KUCHING: Miri-born songstress Zee Avi was greeted at an awards ceremony here like the true star that she is.
The 26-year-old YouTube sensation, who has had great success in the United States, thrilled a crowd of 5,000 at the launch of the 2011 Youth Assembly yesterday.
Zee, also a recipient of the International Youth Icon award, launched the ceremony with a trio of original compositions and sang to her own ukelele strums and picks.
“No matter where I am, I always tell people that I’m from Borneo. I’ll always remain true to Sarawak,” said Zee prior to accepting her award from Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Zee was one of seven award recipients yesterday.
Another Sarawakian known for his music, Jason Lo, 35, won for his foray into the telecommunications world. He now heads Tune Talk.
Albert Wong, 29, who is deaf, won for his dedication to teaching. The first deaf Sarawakian to earn a Computer Science Bachelors degree, is founder of the Kuching Deaf Club.
In a message read out by an interpreter, Wong said: “I want to prove that people with disabilities are the same as the rest of society.”
Other award winners included student Alia Geneid, 16, athlete Bryan Nickson Lomas, 21, singer Mohd Hafiz Mohd Suip, 21, and social worker Hamzah Saufi, 32.