I am not a writer, but when I heard him speak, I was completely floored.
I suddenly realized
I had missed my calling how powerful the words he spoke and how much mana this man possessed.
When he spoke about the fagogo, I smiled because he was describing the very reason why I love writing on this blog and telling tales and kulukus.....he spoke about listening to his own elders telling the fagogo while he and his siblings lomi'd (massage) the legs of the old lady.
Koke Aiono talked about this too, and so many other Samoan writers....this was the beginning of their creative drive., and e sa'o lelei Albert:
"We didn't have television, My Grandmother, she had sore legs and she would reward us with a fagogo. ...There is a call, "Tagi le Fagogo" and we had to respond to show that we were paying attention all along.
I can still hear her telling the fagogo".
After he spoke, I asked my crowd to tell me what they thought of the evening and Albert Wendt, here is their feedback:
"He was true to himself, where he came from" Faleasiu, Year 11
"He wasn't ashamed of his culture" Vetti, Year 10
""Exhilarating" Barry, Year 6
"Funny" Moelagi, Year 2
What I also found intriguing and promising was his references to second or third generation Pacific kiwis, who are now excelling in all areas, like the arts, as writers, artists and one of those was his granddaughter Isabella Moore, who is an opera singer...stunning voice and totally complemented the mood of the evening. Seki a!
But the most powerful comment of the evening was this:
"Sometimes, the most influential people in your life are those who are absent"
Maualaivao Albert Wendt
|Albert Wendt and my nieces (:|