Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ on Air
From Real Estate agents to entrepreneurs, physiotherapists and many more, Pacific podcaster Brandon Young Yen shares inspiring conversations from people in the community to help inspire, protect, and educate others.
Despite finding himself out of work for four months due to a knee operation, the Samoan Chinese podcaster found a way to utilise his time by creating his growing project, Authentic Podcast.
While studying in the United States in 2018, Brandon discovered how popular podcasts were and immediately became hooked when he tuned in to a few. It was in 2020 where he returned to New Zealand that sparked the creation of Authentic Podcast.
“I was wondering what I could do to make use of my time. Podcasts came to mind and as I did my research, there weren’t too many [in NZ],” Brandon says.
“So, I mapped and planned it all out to start Authentic Podcast. As time went on, I started to see that this could be much more than just a hobby.”
In August 2021, Brandon released the first four episodes of Authentic Podcast with Auckland’s Real Estate Agent Metia Lisati as the first guest speaker. The pair spoke about adding to their bucket list and what it takes to become a real estate agent in New Zealand.
Metia says Pacific Islanders are a minority in the real estate industry.
“A couple of years back we had no footstep into real estate and being P.I, there’s not many brown brothers and sisters in the game so that was kind of a way of not getting into the game because of not knowing anyone,” he says.
In episode 29, Brandon spoke to another Real Estate agent named Xavier Tofilau about home ownership and the hesitancy within Pacific families.
“Whenever I’m knocking on doors, talking to people out in the community, they always say ‘Oh I’ll win the lotto, then I’ll be able to buy a house’. But it’s having those conversations like, do you have Kiwisaver? Are you working full time, then I can refer you to a broker,” Xavier says.
“It just comes down to knowledge. What they know now, is not what it is.”
With 30 episodes released and plenty more to come, Brandon hopes to turn Authentic Podcast into a full time gig.
“I want to be able to travel and interview people from around the world and to make a positive influence for our communities wherever they are,” Brandon says.
“I want to be able to inspire them to follow their dreams and stick with it. If they can change their mindset to think ‘I can follow my dreams’, then I’m able to help the next generation create a better future.”
Although Brandon is still fresh to the podcasting scene, he says he’s learnt a lot from his guest speakers.
“What I’ve learnt the most is how everyone has their own story to tell and their own experiences,” he says.
“We all go through obstacles in life, some more than others, but having people relate to those who listen to the podcast is amazing.”
You can expect more episodes in the upcoming months and more collaborations from Authentic Podcast as well as some merchandise by the end of the year.
To tune in to Authentic Podcast for free, visit here.