Former Home and Away's Rob Kipa-Williams on life after Ari Parata role
Rob Kipa-Williams has opened up about life after his departure from Home and Away.
The actor famously played Ari Parata on the Australian soap for three years, before his character was killed off last year.
Following his exit from Summer Bay, Rob revealed that he has been connecting with his roots in Māori culture, buying a farm in the Kaipara in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and working on becoming fluent in te reo Māori (Māori language).
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“[There] was definitely a part of me that was calling to come back [to Aotearoa]," he told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "It's always been sort of a calling to learn te reo, and I think it just came up really strongly in the last two years, and then [I] finally made the move to do it."
Reflecting on the language's resurgence in the last few decades, notably since New Zealand recognised it as an official language in 1987, Rob said that "it takes one generation to lose a language, and three generations to get it back".
"My grandfather… and grandmother were in that era that they were beaten at school for speaking Māori," he revealed. "And my grandfather's older brother, [Māori] was the only language he spoke when he was younger.”
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Rob went on to explain that his grandfather could no longer speak the language by the time he got older, though passed it down the generations, and he himself wants to represent his culture "without having to prepare something".
"It's a really important part of the next phase of my life," the star added.
As well as getting back to his roots, Rob has also been working on an app called HAAAA, which brings together Polynesian meditation sounds with cinematic music. It includes tracks in languages representing the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii and Aotearoa.
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"HAAAA is the sound we all make when we exhale regardless of language," he explained. "If I was to do nothing else in my life other than this, I'd die a very happy person creating meditation music. I wanted to create a brand of Polynesian meditation music that maybe hadn't been heard before."
He also worked with Opetaia Foa'i, a composer on Moana, explaining: "The thing that interested [Opetaia Foa'i] the most is that one of the areas that I want to specialise in or work towards is helping kids, Polynesian kids, Māori kids with their mental health.
"Then I came back to New Zealand, started recording sounds… it was a really cool, creative process to pull these tracks [together]."
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.45pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR. First-look screenings air at 6.30pm on 5STAR and the show also streams on My5.
In Australia, the show airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 and streams on 7plus.
Selected classic episodes are available via Prime Video in the UK.
Read more Home and Away spoilers on our dedicated homepage
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