Afakasi Speaks

Before she became known as a spoken-word poet, before she helped create the South Auckland Poets Collective and the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Movement, Grace Teuila Evelyn Taylor was writing poetry for herself. In 2007, she sat on a beach in Samoa and watched her mum swim in the water and she wrote in one of her notebooks, “I am blessed to be a witness.” As she got into performance poetry, she started to write for other people. She wrote, “All I’ve ever known is this… no more afakasi must mean that I don’t exist.” She wrote, “I am a tourist tongue with my own people.” She wrote, “Do I belong to you? Am I enough, Samoa?” She wrote, “Afakasi is dead.”