What is the story of your name?
In this poem, the poet calls on place, ancestors, and history to bear witness to the dignity of their name. They recall how their ancestors “acknowledged my roots grew in two / places” and how their name “is the definition of resilience.” With Black/Indigenous, Pasifika, and West Asian heritage, the poet speaks to those who mispronounce their name: “Say it right or don’t say it at all / for I am Meleika.”
Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi is a Black/Indigenous, Pasifika, and West Asian writer. Her work has been published internationally, including in Radio NZ, Nerdy PoC, Djed Press, The Big Issue, Overland literary journal and Endless Yarning. Meleika is a 2019 Next Chapter recipient from the Wheeler Centre.
Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.