Inmate Group Nominated for Hoku Award - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Inmate Group Nominated for Hoku Award

Kulani Christian Fellowship Kulani Christian Fellowship
Brian Wong Brian Wong

by Stephanie Lum

(KFVE) Many have described the night of the Na Hoku Hanohano awards as an evening of magic and surprise. And, there's no exception this year. Many were surprised to hear that one of the nominees for an award, happens to be a musican, now serving time at the Laumaka Work Furlough Center. He now shares his story of how it all happened.

"I didn't even imagine it would go this far."

Brian Wong says it all started when crowds attending a church service he performed at got hooked on his music.

"It kinda came up one night when of the ladies that attended one of the events said when are you guys going to make a CD? They enjoyed the music. We kinda of laughed about it cause nobody makes a CD in prison" said Wong.

But he and the nine other prisoners of the Kulani Christian Fellowship would do just that, with a lot of help, of course.

"The instruments donated by various churches and we would meet in a room not any bigger than this and we we would record."

The group would go on to record 10 songs. "The cry of your heart" would be nominated for Best Religious Album in this year's Hoku Awards. 

"I wrote that song when i first came into prison actually back in '97 when I was at Halawa."

Wong, a father and a husband, was convicted of sexual assault. He spent the last nine years in prison.

"There's the loneliness, theres the pain, of what you've done. Maybe the pain of what you've lost, the pain of who you hurt."

But he found hope. And in this song, he shares that message.

"The words of the song say there's a hope for tomorow. What will they say, what will people say when I leave these walls and these bars? Christ. Only Christ hears our cry. And he's the one that changed my life. The fact that here I am sitting in front of you talking about Hoku Award nomination, there's hope."

Wong will be released from prison in June. He is hoping that he will be allowed to attend the awards ceremony. The Na Hoku Hanohano Awards take place Wednesday May 31st at 7:30 PM. It will be broadcast live on K5. The broadcast will also be live streamed over the internet at K5thehometeam.com.
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