I Thought I Recognised Her - Shaki Wasasala
Where I'm from? That's a weird question. I always say I'm from Auckland. But usually when people say, "Where are you from?" they don't mean your location, they want to know more. They wanna know the exotic side. Like, do you mean where I live, or where I was born or where my parents are from? If they ask my parents heritage, I'll just say I'm mixed Fijian. I never say I'm white.
It's a hard question, it's a weird topic, that whole thing. It's just annoying because people never ask where I'm from because they actually wanna know. They wanna know just what makes me look the way I am. They don't want to actually engage in a full on discussion. I try and avoid it.
Now that I think about it, I actually don't know a lot about where my parents are from. I was raised on my white side, so my Dad wasn't around for pretty much my whole life. Which is fine. Because he wasn't there and he's got the Fijian side, it wasn't mad exploring [into that]. With afakasi kids, it's often like that.
I've been to Fiji once, and it wasn't for a good reason, it was cos my Grandad died, on my Dad's side. So the first time I went there it wasn't like, exploring Fiji and getting to know everyone. It was just for this one sad ceremony. It was pretty good to be thrown right into it, but also a pretty shitty excuse to go over there.
When I was in Fiji, I still didn't feel like I belonged, I still felt so foreign, like, this isn't mine. This is just a part of me, it's not like I had any ownership of it. I'd love to explore more and spend more time there and learn more about it and the bloodline, which is what my sister does actively. But I guess because I just have a different relationship with it, it might be a bit more difficult for me because I don't feel like I can. I'm just floating around. I guess just how I was raised, I've been so privileged and sheltered, and for me to just stroll along and be like, "OK, yup, I'm ready now!" That's pretty shit. My Mum says do what you've gotta do to learn to love your heritage and learn about it. She's always been really into it and tried to make us engage in a cultural setting.
Auckland in general has been on my mind a lot lately. I don't know what it is, but whenever I get back here, I'm just like, "Thank God." I guess I feel so comfortable and I know the city like the back of my hand, I've lived here my whole life. I think it's a comfort thing. There's so many cool people here. It's not until you get out that you realise actually Auckland is a cool city, and there's heaps of cool people in it and they're all doing cool stuff. Not many people are mad proud of it, lots of other cities people rep it hard, but Auckland isn't like that, I don't know why.
What do I do? Someone asked me what my hobbies were the other day, and I was like, I actually don't know. I graduated film school, but I wouldn't say I actively do that. I'm not writing or directing. I dabble in stripping.
'With strippers it's like all or nothing. A lot of them are like 'I'm a stripper' and that's their whole thing, and they love it. Dabble means I only do it every now and then, it's not my whole thing. Because when I'm a stripper that's all people identify me as, which is fine. It's not anything to do with me being ashamed, it's just I understand the world and how easy it is to be trapped in there, but I've got more things to me than just being a stripper. I'd say it was a positive experience, like I love it, I love the whole industry and the idea of it. But in terms of men, my tolerance has just absoloutely gone to shit. I have zero tolerance for men being bigots after stripping. It takes thick skin to be in an industry like that. It depends on the kind of person you are. But I'm not doing it at the moment.
When I think about what I do, it's like, I don't know, I don't do much. I've been floating around, thinking about what I want to do. I'm visualising it, but not starting to manifest it. I got into film because I love music videos and I'm obsessed with them so I've always wanted to get into that. I guess eventually I will get my shit together and do more of conceptualising, or being a creative director for an artist. That's probably what I really want to do. I've always had this ridiculous dream of being a WWE wrestler as well. People are always like, oh my god, that is so you. Maybe that could randomly happen, but there's so many things I want to do and achieve, the list is so long. I'm so fuckin' lazy and half-arsed all those things will just end up as ideas.
That's my whole thing at the moment, is trying to overcome the self-doubt. It's so annoying. I think about the projection of [my online persona] the 'half queen' - it's not a lie, but what I post on the internet is like 15% of who I actually am. A lot of the time when I post or write captions, it's more [about] reminding myself, rather than trying to empower followers. I guess it just depends on what you project. I'm never like, wow, I've got so much self-doubt. I always project this 'confident, unapologetic, bad-bitch' - not the actual, 'sits on her bed all day, and thinks about shit' person. You choose what to believe about someone.