"I was truly honored to have my composition, my mele Ku Haaheo e Kuu Hawaii featured in the finale of this yearʻs Hoike of Kamehameha Schools Song Contest 2016. Mahalo for this wonderful honor to all those whom made this yearʻs Hoike possible. I am so very proud of the students who presented the mele and yes I stood with you and sang last night too. I wasnʻt going to but I didnʻt want to let you all down.
I dedicate this to my grandmother Mona Kananiokalani Kealoha who was my first anchor to being staunch and steadfast about being Hawaiian. I also dedicate this to the women whom inspired me to strive higher and higher as a Kanaka during my time at the University of Hawaii Manoa...and although political perspectives were diverse as they still may be today I still have great aloha and respect for you all... I acknowledge you Haunani Kay-Trask, Lilikala Kameʻeleihiwa, as well as Rubellite Kawena Johnson and Davianna McGregor. Aloha to my kumu of ʻike Hawaii at Kamehameha School Kapalama Campus, Kumu Sarah Keahi (Quick), Kumu Liana Iaea Honda, Randie Kamuela Fong, Wayne Keahi Chang, Holoua Stender, Nuulani Atkins...my main coaches Blane Gaison (Kapu Gaison Kepa Gaison Donnalei Zumba Instructor give my aloha to my coach) and Wallace Wong for teaching me to push higher and harder and be humble. Mahalo also to my many teachers...Kumu J Leimomi Ho, Kumu Tony Conjugacion, Kumu Robert Uluwehi Cazimero and Kumu Leinaala Kalama Heine, Kumu Vicky Holt Takamine, and Kumu Noenoe Zuttermeister...whether my time studying with you was in a short time class or long time study in halau...mahalo. Mahalo to my mentor, my tita and dearest friend Kauai Iki Olores for believing in me and for the countless adventures of life, hula and so much more. Mahalo to my Kumu Kimo Keaulana for the blessing and apono to holomua. Mahalo to Puakea Nogelmeier, Kamoae Walk, Laiana Wong, Iolii Hawkins. Mahalo to my ohana Niihau for these many years of aloha and teaching and life. If I forgot someone it wasnʻt intentional...to all of you whom contributed to my life and outlook as a kanaka...my aloha and mahalo to you all. E kala mai if your name isnʻt here however I acknowledge my family and friends for all the love and support too. No Kuu lahui e haawi pau a i ola mau."
- Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu
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