Local DJ worried N.Z. dream might not materialise

In 2019 local disc jockey Keli Tausisi aka Dj Cali hit the jackpot when he got picked in the quota to migrate to New Zealand. But the onset of the coronavirus pandemic ruined his hopes for a better life abroad. 

Excited at the prospect of starting a new life, he sold his DJ equipment in order to pay for him and his wife’s New Zealand visa application lodgement.

Unbeknown to the entertainer, the COVID-19 pandemic followed the measles epidemic in 2019 and threw the spanner in the works of their plans to move to New Zealand.

So it has been a waiting game for the last 15 months for the 33-year-old from Sinamoga as he sits out the pandemic. 

Prior to the pandemic, generating income wasn’t a challenge and you could come across Mr Tausisi playing in nightclubs, weddings, family reunions and parties of all shapes and sizes.

“I started playing music in 2011, starting with my own stereo to play music for small occasions and functions until I had equipment of my own to remix recorded songs in clubs together with my other DJ friends like DJ Alex,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“It was my full time job, mainly playing at the Y-Not Bar, Ace of Clubs and Edge Marina night Club. 

“I have a lot of weddings and reunions that I attended to play and entertain.” 

But the Government’s declaration of a state of emergency in March last year and the restrictions that came with it led to the closure of the international borders and a slowdown in business activities.

“Now I’m just staying home looking after my kids and waiting if I can get good news soon, especially when the vaccination is going, I hope it has an impact for  all of us,” added Mr Tausisi.

“I still play with other friends like 685 entertainments crew but not the same as before.

“Last week we played and performed twice but because there is no tourism as another main way to get entertainment so if we get two this time is a luck.”

Despite the challenges, the local DJ has given up hope on his dream to move to New Zealand.

He revealed that immediately following the lodgement of their visa appointments, the immigration office closed as did Samoa’s international borders.

Consequently, the pandemic caught him off guard as he had already sold his DJ equipment to pay for his family’s visa applications and its absence meant no more income for his family.

He believes that moving overseas will become blessings for his children so he is not ready to throw in the towel, but then is not sure if the borders will reopen soon.

“Some functions that I played cost $250 an hour but negotiations were made compared to the number of attendants, how long it takes, the venue and other important reasons.

“But in the year 2019, we won the quota scheme and I had to sell all my instruments to help with our visa application.

“My full DJ package of instruments is estimated to cost almost $8000.00 and our visa application cost is more than $6000.”

Nonetheless he is hoping that the caretaker Government’s current COVID-19 vaccination rollout could be the difference and enable him and his family to realise their dream.

Mr Tausisi is married to Sina Tausisi and they have two children and are from the village of Sinamoga. His parents are Tausisi and Lea from Salelologa and Salailua in Savai’i.

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