The amazing abilities of Tihei Harawera

25 September 2019

Tihei Hawawera.

Tihei Harawira has faced adversity all his life. Diagnosed with autism and dyslexia as a child, he remembers always feeling on the back foot at school. This week, SouthSeas Healthcare caught up with Tihei in Otara.

Born slow at birth Tihei had to adjust to life which he knew was very tough. “I’ve been making music for over 20 years and it is what I call ‘a lifesaver’. My background is freestyle rap music and this is what I have done since I was 15 years old.”

Tihei shared with us his experiences growing up with autism and dyslexia and how he did not let this stop him from chasing his dreams.

“For many years, being a performing artist has been my toughest ride especially performing in front of a lot of people and coping when they judge and misunderstand you.”

Otara born but raised Far North, Tihei began freestyle rapping in his teenage years and started turning heads at the Otara markets where he would rap about any subject. His freestyling gift turned to busking, and earned him a chapter in the book ‘Real Raw And Relatable: A Collection Of Stories From The People Of South Auckland’; a book that focused on the positive stories of the people in the community of South Auckland.

Tihei also released 12 music videos and a documentary called Tihei, which received exposure from Air New Zealand, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. He is a talented young man that aspires to take over New York City at some stage.

“I would like to inspire others in chasing their dreams. Believing in yourself is the most important part, I never stop trying at anything I ever do and I want people to learn that if I can do it well, so can you; nothing is holding you back from trying,” says Tihei.

Seeing Mental Health Awareness Week as an opportunity, Tihei is using his freestyle rap talent to tell his story and open up his emotions. His key quote is to never judge what you don’t understand, you should rather understand before you judge.

Click here to watch the inspirational video of Tihei talking about why it is important to get to know someone before judging them.

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