Māori entertainer finds success at Southern Country Music Awards

By Stefan Dimitrof

Its been an emotional couple of weeks, for musician Jacinta Kere-Peti (nō Ngāpuhi, Tūhoe) who has just taken out first place, in the senior category, of this year's Southern Country Music Awards, in Dunedin.

She also took second place in the senior category as part of trio Natani, alongside her sister Davina Gilbert and Toni Biddle.

And this week Kere-Peti got to see the story of her great grandmother, Dame Whina cooper, brought to life, in the film, Whina, which was screened in her local theatre at Waihōpai.

Kere-Peti said that she felt excited, overwhelmed and tired. “We were joined up to a country music club when we were children by our father. We progressed through the years, travelled to Australia and competed in the country music scene”.

Kere-Peti said that she was very emotional after viewing Whina, which was about her great grandmother and said that she was “very overwhelmed and very teary; massive connection for me”.

Dame Whina’s advice to women was to “climb that ladder and always do your best; so when I have any doubt or with what is happening with my life I can hear her telling me to strive on”.