Kia’i Lee of Wai’anae, O’ahu, is a former Leeward CC student, now completing his bachelor’s degree in social work. His mele was honorable mention in the Ka ‘Umeke Kā’eo Native Hawaiian Writing Achievement Awards in Fall 2010. ‘Apapane Aloha is sung in a melody by Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, with his permission.
About his original mele, Kia’i writes:
“In March of 2010, while visiting a Kilauea rainforest in March of 2010, I watched patiently to catch a glimpse of the rare ‘apapane. I learned that the ‘apapane choose their mates by singing to each other. When a match is made, the female nests as her mate continues his singing to deter others from interfering with their bond. Such comparison can be made to life’s daily struggles and unforeseen turns. Together we can overcome adversity and accomplish our goals as we remain focused on that vision of success while striving toward excellence.”