Khona Va’aga Gray set to shake up new-look festival
Songbird Khona Va’aga Gray is no stranger to the annual Pasifika Festival.
She has performed there before and will be among those taking to the stage again this year when the new-look extended event takes place at Western Springs on March 9 and 10.
All worked hard to get their place in the spotlight after auditioning last November and are ranked among some of the Pacific’s finest up and coming talents.
Khona certainly ticks all the boxes.
She was the overall junior winner at the 2010 New Zealand Gold Guitar awards in Gore while still a 12-year-old pupil at Holy Cross School in Papatoetoe and has taken part in numerous Matariki celebrations.
She has also entertained crowds at Coca Cola Christmas in the Park and in shopping malls and commercial centres.
Thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s Pasifika Festival to sample the culture, music and food of the 10 nations that are represented.
Other entertainers include The Unbreakables, spoken word artist Rizvan, Hip Hop dancer Lil Morgz and rock band Vallkyrie.
The festival, now in its 21st year, is organised by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and spokesman Stan Wolfgramm is delighted with the calibre of performers.
‘‘It’s wonderful that so many of them call Auckland and the Pacific home and are able to share their craft at this festival. For many, performing at Pasifika will be their largest live audience,’’ he says.
Aotearoa, Samoa, Tuvalu, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue and Kiribati will be represented during the event.
All will have bustling markets with authentic and traditional food stalls and dance performances on the Saturday. and Sunday’s programme will feature a multi- denominational church service from 9am till 10am followed by cultural demonstrations throughout the day.
ATEED and Suburban Newspapers, part of the Fairfax Media Mighty A Network and publisher of the Auckland City Harbour News, will fundraise at this year’s festival with proceeds donated to Make-A-Wish New Zealand, a charitable organisation supporting children with life-threatening illnesses.
Entry is free.
High profile: Singer Khona Va’aga Gray is booked to play at the 21st annual Pasifika Festival next month.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see a video of Khona Va’aga Gray perform.