In Search of the Friendly Islands, by Kalafi Moala
Hawai’i: Pasifika Foundation Press, and Auckland, NZ: Pacific Media Centre (AUT University), Reviewed by JOSEPHINE LATU
KALAFI MOALA is no stranger to confrontation. He spent 26 days in prison for contempt of Parliament in 1996, along with MP ‘Akilisi Pohiva and fellow journalist Filo ‘Akau’ola. The ruling was later overturned as “unconstitutional’, but this didn’t stop the government from systematically banning his newspaper, Taimi ‘o Tonga, from the kingdom—twice.
Before that, the Taimi team had suffered numerous raids, arrests and threats at the hands of the authorities.
Things have changed since these landmark crackdowns on media freedom—Moala has now taken over the government-owned Chronicle as one of his projects—but as his new book proves, the man still has an uncompromising propensity to ‘tell it like it is’.