Follow before lead: Thurstan College | Daily News

Follow before lead: Thurstan College

As the champion of All Island Debating Tournament
As the champion of All Island Debating Tournament

Kankanige Akila Ranjaya Cabral, Head Boy of Thurstan does not trouble himself about matters beyond his control. He is a pragmatist and realist who lives in the moment and deals with problems when they are within his scope. Perfect Prefects features Cabral whose overriding quality is that of firmness. He has a vision and a goal in mind and nothing can hold him back.

Though a pragmatist he is not afraid to dream because he dreams that which he is confident of achieving. After all was it not the young king Alexander who thought he could conquer the world?

Different backgrounds

“After successfully completing my higher education I want to be a scientist. With that success, I want to serve my motherland and the whole world. I want to be a human motivational lecturer for the younger generation with a view to creating a better world. First of all, I think I have great confidence when it comes to facing any challenge. The ability to cooperate with everyone successfully is another quality I have. I believe any leader should be humble and enthusiastic,” said Cabral.

Thurstan College is a place where students from different backgrounds meet. Cabral has the opportunity to control this large body of students which has improved his powers of thinking and given him leadership powers. He has learned to be a mediator and excelled in diplomacy.

“My attitude as the Head Prefect, along with the other prefects, is to treat everyone equally and lead them all to achieve the common objectives of the school,” said Cabral.

Cabral has also learned to appreciate diversity. Different segments of students have different customs and Cabral has been trained to respect this diversity. He has become a broad-minded leader.

Deep admiration

“Respecting various rituals within my school community and being a role model to my younger brothers is foremost on my mind. One day they will follow in my footsteps and in doing so we will be the next generation of leaders who will be called to lead mother Sri Lanka,” stated Cabral.

One of the characters of Omerta written by the well- known writer Mario Puzo, states the country that produces the most steel wins wars. Cabral too believes in this. Once he sets his sights on a path he chooses to follow nothing can break his resolve.

“I strongly believe that unity is the strength. Therefore I discuss matters with my Prefects’ Guild and take the correct decisions at the correct time,” said Cabral.

It was clear in our interview that Cabral has a deep appreciation of leaders who are able to transform their countries at a political, social and economic level. As young as he is, Cabral shows the same promise. He was quick to point out his deep admiration of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who was tremendously resourceful.

“He is a leader I admire totally. Lee was one of the great leaders in the world and I want to know how he turned a barren land into a paradise. Lee Kuan Yew transformed the tiny outpost of Singapore into one of Asia’s wealthiest countries,” explained Cabral.

Greatest follower

When asked as to what he values the most in life, Cabral simply said – Truth. This is typical of Cabral. He himself is a very genuine and straightforward young man. He says what he has to say openly. Cabral is a man who sees wrong in the world and tries to make it right.

One quality that stands out about Cabral is his humanity. He is always ready to uphold this quality. He is always ready to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and protect those who need protection.

“My opinion is before you become a leader you must be the greatest follower. So I say to you my brothers and sisters, do your duty conscientiously and without expecting positions. You must be valuable person forever ready to serve the motherland and the whole world,” elucidated Cabral.

Cabral is the captain of the senior debating team and also the former announcing director and present student adviser of the College Media Unit. He is the President of Oratory and the Debating society. He has been a board member of a number of societies. These achievements helped develop his leadership qualities and personality. It was only a matter of time before he became a Head Prefect.

“If I am someone today all credit goes to my family. When I mention the word ‘family’, there are two meanings. First is my personal family: my mother and father and my siblings and relations. The other one is my whole Thurstan family. My gratitude goes to the Principle and all of my teachers. And also here I wish to thank my fellow deputies and prefects,” summed up Cabral.


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