50 sape players have started their attempt to get into Malaysia Book of Records

Aisah (right) receiving a token of appreciation from Zainal, while other look on.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Feb 15: Fifty sape players, mainly from Belaga and Baram, this morning launched their 50 hours of non-stop strumming of their traditional lutes to make a mark in the Malaysia Book of Records.

The launching was done at RTM Miri jointly by state Broadcasting Department director Zainal Abidin Asri Abd Wahid, Sarawak Energy executive vice president (Corporate Services) Aisah Eden and Sarawak Energy assistant general manager (Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability) Jiwari Abdullah.

Among the players are those from Warisan Sape Telang Usan and internationally acclaimed sape maestro Mathew Ngau Jau.

The team will be playing 59 tunes non-stop individually and in groups until 11.30am on Sunday (Feb 17).

This record-attempt, an initiative of RTM and Sarawak Energy, is being broadcast live via RTM’s radio channel to get into the record book and also to promote the indigenous communities’ culture and tourism.

Zainal said both RTM and Sarawak Energy took several months to prepare for this event and hoped it would be a success.

Meanwhile, Aisah said the event served as a good platform to further showcase the natives’ culture.

“Sarawak Energy has continuously worked with the indigenous communities to preserve Sarawak’s unique cultural heritage in music and handicraft,” she opined.

For instance, she added, the power utility initiated the Warisan Sape Telang Usan programme in 2016 to train 20 youths from the area (Telang Usan) in the art and skill of playing the Orang Ulu tradition sape. — DayakDaily