Roy Sakuma, Spirit Lifter
February 12, 2017
On January 20th, 2017, the Goldens Hawks were visited by a well-known Ukulele teacher, Roy Sakuma. Many in the audience who attended this assembly expected to be treated to a musical concert but instead, Sakuma gave the students a motivational talk.
Sakuma is a Hawaiian ukulele teacher and the founder of the Ukulele Festival, the largest annual ukulele concert in the world. There are three schools around the island started by Sakuma.
Sakuma told the students the story of his life and how he grew up with a rather rough childhood.
The assembly started with how Roy’s schizophrenic mother who was not able to support him through his troubling childhood. He also mentioned that when he was young his brother tried to kill him then was taken away to a mental hospital.
Roy struggled with his everyday life. Roy skipped out of school, started smoking in first grade, drinking in 5th grade, and was kicked out of intermediate.
“All this hurt comes into one big ball of hurt and when kids teased me I could fight back because I had this big ball of hurt,” said Sakuma.
Sakuma went on to explain how we all have pain but we need to release the pain by sharing with someone and to not pass on the pain to others by treating them with love.
The presentation had an effect on many students.
“He made me get emotional,” said Brandy Senas, sophomore.
“I thought it was good in the beginning, but after he just kept repeating the same thing over and over.” Said Kianie Kaaihue, sophomore.
To close out the assembly, Sakuma did play a song about being true to who you are and accepting others. He got the whole student body to sing along.
Aliana Dunbara, sophomore, said, “I started to tear up a little bit because some of the things that he said kind of related to me.”
Alexis Palmer, freshman, said “This became very useful for school because it gave others and myself a hope that going through a rough patch isn’t the end of our lives”
“This guest speaker we had was so great. It was such a blessing to have him there and tell us what we should do and how we should do and how we should treat others,” said, Keani Nahinu, junior.
Sakuma sent NHIS students the following,
“Dear students and teachers of Nanakuli High and Intermediate,
I just wanted you to know that I have not stopped thinking of you! I care very much for each and every one of you and hope that something I shared that afternoon has touched your heart and have given you a better understanding of your feelings as well as others. I truly love you and wish you the very best.
With my Love and Blessings,
Roy Sakuma, your friend”