“At this point, I can’t even really communicate with my cousins. My Swahili is so broken, my Kinyarwanda is basically non-existent…the catch 22 is that my parents thought speaking English with us would give us some sort of head-start in life.”
From Rwanda to Hamilton, Raiza Biza traces the steps of how his family came to New Zealand, talks about the years it took to adjust to life here, the lingering guilt of feeling like he’s not doing enough, and the importance of advocating for women’s rights and equality. He also talks to Lani and Ben about the creative community in Hamilton and how travel has aided in his observational style of music.
Creative producer Lucy Zee talks to Lani and Ben about growing up Chinese in small-town New Zealand, needing an apology from the people who made fun of the food she ate as a kid but think they know the good dumpling spots on Dominion Road, running away from strict family life, the beauty of being able to speak Cantonese and the difficulties of dealing with sexism in the entertainment industry.
Also, memes. So much talk about memes, pop-culture references, in-jokes, awkwardness and the Who Is Ben Lawson origin story.
“They cut my hair with a machete and gave me a hiding. That was my first day.”
Mai FM breakfast host Nate Nauer talks to Lani and Ben about getting kicked out of school and being sent to Samoa as a kid to be straightened out. He discusses getting beaten up at Samoa College, the culture shock of moving there, and the struggle of coming back and having to adjust to life in New Zealand, and how he went from being a forklift driver to being one of the most recognisable voices on commercial radio. It ends with a friendly parting shot at Jono and Ben for good measure. This time Ben Lawson is also on the mic, and Lani remembered to bring the snacks.
“Sometimes when I’m driving now, I think to myself, if I make a mistake, or if I drive too slow, or anything, people are going to look in the car and think, “That f******g Asian driver. Typical f*****g woman, Asian driver.”
Blogger and model booker Katherine Lowe talks to Lani and Ben about growing up Chinese in New Zealand, why she used to wish she was white, casual racism from strangers and friends, travelling to China for the first time, why blogging and the fashion industry sometimes feels silly and learning to be happy.