Although 2016 has been labeled by many as the worse year of this 17 year long century, the last year allowed for many Polynesians to excel in their respective crafts.
From dominating on the football field as usual to sweeping through the most acclaimed awards in Hollywood, it was quite the year for Polynesia. Here are some praiseworthy moments:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson claims his stake as the worlds highest paid actor raking in $64.5 million (Forbes).
We all have our favorite rocky lines and have at least once in our life shouted the words “if you smeeeeeellllll!? well, you know the rest, but this year has to be his most impressive.
Along with releasing the number one comedy of the year alongside Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence, The Rock has had a busy year shooting the HBO series “Ballers,” and the now famous animation “Moana.”
He also has been working on films such as Baywatch, Fast 8 and Jumanji. Can you smell that?
At age 16, Destanee Aiava competes in the Australian Open.
Although she lost her first Grand Slam match on Monday, Jan. 16th, she has been climbing the ranks quickly and her name has already begun to gain traction.
This week she got to hit with her long life idol Serena Williams, and has continued to play with elite company.
Watch for Destanee, the only player who was born in this century to play in a grand slam tournament, to continue to get better and rack up more wins against elite competition.
Reggae artist J Boog and Hawaiian Contemporary artist Kalani Pe’a invited to the Grammy’s.
Some of you remember the beginnings of J Boog’s career with songs like “Love Seasons,” and “lets do it again.” Others have only recently picked up his music.
At first it seemed as if underground reggae would be his only outlet, but he continued to gain popularity by releasing hit after hit.
This year he is nominated for Reggae Album of the year with his latest EP – “Rose Petals,” a prestigious award that puts him with the likes of Ziggy and Damian Marley, Shaggy, Sean Paul and other popular mainstream reggae artists.
Kalani Pe’a however, was nominated for best folk album with his debut album “E Walea.”
This category was added in 2011 and is award that acknowledges the best folk music from various cultures.
If Kalani, a Hawaii native who speaks Hawaiian fluently wins this award, he would be the first Hawaiian, or Polynesian for that matter, to receive this honor.
Moana makes headlines with Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
Polynesians all over the world got to experience something they never have: Seeing a reflection of themselves on the big screen.
Although there were some inaccuracies pointed out and an outburst in the Polynesian communities about where Moana is actually from (it’s okay guys she’s just a cartoon), for the most part this animation was received with love and admiration.
This heroine allowed our Polynesian sons and daughters to vicariously live through these animated characters while giving the world around us a taste of Polynesia.
Moana was nominated for two Golden Globes including best original song and best animation (which they didn’t win), but still has a chance to claim the Oscar for best animated feature in February.
This is just the beginning.
There are many other notable performances with many Polynesian’s like Danny Shelton, Marcus Mariota and Steven Adams excelling in professional sports and Jason Momoa coming in the much anticipated “Justice league” as “Aquaman.”
The truth is, our talents are everywhere and have penetrated the very core of mainstream media with fresh style, culture and flavor.
Perhaps the most impressive feat of all is how small we are in numbers.
We come from tiny places scattered throughout the South Pacific yet our talents and aspirations are as big as the ocean that surrounds us. That’s what makes us amazing. That’s what makes us Polynesian.
What/who else is missing from this list? Let Me know!
Robehmed, N. (2016, August 25). The World’s Highest-Paid Actors 2016: The Rock Leads With Knockout $64.5 Million Year. Retrieved January 17, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2016/08/25/the-worlds-highest-paid-actors-2016-the-rock-leads-with-knockout-64-5-million-year/#15e7ea2145da