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Sam and Sefa

Sam and Sefa. 

It’s a combination that rolls off the tongue. 

Their banter is equally seamless, and reflects a friendship that dates back through Sunday School and for as long as either can remember.

Sam Latu and Sefa Faletanoai are the new dynamic duo presenting Polyhood, Tangata Atu Motu Trust’s radio programme dedicated to all things Pacifika in Canterbury.

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“I always wanted to work in radio, but I needed to do it with someone,” says Sefa.

“I can’t work alone. I’m a Gemini. Sam was the best choice, because my other friend went to Gisborne,” says Sefa.

“So I’m his replacement? The truth is out,” says Sam.

Sefa saw the opportunity to present on Polyhood as a cool way to give back to the Pacific community in an entertaining way.

“I knew Sam was the guy to jump on board with that.”

As for Sam, he had reached a point in his life where he was looking for a little extra something outside of his day job. 

“I wanted to do something more and be the voice for the community,” says Sam.

The pair are ambitious and want to make Polyhood the radio programme of choice for the community.

Among their first interviewees is holistic practitioner Elizabeth Kaloumaira.

In the studio, there are hugs, as the three friends come together and reminisce on their university days spent studying together.

While talking about her journey to launching Soar Health and Wellness, Elizabeth touches on her struggles to meet her family’s expectations at university and the emotional strain that caused.

She also shares her grief at losing a friend to mental illness.

The pair hope that in sharing such stories, Pasifika will be more inclined to open up about their own struggles. 

“If that same story were to appear on Stuff, it would be all doom and gloom,” says Sefa.

“So we want to approach those same hard-hitting subjects in a more relevant way. Then our generation hear them and so do the older generation. It’s just cool for us to help in this avenue,” he says.

“We want our Pacific people to have their stories heard,” he says.

“We are just trying to hit these harder subjects and bring them to light at a lighter level,” says Sam.

“Our people aren’t talking mental illness but we need to. We all know someone that has been affected by it.”

That’s the special thing about this duo. They know when to turn up the hilarity and when to tone things down.

“When it comes to challenges for Pasifika people, just getting it out there helps alleviate it,” says Sefa.

When they’re not on the radio, Sefa works in business development for Ara Institute of Canterbury, while Sam is the live-in duty manager at Campus Living Village. 

Sefa is also a keen kickboxer.

“I’m undefeated. My first fight is in December,” he says.

“Undefeated. First fight in December. Oh yeah,” says Sam.

Meanwhile Sam is an avid gamer and will soon get married, although he wants to keep that one a secret.

Sam describes Sefa as the one who likes structure in the show, and who keeps him in line.

“He makes sure I read over the show, before we do it,” says Sam. 

“Sam is really good at adding on - he’s like the GST guy,” says Sefa.

“GST - that’s what people don’t like,” says Sam.

The pair agree Sam is the duo’s joker and the go-to guy on “random” things.

“We bounce off each other really well and have the same kind of humour. If I use this humour with other people it doesn’t work as well. That’s why I quit rugby, they didn’t get my jokes,” says Sefa.

 To hear Sam and Sefa on Polyhood, tune into PlainsFM every Friday at 4pm.