Council’s singing sensations
When Caroline Fotualii, Seraphina Mika and Alice Ropata started singing, they never thought they’d end up on the main stage.
The three women make up the Jandal Sisters, a Porirua City Council singing group that performed at the city’s 50th birthday celebrations last year.
They started singing as a bit of fun, inspired by the New Zealand/ Samoan all-female group of the 1970s, the Yandal Sisters.
Though they’d sung for years, their performance in front of 650 people at Te Rauparaha Arena last October was a big step up for Fotualii, Mika and Ropata.
They said there weren’t too many nerves on the night, despite it being their first time on such a major stage.
‘‘If you get Samoans together and give them a song, they’ll sing. It’s the same for us,’’ Fotualii said.
‘‘We’ve been singing all our lives. In Samoan culture you’re brought up singing, either in the church or the community.’’
The Jandal Sisters were formed for a talent show several years ago, drawn from the council’s waiata group.
They were initially booked for council or civic events.
‘‘We worked well together and just loved singing,’’ Fotualii said.
Ropata said everything fell into place because of the natural bond they had. ‘‘It’s fun and we all enjoyed it,’’ she said.
Fotualii and Mika, who are council committee advisers, were original members of the waiata group, which started in 2001. Ropata, part of the council’s corporate and strategic planning team, joined the group about 18 months ago. They spent many lunchtimes practising before the Porirua 50th celebrations.
‘‘For me it was an amazing privilege – I might not be around for the next milestone!’’ Mika said.
‘‘It was just nice to be part of the night,’’ Ropata said.
The trio aren’t sure when they will next perform. ‘‘We’ve had a few offers, but they didn’t fit into our schedules. We’re just focusing on work at the moment,’’ Fotualii said.
The Jandal Sisters are retro singers, going for classics such as Sweet Inspiration by the Yandal Sisters or Chanson D’Amour by the Manhattan Transfer.
The Jandal Sisters – from left, Caroline Fotualii, Seraphina Mika, and Alice Ropata.