Guest Writer

DON'T YOU WANT TO BE SAMOAN?

By Dahlia Malaeulu 

This article was originally published in E-Tangata and is republished on Coconet with permission

Dahlia Malaeulu is a Wellington mother and teacher, and the author of Mila’s My Gagana Series, a set of Sāmoan language books for children.

These days, she’s also a proud New Zealand-born Sāmoan, but it wasn’t always so. Despite growing up in a household with Sāmoan-speaking parents who’d been born and bred in Sāmoa, she has spent much of her life struggling with her identity and trying to figure out what being Sāmoan really means.

Here she writes about the long, hard road to becoming Sāmoan.

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‘What’s your iwi?’

My first encounter with my cultural identity was around 30 years ago at primary school in Wainuiomata, Wellington. During a lesson about where we came from, one of my teachers asked me: “What’s your iwi?”

I remember going home and asking my mum. She gave me a shocked look, and giggled. Then she told me that I had no iwi and that it was “only for Maoris”.

I retreated to my bedroom, stumped.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - TALIA'ULI LATUKEFU

TALIA'ULI LATUKEFU 

Actor 

Tongan 

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My name is Talia’uli Latukefu but most people know me as Uli. I’m Tongan, born and raised in Australia and I’m an actor. 

What were the pathways that led you to pursue acting? 

When I was about 21, I met a couple from church who were running a creative arts program for at risk youth in Brisbane, Australia. Id recently moved there from Sydney where I grew up. They were really inspiring. A small group of us devised a musical together with a local playwright. It was called Paradise - The Musical, mostly young Pacific Island cast and original music. It was a lot of fun. A few years later the director emailed me about an audition for a play. I auditioned and got the role, that role lead to another audition and a small tour.…more


Entertainment

SIMONE JOHNSON ON FULFILLING HER WWE DREAMS

Simone Johnson, daughter of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia, sits down with Cathy Kelley to discuss her love of sports-entertainment and why she’s joining the WWE Performance Center to train to become WWE’s first fourth-generation Superstar.

In an interview with WWE Backstage, Charlotte Flair (daughter of WWE legend Rick Flair) gave advice to Simone from her own experience in the clip below  


What's Niu

History made as Brisbane welcomes its first QLD Tongan Language School

History was made and classrooms were packed as Brisbane’s Tongan community welcomed the long-anticipated QLD Tongan Language School at Griffith University Logan Campus.

A team of volunteer teachers, members of the Brisbane Tongan Community executive, media and a mixture of pre-school, primary and secondary school students in addition to a keen open adult class converged on campus to study a 12-month course in Lea Faka-Tonga the Tongan Language.

Convenor of the QLD Tongan Language School, Bruce Manu-Sione explained that the curriculum was developed with assistance from the NSW Tongan Language School with generous support from their principal, Mrs Uanivā Havea.

“The course is designed for beginners in all age groups and we are so stoked to see the diversity of ethnicities joining the classes, including Papālangi, Samoans, Māori and Tongans,” Bruce Manu-Sione added.

The first day of classes was opened in a traditional ceremony acknowledging indigenous Australians and a spiritual devotional led by Brisbane Tongan Community President, Rev. Maile Molitika.…more


Entertainment

KULTURE CHAT - NESIAN MYSTIK

Flava's launched a new evening show with a podcast hosted by Dan Mcleod, Eti Naseri and Shoko Kurata - the trio of homies talk all things Hip Hop n RnB, things that affect NZ and Australia while cracking jokes at each other while they do it.

You can check out more of their interviews on their Youtube Channel here with guests like UFC Middleweight Champ Israel Adesanya, the godfather of NZ Hip Hop - Brotha D and more. 

Fresh off smashing the One Love Festival stages on both sides of the Tasman the boys from Nesian Mystik drop in for this weeks #KultureChat.   and cover off the journey from their start to what they're all up to today.


