Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

The inheritance of a post in an established organization is never quite easy. Will one live up to those that came before? Can we expect the same level of competence and caliber from the them? What is their vision for the upcoming academic year? All these doubts are prime candidates in the growing list of burning questions that throb and encircle one’s mind when new blood appears in an already existing playing field. However, the fact of the matter is that we, the Co-Editors for the upcoming Rotaract year, are not here to introduce ourselves today, for that is for another time. Instead, as opposed to usual tradition, we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate what came before, prior to looking ahead at the undiscovered adventures that lay in the visible horizon. And thus, this time around, we want to open the year by celebrating a legacy. One left by non-other than our outgoing Editor, Rtr Afrah Bahaudeen.

Para 2 - Left AlignFor someone like our past Editor, finding the right words to describe her can prove to be quite the challenge. So how, pray tell, does one then paint an accurate portrait of her? Well, in short, she’s an outgoing and inquisitive young lady that always greets challenges with a smile. One whose absolute virtuosity as a writer and cheery disposition complements one another in the best of ways, coupled with an avid love for both photography and BTS! Her adorable bubbliness and the enthusiasm that she radiates towards the things she’s passionate about are almost always the catalysts that make it a pleasure to work alongside her. Her vibe? So fly. Her charm? On point. Her glamor? Quite dashing. Her ability to take a compliment however? Absolute abomination. For all the marvelous strengths she has, her kryptonite was, is and, by the looks of it, will continue to be the inability to digest compliments directed at her. Now, while she would never attest to this, we surely won’t be shying away from appreciating and describing her for what she truly is; a wonderful human being, one overflowing at the seams with kindness and positivity.

Rtr Afrah’s tenure as the Rotaract Arts’ Editor marked a year of productivity and accomplishments, while also tackling its fair share of challenges, which made the milestones we have passed this year as a team all the more valuable. Within the past Rotaract year, the Editorial crossed an unforgiving and tough terrain in the midst of a global crisis. But from within the confines of her home, Rtr Afrah managed to rally her fellow members of the Editorial and launch some very impactful projects that had caught the attention of enthusiasts both within and outside Rotaract. A strong feminist herself, she joined forces with her fellow Rotaracters in appreciating strong female icons through ‘Sri Lankan Herstory’ after the unanimous success of which, she led her team to explore the ancient worlds and their long-forgotten myths through ‘Mythos’, which once again, went onto attract consistent attention and praise. And as the meek newcomers who gathered around her genius, we were allowed to freely explore our own creative roots and be as imaginative and innovative as our minds allowed us to be. With Rtr Afrah, our creations continued to be our own, and the generous appreciation and constructive criticism that followed ensured it wasPara 3 - Right Align only improvement that we had to look forward to, which heavily contributed to the success the Editorial has garnered under her tutelage. And as we stand on the steps to the pantheon that is the Editorial, we can’t help but look back at the era she led that is quietly settling behind us in the horizon, and make no mistake, she has left a grand and challenging precedent for us as the incoming Editors to follow.

Being tasked with something as sensitive as carrying on the legacy passed down from one Editor to another over the years can be quite the daunting venture. There’s so much history that has been established within the Editorial these past few years, that it seems almost frightening to think that we’d have to place our own stamp on it eventually. For it is only when we stand on the shoulders of giants and the legacies of those who came before us, do we see the true expanse of the sea of responsibilities, commitments and possibilities that lay before us. To this end, there really is a profound sense of responsibility that latches onto us, to continue their vision, to realize these dreams and to keep paving the way forward. Thus, we consider it a responsibility of the highest degree to ensure that while we preserve and respect what came before, we also take creative risks and liberties in order to take the Editorial to places it hasn’t been before. As one chapter closes another opens anew, and only time will tell if we too can spin a tale as great as those who came before us have done during their time.

No pressure, right?

        – Vibhath Jayasinghe & Janidu Wijebandara


To our outgoing Editor with love,

Even though I can’t remember the first time I spoke with Afrah, I do remember her knowing what the Capital of Iran was (we were asked about capitals of different countries during our IR lectures), and that is probably one of the first things I remember about her except for the fact that she was sitting on the floor till our aptitude test began when we first came to university.

Throughout the past two years, I had the honour of getting to know this creative, Tiktok star (I’m not kidding, she is actually very good at it!) and brilliant writer who also happens to be one of the best people I have had the opportunity to know. She carried out her role as the Editor of the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts so well and she was always open to suggestions and new ideas and she never failed to entertain my “not very convenient or funny” article suggestions. Let’s not forget all the brilliant captions she came up with for almost all the posts that went up this year. I am truly sorry for the pain that I was but I am fairly certain I would have little more than lost my mind had I not known that Afrah was there to help me with whatever I asked.

Thank you Afrah for everything and (I know you’re starting to make a face now) you are one amazing human being that the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo Faculty of Arts was blessed with! Thank you for always being there! I wish you all the very best in everything that you do and we will always be there for you whenever you need us!

Methmini Kariyakarawana

President 2020-21


I remember when I was appointed Editor – I was lost, confused and all at sea, and had a hundred and one questions to ask everyone; my predecessor, our President, and even random strangers on the street.

Afrah I have to say – with no small amount of jealousy – was the very opposite from the beginning of her tenure: she was cool and collected and went about curating our blog with a poise I wish I had had. Despite the trying task it must have been to lead a team to create engaging content in the middle of a very difficult time, Afrah still managed to use the blog to open up new creative avenues like developing individual installments and articles into much anticipated blog series(es?). Like a real leader, she never took the center stage in the editorial team, allowing the individual talents of the members shine through. I am proud to see the way she has created a space within RotaractArts blog for undergraduates to express their ideas and ideals to the world. I hope our next Editor does her proud, as she has done me.

Theruni Liyanage

Editor 2019-20


Afrah is the first person I met when I started Uni and I remember the time when we were both curious about Rotaract. We decided to join the club together and what a journey it has been! We couldn’t have asked for a better Editor. She is hardworking and dedicated and has improved the blog immensely. Thank you for always being there to help and I’ll never forget the laughs, the Uni cats, your famous quote, your love for BTS and all the good times we have had.

Chantal Dassanayake

Club Service Director 2020-21


The best thing about being in the Editorial, after the joy of writing itself, was having Afrah Akki as our Editor. She was so passionate about the Editorial and kept us busy with various projects. She was so nurturing in the way she allowed us creative freedom and the way she would praise us so freely when she particularly liked an article. At those times, she went beyond that of an Editor to be an enthusiastic reader, which honestly just made me feel more in love with writing, which I really didn’t think possible. Thank you Afrah Akki, because I’m so grateful to have been a part of your Editorial.

Yeshani Fernando,

Editorial Team 2020-21


“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” Writing is an expression that extends one’s ability to observe surroundings and project them through words. Writings may be written. Yet a platform is all an amateur needs to transform him/her/themself(ves) into a professional. The Rotaract Editorial has been a place of learning and a place of bonding, none of which would have been possible if it wasn’t for Le Chef de Projet Editorial, our good friend Afrah, who we call Aprah. (To annoy her of course but I’m sure she loves it). Afrah has been a source of inspiration for the fellow writers of the Editorial team in terms of curating content and pushing the crew for more and better. For a fact we all know that we will miss our dearest Editor’s cute Japanese greetings and words of creative brainwaves. I would like to make this an opportunity to thank Afrah for being such an encouraging captain who manned the Editorial for the past year and you were definitely one of the reasons we all learnt a lot and had so much fun!

Vidura Rodrigo,

Editorial Team 2020-21


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