Professor Konai Helu Thaman

The inspirational, renowned and revered Tongan poet and Professor of Education Konai Helu Thaman reminded Toloa participants of the Pasifika Philosophies Course the importance of critical thinking and poetry. “The English did not invent poetry, it was everywhere! My mother who did not finish high school caused me to look more closely at Tongan indigenous education and philosophy.” Professor Konai uses poetry to express her Tongan indigenous identity and philosophies, rhymes that resonate with indigenous communities across the Pacific. She then recited her poem titled ‘Thinking’. Professor Helu-Thaman was part of the welcome rituals for Pasifika Philosophies course participants last Saturday night at the Jovili Meo Mission Centre.