Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - LUKE AIONO

LUKE AIONO 

GUITARIST 

SAMOAN 

I grew up in Long Beach, California.  My parents were musicians so music has always been a big part of my life.  They're both Samoan, born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand but they migrated to California in the 80s.  I started taking classical piano lessons at 6 until I switched to guitar in high school and taught myself from then on out. I played a lot in LA clubs/jam sessions during and after high school and shortly thereafter got asked to play for Kenny Lattimore + Chante Moore as well as the hip hop artist Nas.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - ASHLEE FIDOW

ASHLEE FIDOW

STUNTWOMAN

SAMOAN / CHINESE / EUROPEAN 

I was born and raised in Auckland and grew up in Avondale. I’m Samoan, Chinese, English and German. My mum raised me on her own, it was a struggle from time to time as shes had rheumatoid arthritis for 30 yrs which is a joint disease that makes the easiest tasks very painful to do. Shes always had a never give up attitude and was determined to deal with the pain and work full time to look after me the best she could. Lucky we had a big extended family, I was always around my cousins who were like my siblings and my fondest memories were being brought up with them and my Nana. My nana was very traditional, she brought the discipline, made sure we kept our culture, made us sing in Samoan, yell at us in Samoan and say prayers before school etc but she passed when I was 11 and things haven’t been the same since, something I miss a lot in my life.more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - ALI FOA'I

ALI FOA'I 

ACTOR/WRITER 

NIUEAN / TUVALUAN / TOKELAUAN & AMERICAN SAMOA

Fakaalofa lahi atu, Taloha ni, Talofa, Kia ora, Asalaam alykum!

I am Ali Foa’i and I am an actor slash writer born and raised in West Auckland, currently residing in Te Aro, Wellington. I am Niuean, Tuvaluan, Tokelauan and American Samoan, a proud child of the Pacific.

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You're currently in rehearsals for the show 'MoodPorn' can you tell us a bit about it and why you were attracted to the role?

MoodPorn (showing at Bats Theatre, Wellington April 23-May 4) is a brand new play by Wellington based Filipino writer Matthew Loveranes about two old uni friends catching up one night and spilling secrets and drama! It’s very melodramatic but anchored in a hypnotically poetic and modern script. My character Atlas is a migrant to New Zealand, his family moving for a better life which as a PI I could relate to.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - FA'AFETAI 'TAI' FA'ALEAVA

Fa'afetai "Tai" Fa'aleava 

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate

Samoan 

My name is Tai Faaleava, I was born in Moto’otua in Samoa; lived there for 6 years. Then moved to Jamaica for 5 years; New Zealand for 8 years; and currently reside in America since the year 2006. My villages in Samoa are Lano, Vaiusu, Malie, Samata, and Fagaloa. I am currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology and anticipate graduating in 2020.

You are currently heading towards a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology - can you tell us what that is, what made you interested in that field and what you love about it?

Yes, I am currently pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco, California.  I intend to become a licensed clinical psychologist to provide mental health services to people of color and other vulnerable populations.  My parents have worked in the ministry my entire life.  Seeing them constantly helping people in various ways instilled in me the desire to help others as well.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - EMMANUEL "E-MAN" CARLOS

Emmanuel “E-MAN” Carlos 

Pro Boxer

Samoan / Cook Islands 

 

Kia Orana, Talofa and G’day CoconetTV fans.

It's an absolute honour to share a little insight about myself, my life and my journey so far.  My name is Emmanuel Carlos and I'm 26 years old. I was born in Sydney, Australia but now living in Melbourne, Victoria.  My father is Samoan, from the village of Sogi (Chan Chuni) and my mother is Cook Islander (Vakatini). Everyone is always misled by my surname Carlos, and always mistake my background with anything but Polynesian. The Carlos name comes from my step grandfather who is Spanish.

I was born and raised here in Australia. I'm what you call an Aussie. Even though I was born in Oz, I am very proud of my pacific heritage and culture. 

