Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television

since 1987

The pianist sharing joy with rest home residents

Lockdown was an incredibly lonely and difficult time for many elderly, especially those who weren’t able to have family or friends visit them. It was during lockdown that musician Shaqaila Uelese had a brainwave to help others.

For the last 10 years Shaqaila Uelese has been playing at hospitals and rest homes.

“I play the piano. I visit different rest homes, depending on where I am. I just ask to come in and volunteer to give some entertainment.”

During lockdown she started thinking about people who were more isolated because they were more at risk, like the elderly and patients in hospital.

“I felt like I had something to give.”

She started ‘Creatives on Call‘, putting a call-out to other creative types to give her a hand and put on a series of concerts for a whole month in rest homes around New Zealand.

“Anyone who can sing, dance, do poetry… Anyone who’s creatively inclined.”

The initiative has been so popular, she’s got rest homes lining up – but not enough performers. She welcomes any creatives who may want to get on board.

“I invite you to come and share your talents. I invite you to come and receive that same gratitude and the same joy that’s available everywhere and anywhere.”

Watch the full story above.

Check out Creatives on Call here.

By Marama T-Pole

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