Nix Adam’s magazine cover breaking down barriers

By Tamara Poi-Ngawhika

Whakaata Māori TV host and social media sensation, Nix Adams, is breaking barriers on the cover of the latest issue of Woman magazine.

The talkative personality was speechless when she first saw herself.

“It’s not that often I am speechless. Everyone knows me. The one that doesn’t shut up. Yeah, well, I’m hushed now. I’m absolutely honoured and humbled by this experience. It’s not just a win for me but a win for all of us that have been at rock bottom,” she says.

Nix’s inspirational story and funny social media posts has gained her a following of more than 1.3 million followers. She became a P addict and sex worker who spent time in jail caused by the grief of the death of her infant son Alaska in 2013.

Nix quit drugs and turned her life around so she could be reunited with her tamariki.

“We can crawl out of any bloody rock bottom. I think that’s why it’s so bloody overwhelming for me, because that’s the story that being on the cover tells.”

Aroha Awarau, who wrote the story says having a strong Māori woman like Nix on the cover of a mainstream publication is changing an industry that was once known to make racist decisions.

“I first started in 2008. A year before that magazine editor Wendyl Nissen wrote in her biography that she wanted to put Carol Hirschfeld on the cover of one of the women’s magazines. The idea was refused by Head Office in Australia and they actually said, ‘Pocahontas won’t sell’.

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“It haunted me all those years, because it’s not only a terribly racist thing to say, but the powers that be are saying that Māori women and women of colour are not worthy to be on magazines because they think that they don’t sell.”

The latest issue of Woman also features other Māori women including Whina Cooper and Dame Aroha Rereti-Crofts.

“It’s very important for Māori to have representation and visibility in this space because it just proves and shows that Māori women, Māori men, our lives are relevant. Our lives are inspirational.”

“I harken back to that comment of ‘Pocahontas won’t sell’. It really motivated me to say, ‘Kao, no more.’ We need to be taken seriously in a lot of spaces in the media, especially mainstream media.”

Nix won Personality of the Year at this year’s NZ TV Awards for co-hosting the talk show Terei Tonight with Pio Terei.  She also organises national campaigns on issues like child loss, addiction and suicide.

“I wanted to give that opportunity to everybody else to open up and have their say and share their stories,” she says.

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve all got a past. And the fact that we’re all sitting here today still breathing, is a testament to the fact that we’ve pushed through and we’ve stayed staunch and we’ve been strong. So if we can turn our wounds into wisdom, just by opening up and sharing what we’ve been through, we could help thousands of other people.”

The latest edition of Woman is now on sale.