Vongsaynha Keonakhon, 22, is currently a Marketing major at Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City. With a trendy fashion sense, he is also a rising model and actor.

Keonakhon told Việt Nam News he had been studying in Vietnam for more than 3 years. At first, he found things strange because of the difference in culture and language. However, with the help of friends he is now able to be independent and take care of himself without much support from his family.

“When I first came to Vietnam, I had difficulty with traffic and regional accents but thanks to the help of lovely Vietnamese friends, I have gradually got used to the lifestyle here and consider this place as my second home,” he said.

Having an unforgettable time in Vietnam, Keonakhon considers the country his second home. — Photo courtesy of Vongsaynha Keonakhon

In addition to his singing talent, Keonakhon also has a passion for taekwondo and has been practising it for 7 years.

“Taekwondo and music are two indispensable parts of my life. Taekwondo helps me gain health and flexibility but music makes my soul comfortable. Both are my passions," he said.

Keonakhon said Vietnamese taekwondo athlete Chau Tuyet Van was a great inspiration to him and the reason he chose Vietnam to study.

“I was a big fan of the Vietnam taekwondo team. In high school I had the opportunity to watch Van compete at the SEA Games and win the gold medal, which made me extremely excited. She told me to apply to Ton Duc Thang University because that's also her school. So I decided to say goodbye to my hometown and go to Vietnam to study.”

Keonakhon has a passion for Taekwondo and has been practising it for 7 years. — Photo courtesy of Vongsaynha Keonakhon

During his time studying in Vietnam, Keonakhon was given the cute and Vietnamese name Dâu Tây (Strawberry).

He soon joined Ton Duc Thang Taekwondo Club and was taught by coaches Le Hieu Nghia and Duong Huynh Mai -- who had trained Van for many years.

Despite his confident demeanor today, Keonakhon used to be very shy. In the past, he was self-conscious about his appearance and not confident enough to pursue his passion for music. After coming to Vietnam, the young singer decided to have a "makeover".

He focused more on his own style and worked out for months. As a result, the young boy lost more than 20kg and became more confident in his appearance than ever.

"Now if my old friends meet me, they won't help but be impressed by my 'cool' appearance," he joked.

The singer lost more than 20kg and became more confident in his appearance. — Photo courtesy of Vongsaynha Keonakhon

Thanks to the process of changing himself, Keonakhon is confident to participate music competitions and TV shows. The most recent was the game show Giọng Ải Giọng Ai (Whose Voice), where he made famous stars like Tran Thanh, Ngo Kien Huy and Truong Giang fall in love with his sweet voice.

Keonakhon also participated in reality show Ai Sẽ Thành Sao (Who will Become a Star) and entered the top 6 finalists. After the show, he was considered a student of bolero star Quang Le.

The Lao participated in the TV show game show Giọng Ải Giọng Ai (Whose Voice). — Photo courtesy of the show

In addition to his achievements at competitions, the Lao boy's YouTube channel has thousands of subscribers. The young artist's videos about daily life and his covers of Vietnamese songs have received much praise from Vietnamese and Lao fans.

The most prominent is the duet performance of the song Cô Gái Viêng Chăn (Vientiane Girl) with singer Bui Tuan Ngoc to mark the 59th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Laos, which was much loved by the audience.

Keonakhon said that after studying at school, he often spends time practicing vocals to be able to sing in Vietnamese better.

“Singing Vietnamese is much more difficult than speaking. I normally like to sing pop music and also try Vietnamese country music as well as bolero but find it very difficult to pronounce the lyrics. But singing is still my passion and I think singing in Vietnamese is not too difficult if you practice it regularly," he said.

Keonakhon now considers the country as his second home. The Lao student said: “I have never found life in Vietnam boring. Here, I have many friends, am helped by many people, and cared for by teachers and coaches. If possible, I want to stay in Vietnam for a long time.”

Keonakhon said that in the future, he will practise acting more to try out movie projects, and at the same time try to release new music in the coming year. 

Source: Vietnam News 

TV game shows interrupted by social distancing

TV game shows interrupted by social distancing

Many TV programs have been affected by the pandemic and social distancing. Broadcasting schedules have been delayed as production has been suspended to ensure compliance with pandemic prevention regulations.