6 Tisema Falaite
Combined effort with guest blogger Kotoni
The crowds turned out in their thousands to see the 2013 Kool 90 FM radio station annual Hip Hop competition. The starting time was advertised as 7.00pm so we got there in plenty of time and managed to secure some front row seats in the VIP section… At first we did wonder whether we had the right night… but then Tongan time is very flexible.
Sonia drove the school van transporting students and family members to see the competition live at the Atele indoor stadium. Students and some teachers were performing dance routines to LOUD music by both international and Tongan artists.
It was like every TV talent show put together under one roof going by the rapturous applause, screaming, shouting and the infectious Tongan laugh and gentle slapping of each other that made the night. 20 acts competed for prize money of $3k/ $2k and $1k TOP (a very substantial amount in any language).
Poor Sister Kieoma sprained her ankle this morning falling over one of their two puppies (not sure whether the culprit was ‘Star’ or ‘Ship’ – as both are very naughty and lack discipline). She had to stay home with her foot in an ice pack and watch the event from the convent lounge – as usual it was broadcast live via television and simulcast on the radio.
The warm up music consisted of Christmas tunes, all from the radio stations 1980’s personal cassette collection, and took me back a few years when Walkmans and BonnyM were all the rage.
The judges arrived and sat not 3 feet from our front row spot. I felt like Kyle, or whats the other famous persons name, from The Voice? I had restrain Sonia from wanting to turn her chair around and have her back to the stage. Being with locals also assisted with letting us know who’s who in the zoo and told us that one of the judges was a well-known TV personality! Well aren’t we all…
There are three special chairs on woven mats and a folded tapa in front of us reserved for ‘special guests’ who we were told are three teenage daughters of a noble. Sitting in the middle is the actual guest of honour is ‘Amelia Fakahiku-ki-‘Uiha Tu’iha’ateiho… Maybe Amy for short?
Our very own ‘Ahopanilolo student Saimone Fe’au aka Simon Sinatra did a fabulous solo song of ‘Angels Brought me Here’ and won first prize in the singing section. The dance troupe were not so fortunate but they certainly had the crowd roaring with the fabulous Fakaleiti flouncers!
The usual food and drink was offered to the VIP guests, nothing healthy of course, white bread sandwich, cake and red cordial but everything gets consumed and is appreciated. It is always good that these functions are alcohol-free.
Another terrific unique Tongan event.