Even the Pakis laugh at this

Oh good grief, some people get upset over the silliest of things.

The head of the Pacific Island Media Association is calling out Australian sportscasters for their wilful mispronunciation of Polynesian names.

Will IIlolahia says he sent off a letter to Foxtel over the calling of a weekend rugby double-header involving Fiji versus Papua new Guinea and Tonga against Samoa.

He says there was a huge response on social media against the way names were mangled, with some viewers saying they had to switch off the sound because they felt so insulted.

“Willie Ofahengaue is a well known Wallaby icon in Australia for more than a decade and his son plays for Tonga, and yet they were still calling him ‘Off-a-hen-gah-way . Pangai was called Pan-guy. I mean how would these guys like to have their names basically mistrued,” he says.

Mr Illolahia says Foxtel sent an apology, but there needs to be a programme of training its announcers in pronunciation of names from Aotearoa and te Moananui a Kiwa.

Billy Birmingham aka the 12th Man has made a career out of mangling wog names for his comedy. But here’s the thing the Pakis actually loved them.

HM: Do you get a kick out of having made these guys even more legendary than they already were?

BB: Oh yeah, it’s a big thrill. They were always going to be remembered as great cricketers and captains and TV stars to some degree, but certainly the 12th Man gave these guys iconic, cult hero status. The media and the punters all seem to agree that that is the case. The success of the 12th Man and the catchphrases that really caught on, and the continued success of the albums just seemed to make Richie and the boys bigger icons as the years rolled on. I’d turned these men into the most impersonated people in the country. I was absolutely stoked when I heard Wasi Akrim (sometimes known as Wasim Akram) doing an interview earlier this year when Robert (Crash) Craddock asked him about the 12th Man CDs. He said, “We love them, we played them all the time in the dressing rooms”. And then he made this keen observation: “Richie, Tony and Bill were always going to be cricketing greats, but I tell you what, these 12th Man CDs have turned them into cult heroes.”

Wasim Akram also commented about how great they were and a motivator for the team.

So you be offended and play like pansies or use people mangling your name as a motivator. It’s a choice, but in this day and age it seems people prefer to be offended.


– Waatea

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.