Che Fu “Waka”

1999-che-fu-wakaChe Fu gets romantic. The video starts with Che hanging out with his boys in Freyberg Place, being cool urban dudes. Suddenly a high-powered businesswoman (played by co-singer Teremoana Rapley) comes strutting past. Being a high-powered businesswoman, she’s talking on her cellphone, but the lads are most taken by her swagger and her salmon pink power suit.

Che is especially mesmerised by her and soon the distant sound of palau drumming emerges as Che begins to daydream of an idyllic Pacific Island location (which I’m going to assume is Niue*). He’s alone on an outrigger, clad in potu mats while tapa cloth sails flap behind him.

The video is directed by renowned film director Merata Mita, who brings an artistic eye to things. While sailing the ocean, Che dreams of his wahine, who has a salmon pink flower in her hair. Teremoana is lovely in her salmon pink lavalava, walking through a lush tropical forest. It’s not the cliche tropical paradise setting of sun and sand; it’s more earthy.

Che and Teremoana are not alone in their island paradise. We soon meet a line-up of male and female dancers, all decked out in the same shade of salmon pink, swaying to the tropical breeze.

But while Che has concocted this elaborate fantasy, his mystery girl remains elusive. She’s off in the forest with a friend while Che is out on his waka. Teremoana throws a salmon pink lei into the water, where Che finds it floating on the beach.

Back in the city, the mystery girl again walks past Che. He enjoys a laugh with his boys, seemingly happy to now let his fantasy girl walk on by. “Waka” is a sweet song with a video that paints a sweet picture.

* Actually, scrap all my Niue theorising. I think this video actually might have been filmed in Hawaii. Director Merata Mita was living there, teaching at the University of Hawai’i Manoa, and this video won Music Video of the Year Award at the 1999 Hawaii Music Awards. Aloha!

Best bit: the relatively exotic setting of Freyberg Place.

Director: Merata Mita
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… drums and bass.

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