"What I learned over lockdown was that success is not defined by the work that I do. Success for me is staying true to who I am"
top Must Dos
I established Fua Creative Ltd in 2019 to integrate my passion in creativity, culture, cognition and community. Fua is a Tongan word, which can be translated to mean “fruitfulness”, or “to produce fruit”.
Through Fua Creative I co-direct Bcre8ve NZ Dance Academy and run community dance projects with youth, giving young people the chance to express themselves, gain confidence and discover their potential through hip hop, contemporary or Pacific dance.
As a vocal coach I give singing lessons to people of all ages. It’s fun to see them achieve their vocal goals, especially in the recording studio.
I also work in 10 Marlborough schools (primary to secondary) delivering a Pacific Performing Arts Education Programme that educates and provides students with the opportunity to excel in school through cultural awareness and inclusivity. Last year, students had the chance to celebrate and perform at the region's first Polyfest, which was awesome to be a part of.
As I’m always looking for ways to develop my skills and help improve the wellbeing of the community, last year I wrote and directed the Marlborough Combined Colleges stage play "Māfana" which was Marlborough's first Pacific theatre production. It was all about using song, dance and acting to convey some of the issues faced by the Pasifika community here in New Zealand.
It was so well received by the community, we got loads of positive feedback of how it impacted the lives of the cast and the community.
Māfana refers to that emotional and heart-warming feeling of joy that gives you a sense of pride in something. Lockdown was tough in the sense it disrupted my work, but having that time out allowed me to ignite my own Māfana within.
After working so hard over the past few years producing the Fua, it was good to be forced to stop, re-evaluate and reset new pathways for exciting new creative ideas, and learn to appreciate me-time! Through having that time to myself, I realised what was really important and learned that to be kind to others, I have to be kind to myself.
During lockdown I was able to continue working with youth online to deliver the Hapai Pukuriri Anger Management programme with Maataa Waka Trust. Maataa Waka provides such a great service to the community, and they have always made me feel welcomed and supported. It’s fulfilling to work with caring people who look out for my well-being - especially during lockdown.
What I learned over lockdown was that success is not defined by the work that I do. Success for me is staying true to who I am. Whether I make a lot, or achieve less, as long as I can hand on heart say I am true to my identity, values and self worth, then that is the greatest success of all.