Kealoha, the Poet - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kealoha, the Poet

(HawaiiNewsNow) - Kealoha is considered by some to be Hawaiʻi's first poet laureate.  However it wasn't too long ago that being a professional slam poet wasn't anywhere near Kealoha's list of career choices, Amy Kalili as more. 

While this was a career change of sorts for Kealoha, there is no doubting his natural skill when we see him in venues like these.

Aloha nui e nâ hoa aloha ʻôlelo. ʻOiai he ala hou ia no Kealoha ma kekahi ʻano, ua ahuwale ka nui o ka mâkau ke koho ʻia e komo i kçia ʻano papahana koʻikoʻi a kûikawâ nô.

Kealoha's journey from his home in Maunalua to the governor's inauguration in downtown Honolulu was a long one. 

Ua lôʻihi nô kçia huakaʻi ʻana o Kealoha mai kona kona one hânau ma Maunalua a hôʻea aku ʻo ia i ka pâ hale aliʻi no ka lâ poni kiaʻâina ma Honolulu kaona. 

"Our childhood was real humble. And our parents they were so loving and so caring, and so just like, they pushed us to be the best that we could be," says Kealoha, Poet. 

Nui ke aloha a nâ mâkua, a paipai ʻia mâua e kûlia aku i ka nuʻu.

And that support continued through Kealoha's schooling at MIT and his business career in San Francisco, before returning home to Hawaiʻi as a slam poet.

A ua mau nô ke kûpaʻa o ia kâkoʻo ma ko Kealoha hele kula ʻana i MIT no ka ʻepekema nukelea a me ka hana pâʻoihana ma Kapalakiko, ma mua o kona hoʻi ʻana mai i Hawaiʻi ma ke ʻano he mea haku poema.

"When I was living in San Fransico, um I mean, I was a business consultant so, I was like wearing these suits, and just being super disconnected from the ʻâina, disconnected from like where I wanted to go.  I happened to just stumble upon a slam poetry event and I went to it, and it rocked my world," says Kealoha.

Iaʻu ma Kapalakiko, he mea aʻoaʻo pâʻoihana au, ʻaʻohe pili iki i ka ʻâina.

Ua kupu wale mai kçia mea o ka ha‘i poema ‘ana. Ua komo au a ua puni koke.

Slam poetry is a mix of creativity, including theater, dance and rap.

ʻO ka poema slam, he huina o ka heluhelu poema, ka hana keaka, ka hulahula, ka pâleoleo – komo nâ ʻano hakuhia a noʻeau like ʻole.

"Once you find that genre that speaks to you, whatever it is, you know, whatever makes you happy and makes you stoked, you, you gotta do it.  For me, I feel like my kuleana is to contribute to the body of knowledge, ya to listen to all kûpuna to sort of interpret their stories and their information and be the voice, one of the voices of our generation," says Kealoha.

Aia a pâ maoli i ia hana kûpono a kâ‘ei ‘olu‘olu e lawa ai ‘oe, pono e komo piha.

He kuleana koʻu e hoʻonui i ka waihona ʻike, e kû i leo no ka hanauna nei.

And Kealoha is that voice that has emerged in this new day.

A ua paʻç mai nô ia leo aloha a ua puka aku nô i ke alaula o ke ao hou. A i kekahi pûkana, aloha!

 

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