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Promoting disability through arts and culture - acknowledgement to Pati Umaga

Pati Umaga, and his team, had the privilege of performing his song SIVA (DANCE) as the opening act for the Pacific Music Awards 2018. Minister Carmel Sepuloni acknowledged the "powerful, energetic performance" in her speech.

Some words from Pati...

"The Pacific Music Awards is a major national, annual music event alongside the Maori Music Awards and the New Zealand Music Awards. Onstage performing with me, a dance group of Pacific youth with physical and learning disabilities, Pasefika Phusion 2.0 (PP 2.0). Also on stage, keyboard player Mental Health and Addictions leader and advocate Johnny Siaosi. 

"For PP 2.0, leading up to the awards night was a pressure-filled, three-week roller coaster ride of emotions, at times frustration at learning and rehearsing a new choreography knowing they would perform live in front of 4000 people with a TV audience of thousands more. 

“Just before we went onstage there were nerves, self-doubt, apprehension, butterflies but performance was powerful, confident, energetic and the performers came off the stage as giants. Even the parents and family of PP 2.0 who came and supported their sons and daughters were emotional and in tears seeing them performing onstage.”

And, here's the performance...

Minister Carmel Sepuloni went "off-script" to acknowledge the "powerful, energetic performance"

Some final words from Pati...

“I want to highlight the journey for PP 2.0 and showcase an innovative approach of engaging youth with disabilities (including Mental Health and Addictions) and utilising the arts to challenge  stigma, stereotyping, to build capacity and youth leadership.  My hope is that there are more opportunities for a group like Pasefika Phusion 2.0 to utilise and showcase their artistic talents.”

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