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My dreams and my journey – Kasi Valu

Honestly listen. It’s as simple and complex as it sounds. Sometimes we don’t need solutions, we just need someone to listen with an empathetic heart.

– Kasi Valu

Do we really know what our young people are going through? Le Va had the privilege of connecting with a spoken word winner and leader in the Pasifika community, Kasi Valu. This is the the unedited story of his dreams, how he is coping with the pandemic and his advice for parents to better support their child’s mental health and wellbeing.

What are 5 dreams you have as a Pasifika young person?

Dreams are forever flourishing in and out like endless rivers washing the shores of my mind, every single day.
Taha – One dream that has planted its seed and mounted its immovable roots is to go back to Tonga and live there for some time. In the current climate we are living in this seems to become more out of reach. However, I tend to gravitate towards things that are not easy to attain, it’s embedded into who I am, it’s embedded into the excellence of every Pasifika person.
Ua – I dream to continue to tell stories for a living. I did not choose to pursue the arts, it is my calling. I have tried many other avenues of study and profession, however my soul is fulfilled by the nutrients of storytelling. This directly links to my work with Le Moana where I am mentored and nourished by one of the best Tupe Lualua, and with my brothers in Talanoa Toko. Both hold unique and special ties to the core compass that helps me navigate a variety of spaces within the arts and society.
Tolu – Win an Oscar. We are the original storytellers, need I say more?
Fa – I dream of writing and publishing a collection of poetry/short stories that is reflective of my experience as a sexually fluid Tongan child of the Pacific diaspora in Aotearoa in collaboration with other Pasifika artists, writer and poets because nobody hold a pen to paper like we do. Our experiences deserved to be and will be platformed within every stream of media, platform and avenue, in galleries, scholarly articles and stages, whatever it may be, our ancestors were, to allow us to be.
Nima – To choose joy, drink water, mind my business and stay connected to my family, to our people, our community, to our oceans.

How have you coped with the pandemic and how has this impacted your self-journey of personal growth and development?

I’m privileged to have had the support of my siblings and family during this pandemic. That’s how I continue to cope. Connecting with my family. In a world where there is so much uncertainty darting across our glass screens and the unpredictability of what may come next within our arts industry, it’s a privilege to have a foundation, sedimented in immovable and unconditional love.

Describe an environment that makes you most happy.

There’s an array of environments that make me most happy. Being inside my room with my books, incense, candle, and some butcher’s paper. Having time to Talanoa, eating junk food and watching a movie with my siblings, my nena, my family. Spending time with my chosen family in Wellington, who have nurtured in place of my siblings, in our falekā.

How could a parent better support their children’s mental health and wellbeing?

Honestly listen. It’s as simple and complex as it sounds. Sometimes we don’t need solutions, we just need someone to listen with an empathetic heart.




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Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.