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Monday, May 14, 2012 7:27:02 PM (IST)  

Canada : Stage Set for Francis Cascia's Konkani Play

Gerry D’Mello
Daijiworld Media Network, Canada

Canada, May 14: After a long and patient wait by the Konkani art lovers in Canada, the renowned writer, great dramatist and stupendous comedian ‘Konkan Natraaj’ Francis Fernandes Cascia has arrived in Canada last week and is all set for his maiden performance on Canadian stage.  The Comedy King Francis will be performing in North America’s most popular Konkani event Kala Saanz organized by Canara World Foundation Inc (CWF) at the ‘Port Credit Secondary School Auditorium’ in Mississauga, Canada on Sunday, May 27, 2012.

Francis Fernandes, evergreen hero of the Konkani stage, an ageless Konkani writer, playwright, producer, director and above all a relentless donor, after serving over three decades bade farewell to Dubai recently.  He is a captivating stage actor, has won a huge crowd of fans for himself and is Konkani’s Craze among the Konkani communities in Mangalore, Mumbai & Middle East.  Some of the best dramas that Francis wrote and played are Kityak Negar Kortai, Avoi ti Avoi, Matlabi Sounsar and Maldisanv, which have come in the form of videos and have sold more than 3000 copies. Some of his shows have seen multiple runs such as Kityak Negar Kortai (11 shows), Avoi thi Avoi (9 shows), Motlabi Soumsar (8 shows), Tum Mhaka Visar (7 shows), Maldisanv (6 shows) and so on.  Now he has landed in Canada together with his beloved wife to spend quality time with his son and his family and all the more with his lovely grand-children. “It’s the beginning of a new life” says Francis, an undisputed Comedy King of Konkani stage.

Francis has been a record setter along his life. He has many firsts to his credit. He was the sole dramatist who had played his dramas at St Mary’s Hall at Mazgaon, in Mumbai, every Sunday at a stretch. He was the first Mangalorean dramatist who have staged highest number of his own creations in the Gulf since 1977. He is the first and only dramatist who has been bestowed with 99 awards and recognitions by different organizations from around the world. His last drama ‘Matharo Chorbela’, enacted by the same star caste across the world, completed 70 shows in various parts of India, middle-east and Israel. Francis has written 32 (3 hrs or more), 25 (2 hrs), 3 Novels, more than 10 short stories, over 25 poems and over 100 Shahiries. He is also known as the Shahiri King of Konkani. By any means a greatest feat no other Mangalore based Konkani playwright has ever accomplished during his life time

Also known as the Sachin Tendulkar of Konkani stage Francis Cascia is all set to his 100th ‘public reception and felicitation’, the 2nd one in Canada.  For his relentless service to Konkani language and the society at large, CWF will be honouring him with a traditional shawl (100th for Francis) and conferring on him a prestigious “Canara Kala Sanketh-2012” award, a well deserved honour indeed!

Upon his arrival representing, I had the unique opportunity to air a few questions at him and following are some excerpts:

Q: Francisab, how did it feel landing in Canada, also known as North America’s Cradle for Konkani Talents?

A: Wonderful. I feel that it’s a life time achievement to perform my talent on Canadian stage. I salute Canara World Foundation especially Max Mendes and Flavian Pinto for all their efforts and hard work in organizing Kala-Saanz event year after year and for giving me an opportunity to perform live on stage this year.

Q: Canada is excited to watch you live on stage for the first time. What have you planned to cool-down their excitement?

A: I am going to act in a skit as a lead role and I am sure the audience will cherish the memories of a life time. I am very confident that I will fulfill my aim. My only desire is to make the crowd happy.  I am thankful to all the Mangaloreans and Goans residing in Canada who eagerly await to see me and my performance on stage.

Q: Francisab, apart from your splendid achievements on stage you are very well known for your charity works.  Could you please tell me what made you to be so generous?