Blog

INDIGENOUS STORY TELLERS

At the 2020 Academy Awards, Taika Waititi made history as the first indigenous film maker to have won the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

Young Pasifika film makers respond to Taika's groundbreaking Oscar speech about the value of our stories on screen!

STALLONE IOASA 

Samoan Writer, Director and Film maker 

Three Wise Cousins, Hibiscus & Ruthless and Take Home Pay 

"The cinema screen is a prestigious canvas and it carries more weight than most people would realize. Seeing our own stories on a canvas that rarely carries our stories reaffirms their importance but also the value of the audience they are made for. Film is a world stage, and you finally get to stand on it and perform.
 
Telling our stories means you have an opportunity to tell stories and infuse it with the cultural nuances only those who have lived such a life would understand."

DIANNA FUEMANA 

Niuean Writer and Director 

Sunday Fun Day & Vai 

"What’s special about our stories from the Moana is our unique lens as Pasifika storytellers.…more


Sports

SIMONE JOHNSON (DAUGHTER OF THE ROCK) BEGINS FULL TIME TRAINING AT THE WWE PERFORMANCE CENTRE

Simone Johnson, daughter of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Dany Garcia has reported to the WWE Performance Centre to begin training, and is on her way to becoming WWE’s first fourth-generation Superstar.

Simone wrote on her social media accounts: 

"For the little girl who fell in love with wrestling & was determined to make this dream a reality - this is for you. I’m beyond thankful for this opportunity & ready to get after it. Let’s do this."

Simone's father Dwayne shared this message on his instagram 

Her mother Dany Garcia shared this touching tribute to her daughter earlier today on Twitter.

Simone will look to carry on the legacy of the Johnson-Maivia family, a lineage that includes her great grand-father WWE Hall of Famer, High Chief Peter Maivia, her grand father WWE Hall of Famer, Soul man Rocky Johnson, her father Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as well as the legendary Anoa'i family.

With her signing, Simone is in the position to become WWE's first ever, 4th Generation wrestling super star!  


Humans of the Islands

WOMEN OF THE ISLANDS - PRISCILLA TUALA-FATA

PRISCILLA TUALA-FATA 

CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR & BODY BUILDER 

SAMOAN 

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Talofa Lava, my name is Priscilla Tuala-Fata.

I am 42 years old and I am the eldest twin out of my sister and I, and the second oldest in our aiga. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lived there until the age of 6, then we moved to a much smaller town called Hastings. I am now living in Flaxmere, Hastings where I spent most of my life as a young child to adolescent and now as an adult. I have four children, the oldest being 19 currently attending Victoria University of Wellington and the youngest being only 6 years old. I attended Flaxmere Primary School, Flaxmere Intermediate and Hastings Girls’ High School. My experience at Hastings Girls High School was a great one. I participated in volleyball, basketball and the pasifika group which helped me to make lasting friendships and also helped me to build a stronger connection with my Samoan culture. I work at Choices Kahungunu Health Services as a Claims Administrator for the Midwives.…more


Sports

TROY POLAMALU ELECTED TO PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

Samoan NFL great Troy Polamalu, who played Safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2003 - 2014 has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Polamalu’s “combination of speed, anticipation and toughness” made the eight-time Pro Bowler one of the best at his position in NFL history. Polamalu was named a first-team All-Pro four times and the NFL’s MVP in 2010 and won two Super Bowl rings. Many football pundits argue that he revolutionized the safety position. For a dozen years, Polamalu was the public face of the Steelers’ franchise because of his stellar performance and his television commercials for Head & Shoulders shampoo.

Check out the announcement of the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 at the 9th annual NFL Honors in Miami in the video above and check out his unreal NFL career highlights in the video below.


Entertainment

JIMMY VEA - THE VOICE FRANCE 2020

For his blind audition, Jimmy Vea from New Caledonia sings 'It's a Man's World' by James Brown and blows all 4 of the judges away with his performance.