The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Asian Games medalists have taken part in a live-broadcast benefit concert for victims of recent West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) earthquakes by donating a sum of their cash bonuses and auctioning off their memorabilia.
Badminton men’s singles champion Jonatan “Jojo” Christie — who gained heartthrob status after he took off his jersey to celebrate winning gold at the Games — signed and donated the jersey for an auction at the concert. It was sold for Rp 400 million (US$27,400) to Surya Citra Media CEO Sutanto Hartono.
“We hope our participation could help lift the spirits of our brothers in West Nusa Tenggara,” Sutanto said.
Prior to the start of the auction, the organizers ran a clip of Jojo holding his badminton shirt.
“Hello, I’m Jojo. I gave away my shirt that I wore yesterday [Tuesday] for the auction. The proceeds will be donated to the Lombok victims. I hope the missing victims can soon be found and Lombok will recover,” he said in the clip, as he did not attend the event.
Earlier, Jojo had said that he would share his bonus with his team members.
“The bonus will partly be shared with team members who have backed me up from the beginning and even prior to the Asian Games. I also wish to save part of it for my family and for those who really need it, such as the Lombok quake victims,” Jojo said as quoted by Reuters.
Badminton medalists also auctioned off their shirts, including men’s singles bronze medalist Anthony Ginting, whose shirt was sold for Rp 150 million. Men’s doubles champions Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya — dubbed as the Minions by fans because of their stature — auctioned off their shirts and rackets for
Rp 250 million and Rp 300 million respectively and men’s doubles silver medalists Fajar Alfian and Rian Ardianto auctioned off their shirts for Rp 100 million.
The benefit concert was widely lauded on social media, where fans heaped praise on the medalists — particularly the Minions, who were initially only asked to auction off their shirts but later on decided to also give away their rackets.
“Really appreciate the Minions who have offered to auction their shirts and rackets for victims of the Lombok quake. God will bless you both always,” Twitter user @padmapandaa said.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) recorded that around 500 people died and more than 7,700 were injured because of the quakes.
Other medal-winning Indonesian athletes, such as pencak silat martial artists and karatekas, dedicated their victories to Lombok in a show of solidarity for their volleyball and track and field team members who hail from the island.
Men’s beach volleyball players Ade Chandra Rachmawan, Mohamad Ashfiya, Gilang Ramadhan and Danangsyah Yudhistira also took part in the event.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet ministers raised funds for the charity by performing songs under the group in Elek Yo Band and auctioning off a guitar owned by Manpower Minister Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri. It was signed by all the band members and sold for Rp 1 billion. Other items include Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani’s jacket and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi’s vase.
In total, the concert raised more than Rp 16.5 billion and all proceeds will be used to help in the recovery process on Lombok Island, a popular tourist destination that has suffered an estimated $500 million in damages as a result of the earthquakes.
Asian Games competitors from Lombok have anxiously followed news from back home and said they hoped their performances could bring a few smiles to the faces of those in NTB.
“I was so worried about my family — it was a little hard to sleep,” said 18-year-old sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri, who hails from the worst-affected northern part of the island, as quoted by AFP.
“They called me to tell me not to worry, to just focus on my race. I tried my best,” he added, after reaching the men’s 100-meter final, where he finished seventh. “Now, I can’t wait to go to Lombok to see my family.”
Bronze-winning beach volleyball duo Dhita Juliana and Putu Dini Jasita Utami, who are also from Lombok, have garnered support from fans across the country.
“We hope all Lombok people are OK, and we are trying our best here to at least share some happiness with them when we win,” said Dhita, adding that they had been touched by the support from those on Lombok.
“There has been a lot of support from Lombok — from relatives, friends, everyone there. We’re just so grateful.”