A:  I have remained as a humble, amiable gentleman, easily approachable by people of any caste, creed or community. I have no hang ups of being a successful celebrity, for I have come through struggle and faced a number of trials and troubles in my life.  At times, as I reminisce today, I had to walk barefoot to my school. But what actually came out from this is the lesson I learnt through the hardships and a kind heart which I have carried all along, which cries for any humanitarian cause, as and when someone approaches me for charity.

Q: Francisab, what’s the most memorable event in your life as a stage performer?

A:  As a dramatist I have remained committed even during testing times. Once while I was performing on stage in Bombay, I received a telegram which contained news of my father’s death. There was no way that I could travel to Mangalore to attend my father’s funeral as the Konkani stage was paramount in my heart. I buried the pain deep within and continued my acting. I informed the audience of the sad news at the end of the show. This incident I will never forget in my life.

Q: You are going to receive 100th shawl and felicitation on Canadian soil. Francisab, can you brief me about your excitement on this unique record in the history of Konkani?

A:  Yes, I feel so proud and excited on this remarkable achievement.  In order to score this Century in Canada I deliberately avoided an honour in Mangalore recently.  I strongly feel this honour is a recognition for Konkani art and culture.

Q: What is your message to your fans in Canada?

A: I have landed in Canada to quench the thirst of my fans. I am fully committed in my mission. Surely every Mangalorean & Goan will attend this show with great aspiration. Believe me; I will never let them down.  I will remain grateful to the Konkani community worldwide and I will continue performing on stage until my dramas are savoured by my fans and friends in any part of the globe.

Max Mendes, the dynamic President of CWF, informed ‘Team Daijiworld Canada’ that - “We are extremely excited and proud to host such a unique power packed Konkani entertainment in Canada with Francis Cascia’s maiden performance as an actor that will surely create history in Canada. His performance will open a new door to an exciting entertainment arena in Canada. This event will give a great opportunity for Konkani Music & drama amateurs to showcase their ability. The members of the organizing committee have worked very hard to plan this magnificent event”. He was highlighting the program details of ‘Kala-saanz’, an event that Canara World Foundation presents every year to showcase the talents of Canarite immigrants in Canada.

After the thrilling success of ‘Wilfy Nite’ in 2005, 'Claud Nite' in 2008, 'Henry Nite' in 2009, 'Melwyn Peris Nite in 2010, and again ‘Claud Nite’ in 2011, this year’s Canara Kalasaanz-2012 with veteran Konkani Dramatist Francis Fernandes Cascia too will attract Konkani art lovers in big numbers.

Canadian Konkans are highly privileged to have in their midst Konkan Natraaj Francis Fernandes Cascia for the first time and talented local artistes at the gala show to be held on Sunday May 27, 2012 from 1.00 pm onwards at the ‘Port Credit Secondary School Auditorium’. Konkani's second to none in Canada Oliver Sequeira will be the Music Director and incredible musician Tony Pinto of 'Amchem Noxib' and 'Nirmon' movie fame will be on keyboard.  Renowned multifaceted Konkani artiste Manohar Pais will be taking a lead role in singing and acting. Popular compere Donald Alva will compere this unique show. In addition, Canada's 'Comedy King' Flavian Pinto is all set with his rib-tickling jokes to send the audience to peels of laughter. This music extravaganza is going to attract Konkani music lovers in large numbers and undoubtedly will be a historical show.

Earlier release:

Canada : Francis Cascia's Konkani Play on May 27

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Comments on this article
Francis, Abu Dhabi/Perampalli
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thank you dear Gerry D’Mello for your extra efforts & hardwork having interviwed & representing such a great personality.

James /Shobha Mendonca, Dubai /Vamanjoor Padav.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dear Francis bab,all the best for your play.Great job to stage in Canada.

CGS, Mangalore
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I am quite sure that the Comedy King of Canara Francis Fernandes Cascia will createa new record in Canada.Thanks to Mr.MaxMendes,President of CanaraWorldFoundation,Mr.GerryD'Mello, Mr.Flavian Pinto,Mr.Manohar Pais.Mr.Oliver Sequeira,Mr.Tony Pinto,Donald Alva and others
for organising such an unique event in Canada.Good Luck to CWF!Hats off to all the Canarites in Canada!!

