Ōtaki teens capture hearts with Anzac tribute performance

By Te Ao - Māori News

James Kereama Stent and Tui Tahere-Katene perform for Ōtaki locals on Anzac day.

Two Ōtaki teenagers have captured hearts across the nation with an Anzac Day performance that has gone viral on social media.

James Kereama Stent (15) and Tui Tahere-Katene (14) are both kōhanga reo mates and have been singing together since they were 12-years-old.

To commemorate Anzac, the pair performed a selection of well-known waiata that were popular during the years of World War I, World War II and the Vietnam war.

The Anzac tribute concert in Ōtaki was organised by the teenagers' parents and a local patron of the arts who has an amphitheatre set up at his home.

James' mum, Sonia South, says they had planned the event a month ago to pay tribute to the many Anzac servicemen who went to war. She says she is touched by the many people who have enjoyed the tribute.

South says, "My mum came along yesterday and she absolutely loved it. She's 81 and it just brought tears to her eyes."

5 minutes of fame

Both James and Tui are also featuring on Māori Television's up-and-coming talent show 5-minutes of Fame.

South says it is exciting the teenagers were selected to be a part of the new series.

"The talent is just phenomenal, it really is just out the gate, and we are just privileged to be considered that the kids were on that same calibre."

James and Tui on 5 minutes of Fame, debuting May 13 on Māori TV.

Special concert for kaumātua

Tomorrow, James and Tui will be performing their Anzac tribute concert for a rest home in Paraparaumu.

South says the resthome residents have not been able to get out because of their ages and limited mobility.

"We were actually going to just do an ordinary set but I suggested maybe the kids put their uniforms that they hired on again and do the same set for the residents."