Ngahauoma radio show supports its community

Story and slideshow by JANICE ARCALAS

“We are more than tattoos and music. We’re more than violence. We’re more than health problems. We are valid and we’re American, just like everyone else,” said Havier Hafoka, cohost of the radio show “Ngahauoma.”

“Ngahauoma” is a radio show that goes on air every Sunday from 10 to 11 p.m. It is run by the National Tongan-American Society, at the KRCL radio station located at 1971 W. North Temple. “Ngahauoma” is under the “Talakoula” radio show. The radio show covers Polynesian events, people, programs and musical artists.

Even though the “Talakoula” radio show has been running for over 20 years, “Ngahauoma” is a fairly new radio show. It is currently in its third month. Hafoka doesn’t remember the exact number of listeners, but said he was told the average number is over 1,000 people. White also said that the show has been receiving high ratings.

The show works with various musical Polynesian artists. “Music is inherent in the Polynesian culture,” Hafoka said. “Most Polynesians are connected with music.”

The “Ngahauoma” is not just a Polynesian music radio show. It is all about helping its Pacific Islander community.

One of the program’s goals is to get more Pacific Islanders to register to vote. Its target is the millennial generation. There has been a decrease in the Pacific Islanders who are registered to vote, said Penina White, cohost of “Ngahauoma” and NTAS civic engagement director. This is because the millennial generation is not registering to vote.

“If more Pacific Islanders were to register to vote, they would have a say in what goes on in their community,” White said.

Another goal that the radio show is trying to reach is getting Pacific Islanders to become U.S. citizens. “There are Pacific Islanders that are green card holders,” White said, “but are not sure how to file citizenship.”

Citizenship will enable them to get specific benefits, White said. “It will also give them a seat at the table in the government office. We want to be able to have a say on what happens in our community.”

Maryan Logisiola Savini works at KRCL, Havier Hafoka works with youth corrections and is a musician and Penina White is the civic engagement director for the NTAS. “We all bring different aspects to the show but they work well as a team to host the show together,” White said. The hosts of the radio show not only highlight the good, but also talk about sensitive topics in their community.

The show hosts want to make sure that they are reaching their target audience, even if that means one person.

“Usually issues that happen don’t leave the home,” White said. “There are other avenues outside the home, other resources and help.”

“Ngahauoma” pushes for education in the Pacific Islander community. “Most are expected to work and help provide for their families after they graduate from high school,” White said. “We found that by getting an education, it helps the Pacific Islander community.”

The next segment happening in May on the radio show is suicide. “The suicide rate in our high school students is at the highest it’s ever been,” White said. “It is a sensitive topic but an issue we have to touch up on.”

The show’s main message not only is to touch the community but to anyone who listens. Anyone in northern Utah has access to the “Ngahauoma” radio show. The radio show also has listeners from California and people who are incarcerated are able to listen.

One of the next steps of the “Ngahauoma” is to get a two-hour time slot. The hosts want to be able to have time to talk about sensitive topics. “The one hour goes by so fast,” White said.

“Ngahauoma” is a radio show all about focusing on its community. “The Pacific Islander community is family orientated and all about giving back to the community,” White said. “The show recognizes that.”

Hafoka enjoys connecting with listeners. “My favorite part about the radio show is being able to have an outlet to help bring awareness and to talk about what’s going on with the community,” Hafoka said. “Our show helps more than just Polynesians. We are a community radio. We help everyone in the community.”

 

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