CGS, Mangalore
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I am quite sure that the Comedy King of Canara Francis Fernandes Cascia will createa new record in Canada.Thanks to Mr.MaxMendes,President of CanaraWorldFoundation,Mr.GerryD'Mello, Mr.Flavian Pinto,Mr.Manohar Pais.Mr.Oliver Sequeira,Mr.Tony Pinto,Donald Alva and others
for organising such an unique event in Canada.Good Luck to CWF!Hats off to all the Canarites in Canada!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



Lavina Fernandes, Dubai
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Francisab,
Congratulations to you on your 100th award.May this be doubled sooner.We are proud of you.Wish you and the organizers a grand success for the forthcoming show.May God bless you & your fly. Good luck for the show
Best wishes
Lavina & Godwin Fernandes.

Veronica Rego, Karama, Dubai
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Francis Bab, I wish you 'ALL THE VERY BEST' for your play on the 27th. I am sure you will win the hearts of the audience and leave them spell-bound with your excellent performance. My special prayers and good wishes to you and all the performing artiste including the musicians, compere and of course the organizers - Canara World Foundations inc. May this play go down the memory lane in Canada! Good Luck to all.
Veronica & Brian Rego, Dubai

THERESA LOBO, Mukamar-Sharjah
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Francisbab,
Congratulations..on your 100th award. Many more awards to come. You made all Konkani speaking people proud...You are a good actor and Joker too....God bless you and all the best...for your future..!!!

Deepak Dsilva, Paladka/Dubai
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Francissab and Matharo Charbela team , all the best with the show. Francissab you really deserves all the appreciation to serve the konkani culture by your stage performance. Good luck for the show.

Gerry D'Mello, Bendur / Canada
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thanks Manesth Jemma for bringing to my attention an error that occurred in my presentation of FFC's profile. As you righty mentioned renowned Konkani artiste Wilfred D'Souza deserves all credit for staging first-ever Konkani play in Abu-Dhabi back in 1973. Accordingly the error in my write-up has been rectified as below:
"Francis Fernandes Cascia was the first Mangalorean dramatist who have staged highest number of his own creations in the Gulf since 1977". Thathastu!

Fr. Henry Alva, Canada
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Welcome to Canada. Your presence may bring more life to Konkani people, language and culture.

Veronica Alva, Udupi/Dubai
Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear Francisab,
Congratulations to you on your 100th award.May this be doubled sooner.We are proud of you.Wish you and the organizers a grand success for the forthcoming show.May God bless you & your fly.
Best wishes
Winny,Santhan and kids.

Austin Prabhu, Nantur/Chicago
Monday, May 14, 2012

Wish you all the best and all success to your Konkani promoting event in Canada. You guys are flying Konkani flag high on the hill! God bless you all.

Jerome Pereira, Mangalore/ Abu Dhabi
Monday, May 14, 2012

Thank you for your article on Francis Fernandes, Cascia. He has done a great job to Konkani language through his plays, novels, short stories. But you have made an error in writing about him as the pioneer to stage the ever first Konkani play in the Middle East. In fact the ever first Konkani play was staged in Abu Dhabi at St. Joseph’s Church Hall on 3rd May 1973. The Konkani play entitled Rogtachi Tan was written by Wilfred D’Souza the famous actor of Georgi Buthel under Wolf Production. When similar honour was accredited in Poinnari by Hilda Mathias of Dubai many years back to Francis Fernandes I had refuted her claim and wrote to Poinnari with documentary evidence. Even Alfred Rose the famous singer of Goa who was in Abu Dhabi for some time had staged Konkani play much after Wilfy's. Please try to give the due credit to the person who deserves the same. I had made to publish Wilfy’s his profile in Daiji World as well as in Raknno because I can not see Wilfy’s credit is given to others. Francis Fernandes is my friend but still justice has no relationship in my opinion.

Please change your article with regard to the pioneer of Konkani play staged in the Middle East.

Jemma Padil

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