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Blackfoot @ Copperhead Music Festival

Sparta, Illinois, United States

Sparta, Illinois, United States

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The best kept secret in music


"Conference sparks up and inspires youth."

Archive Printed on January 26, 2004
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Conference sparks up and inspires youth
Being in the same room as Michael Jones, Ma’a Nonu or Linda Vagana might intimidate most teenagers. 1Touch, a youth conference organised by Lower Hutt’s Hosanna World Outreach Centre, gave young people the opportunity to listen to their star’s testimonies on how they succeeded in life, which included a little autograph hunting.
Conference visionary and director Lenny Solomona says one message from the conference is that the Michael Jones’ of this world are ordinary people with a determination to succeed.
As well as sports stars, policeman and former NBL basketball player Glenn Compain and various business and education high flyers spoke at the event.
Interest in the conference ran high from Work and Income New Zealand and the New Zealand Police. Eighty clients from WINZ went along, and the local police sponsored 40 teenagers. Stalls and workshops run by WINZ, the police, New Zealand Institute of Sport, WelTec and other training institutes provided career and vocational information. Mr Solomona says careers were showcased that were relevant to young people.
“We made it clear that all these people - the Michael Jones’ and Ma’a Nonu’s - will be gone and reality will sink in. Like any conference you don’t grow, you get sparked up. For us, the whole vision of 1Touch was birthed from a spiritual side and applying the new birth from John 3:3 - ‘No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’. The key for us now is that spiritual follow up.”
Some of the speakers were not Christians but still had the ability to inspire and tap into young people’s hidden potential, Mr Solomona says. The day electives were inspirational stories of how speakers like Michael Jones, Linda Vagana, Judge Ida Malosi, and Lapi Mariner achieved their ‘dreams’. Topics included leadership, having a dream and planning and goal setting for the future, the art of communication and working with young people.
Mr Solomona is youth pastor of his church and sees who he was in the kids he works with during the day. “They keep saying I’m useless, I’ve been rejected all my life. I’ve been longing for acceptance. I had no direction either. I think a lot of it is because I didn’t want it. I sat School Certificate three times not because I wanted to sit it three times but because I had an inability to dream.”
He says that many at-risk young people live in an environment of negativity at home. They often hear demeaning words spoken about them.
“When you hear it so many times you begin to believe that is what you really are. The reciprocal of that is hearing positive things - and that’s what 1Touch is really all about.”
1Touch is partially born out of Mr Solomona’s experience, where negativity was reinforced in the home and in his adult years drifted from job to job. He attempted suicide 12 years ago. Role models, including Michael Jones, offered support.
“Michael Jones said you weren’t designed to jump off buildings; you were designed to do something. When he told me about his background I realised I was just like him, I was an ordinary person. The only difference was that he became successful because of his determination.”
After coming back to Wellington from Samoa he was given the opportunity to work with young people in his present job. “I was choosing other people’s options that God had designed for them and after all these years no one’s walking down my road because that’s what God designed for me. One point I emphasise for these kids is that it is their future, not someone else’s.”

- Challenge Weekly

"Blackfoot performs Live"

1. THE LIFE CARD IS NOW HERE. All through the month of May we have the best NZ bands in studio playing LIVE – if you have a LIFECARD, you're invited to join us - you can even bring a friend! ... So far we've been joined by Detour 180, Brooke Fraser, Eight, Blackfoot (aka GC), Colliding Traits and Mozelee ... OR by mp3 to When we play it ...
- LifeFM


"I CAN DO" Featuring Nainz Tupa'i
-First single release to radio in 2003. "I Can Do". Currently still in the top twenty on New Zealands most listened to Pacific Island FM station (NIU FM). Reached number 4 in May 2004.
- "I CAN DO" used as one of two theme songs for a nationwide youth initiative b y the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. (2003)
- "I CAN DO" selected for a compilation CD called "Niu Sila" by APRA NZ. (2003)
- single released to radio also currently in the top twenty on Niu FM.
- Single released throughout NZ in May 2004 and throughout the South Pacific by King Music Distribution.
- "LIFES 4 U" music video released with single release as MPEG. Released to NZs premierre music channel in July 2004.
BLACKFOOT is proudly sponsored by AND1.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Born and raised in New Zealand, i grew up listening to all the Motown favourites, my influences mostly came from my Nana who is African American and Blackfoot Indian. She would play a lot of Black Gospel, so i grew up with soul music. I began to write poems at El Cerritto High in Richmond C.A in 1989, so when in Uganda during civil war in 1990 - 1992 the poems became songs. I draw my experiences in life and package a message in 3 minutes of Hip Hop. This is the motivation i have in writing empower any young person listening to my track, to go for their dreams and not settle for second best. What sets me apart from other Hip Hop artists is the message in my songs. Positive, empowering, constructive not destructive.