I'm a professional boxer, my current record is 10 fights - 9 wins with 7 knockouts. The one loss was against Junior World IBF Champion Dwight Ritchie a fight I took on a week and a half notice.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - ARRIANNA PRINCESS AUVA'A

The extraordinary life of Arrianna Princess Auva'a who is the first fa'afafine in the US military.

She tells her story here in this Coconet exclusive!

Follow Arrianna here on Facebook & Instagram:


Humans of the Islands

WOMEN OF THE ISLANDS - TESSA TEMATA

TESSA TEMATA 

New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands / Samoan 

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I can trace my Cook Island heritage back 26 generations to Kaitini Ariki, the eldest child of Uke who settled the island of Mauke.  My father, Tiatoa Temata, married my mother, Jane Crichton, whose aiga are from Asau in Samoa.   There is also a wee dram of Scottish voyager in there dating back to the 19th century when a sailor called William Crichton decided to settle in Samoa.

I was born and raised in Taranaki.  The seventh of nine children.more


Humans of the Islands

WOMEN OF THE ISLANDS - DARCIE PULAWA

DARCIE PULAWA 

CEO of Divergent Talent Management 

Native Hawaiian / Filipino 

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Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii to Benjamin Pulawa III and Danelle Pulawa. My father's family is of Native Hawaiian descent, deeply rooted to the Hawaiian genealogy, language, and culture. My mother's side of the family migrated from the Philippines. My father is a retired operators engineer and my mother is an artist and entrepreneur. She has owned and operated an archery store for over 30 years and enjoys playing classical guitar. I have a younger brother, Benjamin Pulawa IV, who lives in California. He owns a bridal hair and make up business; he's also a hair stylist, dancer, and performer. Currently, I am the CEO of Divergent Talent Management. Prior to talent management, I've attended multiple universities, owned businesses and studied the craft of acting while raising my children.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - THE ALATINI FAMILY

PATRICA, OCEAN & THE ALATINI FAMILY 

FAMILY FOOD FIGHT CONTESTANTS 

TONGAN / MAORI 

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I'm a mum of 8 and my heritage is Maori / Palangi  of Ngapuhi and Tainui descent.  Our children are Tongan and Rarotongan so we are very diverse in cultural flavours and recipes through family bloodlines.  Ocean is our eldest child and together we competed on a food show and were known as The Alatini family. Ocean is 26 yrs old and engaged to Vanel Ram. He is of Fijian Indian heritage.  We also have 2 grand-daughters that are Maori and Niuean / Samoan so we are pretty blended in a great way. 
My husband Sam and myself come from large Maori and Polynesian families. Originally from Manurewa and Otara we have strong ties with a number of sporting codes within NZ and Tonga.  Sam grew up in the village of Kolovai and immigrated to NZ when he was 9 years old, where he lived with his family on East Tamaki Road in Otara.  His Dad Malakai represented Tonga back in the 70s.…more

Humans of the Islands

WOMEN OF THE ISLANDS - TIANNA TUAMOHELOA

TIANNA TUAMOHELOA 

Miss Nevada USA 2019 

Samoan / Tongan / African-American / Japanese / Irish

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I grew up a Military brat where both of my parents were in the United States Army. I was born in Fort Riley, Kansas, moved around to about 4 states from the South to the West Coast and finally my parents retired to Las Vegas, Nevada where we have lived for the last 14 years. Though my 3 brothers and I grew up in the mainland, we were always reminded of where we truly come from. My parents Simi, Jr and Salamasina Nomura McMoore Timu Tuamoheloa hail from Illilli, Utulei and Lealoaloa, American Samoa. My father is Samoan/Tongan/African-American and my mother is Samoan/Japanese/Irish. 

How has your upbringing & culture shaped you into the woman you are today?
Being Samoan has taught me the most important value, and that’s respect.…more