Timomatic and the local hero ... a dynamic duo for Australia Day
Francis Owusu, left, and Timomatic. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
They each have African heritage but made Canberra their home. And together these best friends will celebrate their success in the national capital on the eve of Australia Day.
Singer and dancer Timomatic (aka former Narrabundah College student Tim Omaji) will follow up a world-beating performance at the Miss Universe contest last month to take to the stage for the Australia Celebrates Live concert on the lawns of Parliament House on Friday evening.
Just before the concert, the man Timomatic considers an older brother, Canberra's Francis Owusu, will represent the ACT as its finalist in the Australia's Local Hero category of the Australian of the Year awards, to be announced on the forecourt of Parliament House. Mr Owusu, 27, of Chisholm, has been recognised for his work with Kulture Break, using dance among young people to ''transform a culture of negativity into a culture of pride and achievement''.
Timomatic, 25, got his start in dance through Kulture Break, forging a strong bond with Mr Owusu, a former St Edmund's College student. They are so close that Mr Owusu was the celebrant at Timomatic's sister Tabitha's wedding last weekend.
Timomatic said he was happy and ''not surprised'' his friend and mentor had been recognised in the Australian of the Year Awards.
''He's been giving back to the community for so long and after today he'll continue to give back, so it's a beautiful thing. He is definitely what defines a local hero.''
Timomatic will be joining Jimmy Barnes, Guy Sebastian and the Presets for Friday's concert, hosted by Kate Ritchie and James Mathison.
Mr Owusu said Timomatic's determination and drive were evident right from the start. ''You get some people who are so passionate that they almost barge people out of the way. Tim wasn't like that. He was very humble. To see that mix of passion and hunger and yet humility, I knew that Tim was going to go places.''
Nigerian-born Timomatic came to Australia with his parents Paul and Alice. His father's work as a criminologist led them to Canberra.
The child of Ghanaian parents, Canberra-born Mr Owusu grew up in Victoria, enduring ''racism born of ignorance'' which almost propelled him into a life of crime. Kulture Break helped turn his life around.
Timomatic is thrilled to be part of the concert in what he considers his home town. ''I used to come to these events, sit down with all the people and my big box of KFC … I'd be like, 'Oh wow, this is awesome', the atmosphere. To be on stage and represent where I come from, it's an amazing thing. I feel a performance like this will instil in young people that it's like, 'Guys I came from here. You can do whatever you want to do if you put your mind to it.''