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Loud and proud: Nootai wows crowd with powerful pe’e

Friday 14 April 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Education, Features, National

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Loud and proud: Nootai wows crowd with powerful pe’e
Nukutere College Year 9 student leader Elijah Nootai. Photo: Melina Etches

Nukutere College Year 9 student leader Elijah Nootai proudly showcased his love of culture on stage in front of a packed National Auditorium during the annual Rarotonga Schools Cultural Festival on Wednesday night.

Nootai, who has Down’s syndrome, won plaudits from the audience for the confident delivery of his pe’e (chant) and gleaming smile during his cultural performance.

The delightful little Early Childhood Entrant kids and older, more composed senior students from Apii Takitumu, Apii Te Uki Ou, Apii Arorangi, Apii Avarua and Nukutere College, all performed brilliantly.

The loud appreciation from proud and emotional parents, grandparents and family members followed every performance on the night.

On day two of the event last night, the opening hymn was sung by Apii Imanuela Akatemia, followed by the cultural performances by Apii Rutaki, Apii Iotepa Peata, Apii Nikao, Titikaveka College and Tereora College.