The writer and the rapper
They both deal with words, but for the first time in her life, the Porirua rapper was speechless.
Moe Nanai was meeting her idol – acclaimed Pacific writer Albert Wendt.
It was one of the biggest moments in her young life.
‘‘I studied him at university, but never thought I would meet him,’’ she said.
Wendt came to New Zealand from Samoa at 13. Later he gained an MA and has become a noted writer.
What would he think of a 22-year-old rapper, a young woman who rasps out her message with the spoken word, not the written? ‘‘She’s marvellous,’’ he said. Their meeting was arranged by festival organisers. Wendt knew about it in advance, but not Nanai.
She thought she would quietly catch Albert at his workshop at Pataka Museum, one of the crowd.
Festival organisers gave her a few minutes’ warning and she sat through his session nervously.
Then she was being introduced to the man himself.
‘‘ I was excited, but just didn’t know what to say,’’ said Nnanai, who ordinarily can rap to audiences anywhere, any time.
Nanai’s parents come from Falelatai on the Samoan island of Upolu, and she is Porirua born and bred.
Her fans refer to her as the Bard of Porirua. She writes poetry then raps it out.
One of her pieces for the festival titled All things Beautiful was about Porirua.