Dear Editor – An article in the Letters to the Editor column that seems to be not of the mainstream kind, made it to your column last week on Monday (17/08/15).
Captioned “Congratulations ‘The Voice of Katario’”, the article was written by JS Pitabelama and referred to a recent gospel DVD release by youths from one of the most remotest and least developed part of the nation, the Katazi and Ririo district of North East Choiseul.
It is somewhat of significance to the local districts and many of us its children as it seems to be the first of its kind from the local area.
I wish to join JS Pitabelama to congratulate the sponsors and producers of the release in promoting young talents and above all the word of our God.
To Hon. Ezra Kukuti (the main sponsor) and his team, the Katario Youth Coordinator and Acoustic Guitar specialist (and producer and lead vocalist of the now popular gospel album ‘Miracle Praise’), Ronald Zakele, the Music Programmer, Wesley Saivi, Tamtam productions and to all youth groups who comprise of young people from Kadova, Soranamola, Koloe and Susuka villages of Katazi and Ririo districts (now referred to in the short form as Katario), I congratulate and thank you all for your wonderful effort.
I noted from the clips that the groups are from the United Church, Catholic and SDA communities which make it a real unified local production.
For me, the production lets some of us relate back meaningfully to our Almighty God and our roots in the rural areas.
I got my copy of the DVD on the night of 17/08/15 after reading the article in the Star by JS Pitabelama of the same day, and enjoyed your lovely music and your melodious signature voices of rural Lauruans the next morning.
I gather from JS Pitabelama’s article that many have heard and seen the DVD and thus have their own views and assessment already on the production.
I have just seen it twice and decided to pen this piece.
Even though the release may not feature the modern day commercial professional production standards and could further improve with more choreographing and less beetle nut stains, what I have seen thus far is splendid, amazing, moving and is a sensation in terms of our rural music standards.
I must salute you all my brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, nephews, and nieces for your amazing and brave effort to stand in front of a camera and sing your heart out and at the same time give us your lovely smiles.
The fact that the DVD exposes the natural scenery of the Katario districts adds much positive advantages in the promotion of the local area. May God provide for you more talents and success in your ministry and mission.
One of the most enjoyable pieces I have seen is that from Susuka youth singing in one of the nation’s endangered language of Ririo which carries the name of the district itself (Jisu sa none kra’, ma vol nap me).
Language experts have confirmed that the language has been lost or at least dying a natural language death with the loss of older original speakers and lack of written or recorded dictionaries or other technical versions of the language.
The re-emergence of events such as this, should add to increase efforts in promoting opportunities to revive the rare and endangered language.
As alluded to in the piece by JS Pitabelama, we in the rural areas of Katario do have talents and great human resources and so this production does show and prove what talents and human resources can do to improve what we strive for and dream of, including improvement of living standards.
I believe your theme of the DVD production, ‘Shaping and empowering young people,’ tags well with this view.
In the midst of the disappointments, illusions and hopelessness over returns of current development activities or the total lack of any such meaningful developments for our whole rural populace in the local area, the appearance of such entertainment production, even though small, shows one’s determination to produce some worthy products, especially with this one which seems to be enjoyed by many from our own rural areas.
Let us pray that your skills and talents be further nurtured for His service and the spread of His kingdom.
Lastly but not the least, I pay tribute to the local composers: the late Chief and brother Nehemiah Zesapa, Andrew Pagavaka, brother Thomas Zoleveke and Pastor Leadley Boselalu.
I believe the sequel to this production should already be in the drawing board.
Moses K. Biliki
Chuchuen n’ Katario