I was so hyped at reaching the 50th blog post benchmark, and all I wrote was a short but sincere fakamalo. I went through all the things I've written so far, and thought, "gee, I write like I assume everyone 'oku ma maheni and knows who I am. Who the hell do I think I am, coming this far without any intro?! " 😅 😂
I found a few questions online to share a little more about myself, the brain and writer behind Hafe-Kasi Writes. If you're new here, hii I'm Moni 👋, and if you're a regular, hii 👋 (and sorry😂!) Let's go:
1. Where did you grow up?
Ha'ateiho, Tonga! (My siblings and I were all born and raised in Ha'ateiho, Tonga.)
2. How do you waste time most often?
Ooooh, social media, namely Instagram. 😅
But I also learn a lot on Instagram too! There are some educational influencers/pages that I really like, such as Blair Imani (Smarter in Seconds), ASAP science, Dr Ofa, Fight through Mental Health, Farida.D.Author, Sitwithwhit, as well as Oceania Poet, lilika.imoana and Shaneel Lal! If you're learning something, then I suppose it's not a waste of time, is it?
3. If given the opportunity, what book would you write?
My uncle, Sione Langi, used to tell me stories about Fonoi, his childhood and his friendship with my late father. If he gives me permission, and I have the opportunity, I'd like to write those stories.
4. If you could attend any fictional school, which one would you choose?
Hogwarts. There is no other.
Tbh, the only reason I wanted to go study in the UK was my childhood obsession with Harry Potter and my adult adoration of Tanqueray Gin. 😂.
5. What are you most excited about right now?
My new job! And progressinv to lifting heavier at the gym! 🏋️♀️ 💪
6. What did you do as a teenager that makes you cringe now?
All the stupid Facebook statuses and uploading 10,000 pictures after a night out. What the fuck, man. Good thing I don't use Facebook anymore. 😂😂😂
7. What emoji do you use most often?
😂😂😂. That one. 😂😂😂
8. What is on your bucket list?
-To travel to Japan soon to see my grandparents
-To go 'eva in Thailand and
-To go see Machu Pichu in Peru one day.
9. What is the greatest challenge or struggle you have ever faced?
So far, (and more recent) my ongoing struggle with my mental health at my old workplace and the repatriation flight planning fiasco from London back to Tonga.
I'll probably get over it in a couple more years, look back and think, wow, I went through some shit and survived. lol.
10. What is the most ridiculous thing you believed as a child?
My uncle told me if you swallow watermelon seeds, a watermelon will start to grow out of your bum.
And if you swallow bubble gum, it will block your anus (Asuelu voice- boo hole) and you'd never be able to poop again.
I firmly believed it and always ate watermelons carefully, and I still have an aversion to bubble gum to this day. 😂😂😂
11. Do you prefer to work individually or in groups?
It really depends on context. However, I am an introvert. My natural instinct and preference is to work solo.
If it’s group work for informal/family things (like ngaahi me’akai for events), it’s not like there’s an option, is there 😂? You have to pitch in whatever and do whatever pu’i your older cousins and aunties tell you to do.
For a work setting, if there is group work, I would prefer a clear division of labour, clear expectations/goals and clear deadlines for everyone in the group. There should be an agenda and clear direction for group discussions to minimize bullshit talking that's so common in most organisations in Tonga 😂.
12. What is the worst advice you have ever received?
If you want to move up quickly in your career, learn to kiss the right ass.
To be fair, my friends and I were pissed drunk and complaining about work. Then someone was like, shut up, stop complaining and listen to my advice! Which was the advice given above. 😂😂😂 We ended up in hysterics and that was that.
In reality though, if you have to kiss ass to make progress in your career and your hard work in itself isn't recognized in that workplace, get the fuck outta there!
13. What is your favourite cocktail?
I really like a nice Gin and Tonic. It's easy to make, no-nonsense and it can be made preeetttyy strong.
14. What is your favourite colour?
Maybe it's obvious from the colours I use on the blog? I really like Yellow. Most shades of Yellow, anyway. I don't like Neon yellow though.
15. What is your useless talent?
Mmmm, depends on the context whether it's useful or useless, but I'm really good and really quick at fehi kaloa'a. I'm really good and really quick at eating it too, which I suppose is the more useless talent. lol.
16. Describe your writing process.
I've been asked this question a few times by different people, but each time I'm flabbergasted with the question.
It's not like I stay up at late night and strategically think, heeey, let's write something that'll piss people off about virginity, bloody bedsheets, lotu and double standards! How fun!
Words and thoughts come to me at the most random times, when I'd be doing the most random things. Like, I'd be watching anime and a random word or memory just pops into my head, and I'd start building a poem around that word or memory until a cohesive theme shows up that ties it all together. I wrote my personal favourites Why? and Lolo around those two words, and my other favourites, Home to Me, Big Man and Ko e Ki'i fehu'i were written around events in my memory. I think it works for me, to write like that as a casual creative outlet, but if I were pressured to write around a set theme on a set deadline, I don't think I'd enjoy writing as much. Hei'ilo.
I remember reading an article in which Dr Karlo Mila's advice to aspiring writers was to "write the way you talk and to write the literature that you want to read". Her advice really resonated with me, because I feel that I do speak the way I write, swear words and all 😂. I wrote before that I write to maintain my mental health, not necessarily because there are people out there that I'm trying to impress. lol. However, if there are people who do enjoy what I write, then it serves a purpose, doesn't it?
That's it for my short and long overdue self-introduction/get to know me post.
Until next time. Thank you for reading. 'Ofa atu.