|Mahagama Sekara (Mahagamage Samarasekara)|
7 April 1929|
Radawana, Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Died||14 January 1976(aged 46)|
Cause of death
|Sudden cardiac arrest|
|Spouse(s)||Kusumalatha Suraweera (1963–1976)|
|Children||Gesha Patalee,Nirupama Salmalee and Ravinda|
|Parents||Ranawaka Arachchige Rosalin (Mother)
Maha Gamage John Appuhamy (Father)
Mahagama Sekara (Sinhala:මහගම සේකර) (7 April 1929 – 14 January 1976) is one of Sri Lanka's well known poets and was a significant figure in Sinhalese poetry. He was also a teacher, lyricist, playwright, novelist, artist, translator and a filmmaker. Sekera is best remembered as a poet and songwriter with several of his works even becoming popular songs in Sri Lanka. His works occasionally have an introspective Buddhist influenced outlook. His poems and songs remain widely quoted on the island nearly thirty years after his death.
Early Life and education
Mahagama Sekera was born on 7 April 1929 in Radawana, Colombo. His father was Maha Gamage John Appuhamy , mother was Ranawaka Arachchige Rosalin. He had his initial education at Kirindiwela Maha Vidayalaya. Sekera started life as an artist and although in his later paintings and book covers he tended towards modern art he got a thorough grounding in the forms and techniques of formal art at the Government School of Fine Arts of which he later became the Principal. Thus at a young age he was exposed to new ways of looking at the world and perceiving reality which combined with the folk culture of his inheritance in a typical village milieu gave its particular strength to his world view.
Sekera started his Doctoral Studies at Vidyodaya University of Ceylon in 1974. His thesis on Sinhala Gadya Padya Nirmana Kerehi Ridmaya Balapa Athi Akaraya (Influence of Rhythm on the Sinhala Prose and Poetry) was submitted to the University in 1975. At the time of passing away in 1976, he was attending to the final editing of the thesis as recommended by the supervisors.
Mahagama Sekera started his artistic and creative career as a painter. He contributed to every branch of literature. He wrote short essays and plays to sinhala weekly papers and magazines, published several novels and poetry, and wrote over 100 songs. Many of his songs were vocalised and music directed by Pandit W. D. Amaradeva. He wrote and produced the musical play, Swarnathilaka that was critically acclaimed.
- Vyanga (with K. Jayatillake)
- Sakwa Lihini
- Heta Irak Payai
- Mak Nisada Yath
- Rajathilaka Lionel saha Priyantha
- Thun Man Handiya
- Mano Mandira
- Man Thananno
- Puthata Karekak
List of plays written by Sekera
- Chora Pabbatha
- Sora Pawwa
- Sasa Jathakaya
- Hansa Geethaya
- Nava Baga Sanda
- Sabba Nadee Vankagatha
- Mudu Puttu (with Gunasena Galappatthi)
Notable songs written by Sekera
- Me Sinhala Apage Ratayi – Nanda Malini, music composer Pandit W. D. Amaradeva, from sinhala film Saravita
- Sannaliyane – W. D. Amaradeva, music composer Pandit W. D. Amaradeva
- Seethala Diya Piri Sunila Vilai – Sunil Edirisinghe, music composer Pandit W. D. Amaradeva
- Adawan Desin – Victor Ratnayake, music composer Somadasa Alvitigala, from sinhala film Wes Gaththo
- 1956 – Dina Dina Award for the painting Mahabinishkramana at the Annual Art Exhibition organised by the Jathika Kala Peramuna.
- 1965 – Merit Award for the Best Lyricist at the Film Festival of Lanka Industrial Exhibition for the song "Atha Gavu Ganan Durin" in Sinhala film Gatavarayo.
- 1968 – Award for the Best Lyric Writer for the song "Sinidu Sudu Mudu Thalave" composed for the film Sath Samudura (Directed by Dr Siri Gunasinghe) at the Sarasaviya Film Festival.
- 1970 – Receives the award for the Best Lyricist for his song "Ratakin Ratakata" in the Sinhala film Binaramalie at the Sarasaviya Film Festival.
- 1970 – Mahagama Sekara's film Thun Man Handiya receives the Friendship Award from Rajaye Lipikaru Seva Sangamaya.
- 1971 – Thun Man Handiya wins him the award for the Most Promising Director at the Awards Festival of the Film Critics and Journalists of Ceylon in 1970 – 1971.
- 1972 – Receives the Hela Vidu Saviya Kumaratunga Memorial Award for his Patriotic Songs.
- "Mahagama Sekara – Sunday Essay by Ajith Samaranayake". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- "Mahagama Sekera PhD Research". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- "The Official Website of Mahagama Sekera". Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- Mahagama Sekara
- Mahagama Sekera Official Website
- Laudatory essay
- Lanka library
- Mahagama Sekera – Significant figure in the Sri Lankan Poetry from Lankamission
- මානව සෞන්දර්යවාදී ගීත රචකයා
- සම්ප්රදාය රුකුලක් කරගත් කලාකරුවා