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Interview with Kap

Kap Shaka

1-Minute Interview – Kap Te‘o-Tafiti

Kap Te’o-Tafiti is the Senior Cultural Ambassador for the Samoa Village. Millions of people from around the world over have enjoyed his performance at the village and in our evening show. A graduate of BYU-Hawaii, with a degree in Fine Arts, Kap has worked at the Center for 32 years, beginning as a Samoa Village Demo Guide. He was born in Samoa and has a whopping 28 siblings! But Kap is so much more than one paragraph could possibly explain. He is a recognized artist, has amazing skills with the fireknife, he presents and performs around the world, and he is even a YouTube sensation! Just Google his name and you will see. Kap IS Polynesia!

Thank you, Kap for giving us a few minutes of your time. Here’s the first question:

How are you filling your days?

I’m still working at the Samoa Village. We are assigned to essential work duties only such as maintaining the village and security detail for both the Samoan and Maori villages. I’m still pretty much keeping to my same daily activities that I did prior to this pandemic such as daily personal and family Scripture study and daily exercises. Since I live on a beach I can still swim/surf/kayak daily. The thing that’s really different, of course, is social distancing and I also find that we do not need to rush our family or fun times since my wife and sons and grandchildren are all home too. I also have the time now to finish up some art commissions and work on some other projects that I have been putting off. I enjoy doing yoga and cooking for and spending time playing with my family. I Skype daily with my extended family and friends around the world and we share uplifting, inspirational, educational and sometimes humorous stories.

What do you do to keep your spirits up?

Everything I listed above in Question One and just painting, sculpting, carving, weaving, cooking and spending time with my beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. I usually am up to watch the sunrise over our beach and I like listening to inspiring talks and audible books. I love doing genealogy too. This is a trying and worrisome time in the world but there are blessings also. With all the hours we now spend at home…I really enjoy long conversations with my wife and sons and I also enjoy seeing my kids appreciate spending time with each other and appreciating whatever blessings that we have.

Can you tell us about another time in your life where you may have utilized your Polynesian cultural and practices to guide you through challenges?

Well, in Samoa we usually face our challenges with faith that God is with us always, and also with the support of our extended family or village. That’s what the Fa’a Samoa is. We will pool our resources together and share whatever is needed with the entire extended family, whether it be food from our plantations or from the ocean, or housing someone in our own homes, or financial support within our means to help with anything from education, medical or daily expenses. This is pretty much a daily or common thing from small challenges like not having enough food for today to huge challenges like deaths or tsunami’s or any large tragedies…we just pull together as an extended family and endure through our trials together and thrive

What are you looking most forward to doing once the Polynesian Cultural Center reopens?

Since I’ve been working totally alone I’m actually looking forward to seeing my coworkers and sharing our culture and my art again with guests from here and from around the world. The Polynesian Cultural Center is such a special and blessed place that is a light to all that work and visit here.