the third act of the show, as they represented the younger selves of the five show protagonists. The young quintet, all of whom were performing in Singapore's birthday bash for the first time, hope for a career in showbiz.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

On the NDP stage last night, they shared their dreams of singing in a "building that looks like a durian", and sleeping in a hotel with a view of a bay.

In real life, five of the child protagonists who took the stage this year hold big dreams as well.

"I want to be an actress, singer and dancer, I want to be all of them," said Emily Kitamura, an eight-year-old Primary 2 pupil.

She also took part in a dance item at the Home Team Show held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in May.

The four others with her this time were Estovan Cheah, seven; Shaista Eman, four; Emma Tan, seven; and Arjun Jai, eight.

All were performing in Singapore's birthday bash for the first time and also shared Emily's hopes for a showbiz career.

Appearing in the third act of the show on a "sandcastle", the quintet represented the younger selves of the five show protagonists.

CELEBRATING TOGETHER

I really want her to be a part of it. I wanted her to feel the 'semangat' (spirit) of celebrating NDP together as a nation.

MS NURUL AINI, an actress and one of the show's hosts, on her daughter Shaista taking part in the NDP.

One of them, Shaista, the youngest performer at this year's NDP, joined the parade with her mother - one of the show's hosts, actress Nurul Aini. The 35-year-old was elated to spend time with her daughter during rehearsals.

It is Ms Nurul's third consecutive year taking part in the NDP, which she watches every year without fail.

She said: "I really want her to be a part of it. I want her to feel what I felt when I was younger, how important Singapore is to me. She also gets to meet the different races and work with them. And I wanted her to feel the 'semangat' (spirit) of celebrating NDP together as a nation."

Asked for her favourite part of the NDP, Shaista replied: "Making a lot of friends."

Others like Estovan were thrilled to meet idol and Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, who made an appearance in last night's show.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2017, with the headline 'Child protagonists have big dreams'. Print Edition | Subscribe