Kadazan Personages




May these Kadazan personages provide you with insights in your search for your own role in Kadazan society.

People learn from each other, whether from the good they have done or from their failed encounters with life's events.

It is said that it is much easier to learn from the success stories of other people while avoiding the pitfalls that pulled them down at one time or another.

One or two may not have Kadazan-sounding names, but all of them are of Kadazan ancestry. There are those who occupy prominent places in Kadazan history. There are lesser ones. The valuable contribution of many Kadazans remain unknown. These people were or are heroes or heroines in their own special way.

May you and I learn from the lives of our own leaders.

Station in Life Is Not The Only Determinant
Whether you are a city-dweller or you live in a village, whether you have a good-paying job or live a hand-to-mouth existence, is not as important as your being a Kadazan and that you are proud of being one. And that you refrain from doing something or saying things that undermine the position of Kadazan people.

Perhaps, one day, the way you live your life as a person, and particularly as a Kadazan, will encourage other Kadazans to truly live as a Kadazan must live. Perhaps you will kindle in your people the spark that will ignite their love for their own people.

You may appreciate the far-reaching impacts of the Kadazan personages described or listed herein. Sooner or later, you will have your turn to inspire others. You are doing it already.

You may consider some of these Kadazan leaders as role models. You are a role model in the making.

Let the Lives of These Kadazans Speak to You
Let the personal life story of Kadazan leaders speak to you. Let these Kadazan personalities give you the insights that you may need.

Unknown Leaders of the Past
The harsh living conditions thousands of years ago would have required strong and wise leaders. The very fact that the Kadazan people are still around today is testimony to their prowess and great abilities.

It does not really matter by what name they called themselves then. And whatever they believed then in is not very important. Their exploits as "Kadazan personalities" of the past help their people blaze a path into the future which is NOW.

Important Place of Kadazan Women as Leaders
"Kadazan" animist belief required the existence of priests and priestesses. As time passed by, women priestesses began to exert more influence than their male counterparts. They did not only perform rituals but some priestesses also acted as mid-wives.

Dintas, was probably the most famous of chief priestesses. It was recorded that she was referred to as a "Dusun Maharani". It was said that many English colonial officials sought the opportunity to meet her. She was believed to have lived in the first half of the 19th century. You may say that she was one of the Kadazan personages of the past with great influence.

Two Kadazan priestesses were said to be very powerful. Whenever they led ceremonies simultaneously at different houses, the cockerels could exchange places. These were the legendary Piozon and Posohungka. They reputedly made a giant cannon to appear on top of the Tombovo-Maang mountain ridge. That cannon was used by the Tangaah to fight against the Brunei navy, it was said.

Kadazan Legendary Leaders
Among the legendary Kadazan personalities were Monsopiad and Gantang. This may also include Sungob.


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The Late Datuk Peter Joinod Mojuntin the "Golden Son of the Kadazans"


Modern Kadazan Personages

Most of the following personalities were the prominent leaders. Many would surely know Dato Donald (later Tun Fuad) Stephens and Datuk Peter Joinod Mojuntin.


Others include:

  1. Anthony Gibon, Datuk, politician
  2. Anthony Undan Andulag, O.K.K., politician
  3. Augustine Amandus, first Kadazan Roman Catholic priest
  4. Darius Binion, Datuk, politician
  5. Emmanuel Maluda, catechist
  6. Fred Jinu, Datuk, politician
  7. Fred Sinidol, Datuk, broadcaster, politician
  8. James Ongkili, Datuk, historian, politician
  9. Jintol Mogunting, Datuk, native leader
  10. Louis Majapur, catechist
  11. Marcus Otigil, educationist
  12. Peter Batungan, catechist
  13. Peter Lansing, catechist
  14. Samuel Majalang, catechist, educationist
  15. Stanislaus Tendahal, educationist, photographer
  16. Vincent Lajingau, businessman, politician


Among the present-day Kadazan leaders are:

  1. Bernard Dompok, Tan Sri, politician, ambassador
  2. Clarence Bongkos Malakun, Datuk, businessman
  3. Darrell Leiking, politician
  4. Donald Mojuntin, Datuk, politician
  5. Edwin Bosi, Dr., politician
  6. Eric Majimbun, Datuk, politician
  7. Jeffrey Kitingan, Datuk, Dr., politician
  8. Johnny Mositun, Datuk, politician

Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, "Huguan Siou"
  • 9. Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Tan Sri, politician, Huguan Siou (1984-)
  • 10. Joseph Kurup, Tan Sri, politician
  • 11. Marcus Mojigoh, Datuk, Dr., politician
  • 12. Maximus Ongkili, Datuk, Dr., politician
  • 13. Simon Sipaun, Tan Sri, activist
  • 14. Terence Siambun, politician
  • 15. Wilfred Madius Tangau, Datuk, politician
  • There are many Kadazan personages who became or are among the successful professionals.

    1. Felix Golingi, Datuk, civil servant
    2. Felix Tongkul, Dr., educationist
    3. Felix Silverius Madan, Datuk, civil servant
    4. Gimfil James, first Kadazandusun Medical Dr.
    5. Gregory Joitol, Datuk, retired civil servant
    6. Ignatius Bantoi, Datuk, retired civil servant
    7. John Maluda, Datuk, retired civil servant
    8. Lawrencius Ambu, Datuk, Dr.
    9. Marcus Joponi, Dr., lecturer
    10. Pat Michael, Datuk, retired civil servant
    11. Peter Athanasius, Datuk, retired civil servant
    12. Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri, Chief Judge
    13. Simon Sipaun (see above)

    (Note: "Dr." for other than Medical Doctor.)

    Other Kadazan personages or leaders in other areas of Kadazan or public / community life.

    1. Cornelius Piong, Bishop
    2. Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop
    3. Primus Jouil, Monsignor                           
    4. Gilbert Engan, Monsignor
    5. Francis Maluda, entrepreneur
    6. Janie Lasimbang, activist
    7. Justin Stimol, Datuk, singer
    8. Peter Lidadun, catechist, translater
    9. Wilfred Mojilis, lyricist-singer

    Selection Criteria
    The main criteria include beneficial contribution in whatever form to the progress and development of the Kadazan people in particular and or to society in general.

    The names of those who have the potential of contributing to Kadazan progress in whatever form, are also listed.

    Only time can tell.

    This means that the list is open-ended. It does not matter how small the contribution is. However, it is important that the contribution is beneficial in one way or another.

    Let the positive qualities of these leaders, including Kadazan personages, inspire you. Learn from the mistakes, if any, that any of them may have made.

    And move on. Progress to the next level.

    Tribute to the Unknown Kadazan Leader
    Tribute is a must to the unknown Kadazan leader or leaders whose ability ensured the survival of the Kadazan people right to this day.

    This would inevitably include the name of AKI Maragang, Runsud, Rongguvai, Tomui, and Sayap.


    Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, present Malaysian Ambassador to the Vatican
    Tan Sri Joseph Kurup
    Datuk Wilfred Bumburing
    Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan

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    Updated today, April 28, 2017