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"Learn To Love & Respect Yourself - Or No One Else Will"

26 Oct 2023

One of the central figures in arts collective Pacific Sisters shares a litany of life lessons that would have been wonderful to know before embarking on a creative journey.

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Henry Ah-Foo Taripo. Photo: Supplied.

Renowned arts collective Pacific Sisters are among the creatives part of the Boosted x Moana campaign that runs through the month of October - raising funds for its “MORUROA”: the Extended Version Remix project.

Dedicated member Henry Ah-Foo Taripo is a celebrated musician, composer, and award-winning actor with roots from the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga. who has been actively collaborating and performing with the group since the 1990s.

When asked on what advice he would give his younger self - Henry responded in the way he would typically talk to himself - in bullet point form.

•    Listen to your elders, they have more experience than you. You'll save yourself trouble by taking their advice.

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Henry Ah-Foo Taripo back in the '90s. Photo: Kerry Brown.

•    Get an education or educate yourself. It's crucial to learn new things and be aware of the world. 

•    Stay out of trouble! Avoid jail and don't mess with the law. It's not worth the risk.

•    Seek help if you're feeling unwell or depressed, It’s OK. Reach out! There are many resources and people who can help you.

•    Visualise your future and aim to be your own boss.

•    Believe and trust in God or a higher power.

•    Believe that all things are possible if you put your mind to it.

•    Believe in miracles because they do happen.

•    Believe and trust in your dreams.

•    Always be grateful for everything.

•    Celebrate life every day. You’re here for a reason.

•    Be humble, kind and thoughtful.

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Opening Acti.VA.tion of Pacific Sisters: He Toa Taera /Fashion Activists exhibition, Te Papa Tongarewa, 2018. Photo: Kerry Brown

•    Don't judge others and treat them how you would want to be treated.

•    Help those in need, be a blessing to others.

•    Serve your country, as your ancestors did.

•    Be diligent and develop a caring nature.

•    Stay focused on your goals, stay in your lane and mind your own business.

•    Save money and get into the habit of doing so.

•    Learn foreign languages fluently and travel the world.

•    Memorise your family genealogy so you don’t end up with your first cousin!

•    Stay away from drugs and alcohol. There is no future there.

•    Take care of your mind and body, there's only one of you.

•    Learn to love and respect yourself, or no one else will.

•    Be independent and don't rely on others. Catch the public transport or hitch a ride. You’ll reach your destination.

•    Invest in your family members and their skills. Because when you die, everything will stay in the Famalee.

•    Learn how to cook well, exercise and eat healthily.

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Henry Ah-Foo Taripo in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of Te Papa.

•    Learn how to build a house. You come from a big family.

•    Learn about law and order.

•    Learn business and start one up. If it fails, do it again, and keep it simple.

•    Work harder when you're younger - or marry someone rich.

•    Travel the world to learn about different cultures. You will understand the world better. 

•    Go to university and get a degree. It looks good on your CV - even if you’re a bum.

•    Learn to play different musical instruments. It comes in handy.

•    Give all types of sports a go. Choose one and master it.

•    Enjoy art, make art and sell it if you're good at it.

•    Learn about IT, or you'll be left behind.

•    Read books more as knowledge is power.

•    Plant fruits and vegetables, trees and flowers on your own farm. It will pay off.

•    Believe in prayer and its power. It’s all worth it!

•    Look to the future, stay positive, be happy and smile. It's a great feeling. 

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Henry Ah-Foo Taripo. Photo: Supplied.

•    Respect Mother Nature - and she'll respect you.

•    Live as long as you can on Earth, there's no excuse not to.

•    Stay healthy mentally, physically and spiritually. It’s a beautiful world we live in.

•    Tell your 22-year-old self that the music you make is powerful and that your compositions will be heard and will create an impact on the world stage.

•    Tell yourself that you're a great catch and the right person is on the way.

•    You're loved, amazing, and you're going to have a wonderful, healthy life, and your family will be taken care of. 

•    Own and claim every single word written today, thought of and spoken of. It's all accountable right now.

•    Amen - and so be it!


To contribute to Pacific Sisters' Boosted x Moana campaign for its “MORUROA”: the Extended Version Remix project, click here. The campaign ends 31 October.