Ceylon Today got the chance to speak with one such man who is on such a mission. His Facebook page, ‘Dude with sign board’ has been steadily growing these past months. Here is what we learnt about the dude behind the signboard.
Tell us about yourself
A: My name is Shane Dilkush Perera and I am a professional chef in one of Colombo’s major five star hotels. I am currently living in Mt. Lavinia.
How did the concept of ‘Dude with sign board’ begin?
A: It started while we were all under quarantine actually. I saw a Facebook page that was about someone who was doing this. Because it was a totally new concept for me, I felt that I should try it out. A lot of things happen in Sri Lanka without the voice of the public ever rising up so I hoped that by doing something like this, we could start a dialogue and raise public opinion and discussion about things.
So I created a Facebook page and Instagram account and got to work. My first post was on 27 May this year and the ball has kept on rolling since then.
So this began as more of a hobby than anything serious?
A: Yes. This has become an outlet for my opinions. I also wanted people to start having conversations about problems we see happening in our society that go undiscussed or unmentioned.
The messages displayed in your sign board, are they coming from personal experiences or are they purely from social commentary?
A: It’s definitely a mix of both. As I said earlier, this is both a way to express myself and a place to spark public opinion. I’m sure that like me, there are people who’ve had views and opinions with no place or way to express them. My goal is that what I do can help become an outlet for them as well, banding our voices together and making our message more powerful. I’m sure this will be a great way to spread new ideas and spark experimentation without causing harm to anyone or society as a whole.
Do you really believe that a guy with a sign board can make a difference?
A: I do. The response I’ve seen as my social media platforms continue to grow is a great indicator of the progress we have been making.
Is it hard to bring yourself into the spotlight like that in very public places?
A: Initially I was pretty shy, holding up the sign board like that in public places with my opinions all out for everyone to see. However, I’ve started to find it very enjoyable. It’s all very natural for me now.
Do you have any message you would like to give to the public?
A: As a social media influencer, I think my message would mainly be targeted towards that. All I have to say is that social media has to be used responsibly.
Share the good and ignore the bad.
What can we expect from Dude with sign board in the Future?
A: I don’t want to reveal too much. However, I am looking for more collaborations and planning to diversify my platform, expanding from my Facebook page and Instagram account. You’ll be hearing more from the Dude with sign board soon!
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Pix by Ashan Gamage