The News Site of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

Ka Mō'ī

  • Dec 7, 12:00 am
The News Site of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

Ka Mō'ī

The News Site of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

Ka Mō'ī

KS Student Clicks with the Lāhui

Kamehameha Schools
Kauakūkalahale Lopez posing for a picture with his mākua and certificate of completion for Kanaeokana’s Digital NativeZ program.

“Aloha, ‘O Kauakūkalahale koʻu inoa, and my goal as a Digital Native is to share my knowledge and hopefully teach you something new.” 

This is how Kauakūkalahale Lopez begins each of his TikTok videos. Beginning in February 2023, the now-high school senior started working within Kanaeokana’s Digital NativeZ program, a virtual residency designed to empower Native Hawaiian youth to produce civic-minded TikTok videos that motivate other ‘ōpio to become involved in today’s issues. 

Brought up in the age of digital technology and consequently accustomed to using digital gadgets and the internet, the program hand-selected a team of young ʻōiwi, a part of Generation Z, to take on this task. Thus, the “Z” in “NativeZ.”

As a Digital Native, Kaua was granted an opportunity to share his thoughts and opinions with others on a widespread platform. With social media at his fingertips, Kaua is able to, “…educate others online whenever and wherever, using my own voice, and on my own terms,” said the 17-year-old advocate. 

His journey in creating content consists of many factors. Producing videos begins with self-reflection, in which Kaua relies on personal experiences and passions apparent in his life to select a video topic. From here, the two to three-hour-long process begins. He gathers clips related to his topic and edits his videos, which consist of conducting voiceovers, adding music, writing captions, and finally, pressing the post button. This process repeats itself, producing eight videos at the end of eight weeks. 

Kaua’s second educational video personally resonates with him the most. The topic of the video: Kamehameha Schools Annual Song Contest. On one level, Kaua explores the importance of this event for all Native Hawaiians. On another, he discusses the importance to himself. Gaining the most popularity and recognition of his collection, this video showcases an event that was the “highlight of [his] high school career,” while simultaneously relating his knowledge to the people of Hawai’i. 

Kaua commented on his experience working with the platform, “I really enjoy reviewing the comments and hearing people’s feedback.” Correspondingly, to maintain his audience, he often asks them what kind of content piques their interest. For instance, many of his viewers had requested to receive lei content, hence his “Lei Aku, Lei Mai” video, honoring the significance and various types of lei found in Hawaiʻi.

This opportunity has not only expanded Kaua’s skills in digital media production and online advocacy but also leadership. One of the motos for this program is “Stay Restless.” In short, it translates to the idea of fighting for what one believes is right. With the support garnered from his team, and family, and the incentive found within himself, Kaua gained a sense of confidence in sharing his ideas and opinions. In this case, it was to continue educating people on simple cultural topics. 

Kaua stated proudly in an interview, “I hope to see this program continue to grow and hopefully reach an even larger audience.”

Attributable to Kaua’s efforts and the many others like him who are working to lift the leo of the future generations, the lāhui will “Stay Restless.”

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About the Contributor
Mikala Akiona
Mikala Akiona, Reporter
Aloha! My name is Mikala Akiona. Despite being a Senior, I am so excited to end my high school journey by being a part of this year's Ka Mōʻī Staff. Always having a fondness for writing and journalism, I cannot imagine a better place than Ka Mōʻī to embrace my passions. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, binge-watching movies, playing piano (I dabble), scrapbooking, and journaling. If I am not doing any of those, one could find me sightseeing or taking in the amazing landscapes our state has to offer. My admiration for nature goes hand in hand with my love for traveling, especially to National Parks! Over the past four years, I found a sense of community & cooperation within the high school clubs I'm involved in, including the Women's Empowerment Club, in which I am the President! My post-secondary goals consist of attending college and majoring in political science and/or law. This newspaper is an excellent space to embrace the unique stories in our lives and ignite the power that lives within our voices. I hope everyone reading will come to see this too! I can't wait to provide the Kamehameha community with authentic narratives during my last year on the hill!  
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