Oh No, Not You Guys Again!


Hemowai Bros become permanent fixture on World Wide Web

By Léo Azambuja

Have you had enough of the Hemowai Brothers? In case you haven’t gotten your fill of Molokai’s funniest and crudest homegrown activists, you can now catch their self-produced TV episodes on the Internet. The dynamic duo has just announced their partnership with Maui Media Lab (MML), launching the Hawaiians into the limitless World Wide Web.

Hanohano Naehu and Kalaniua Ritte, the pair who make up Hemowai Bros, have joined forces with Sam Epstein, MML executive director. “In Paia town, we’ve got the best digital broadcasting system in the world,” Epstein said. “On Molokai, you’ve got the best community television productions in the world.”

Epstein said Naehu and Ritte would be visiting Maui next week to share their production knowledge with fans and other producers there.

The Hemowai Bros may be comedians, but their shows are often based on serious issues regarding Molokai.

“We’re just trying our hardest to fight for Molokai,” Naehu said. “We are not after fame or money.”

Ritte said they try to reach a younger audience who usually don’t show up at community meetings. Sometimes political language can get in the way of better understanding things.

“The one thing that the younger generation always grabs onto is our show,” Naehu said. “We’re doing our best to translate what is done in the hyperbolical, political, hard to understand realm and put it to very easy to understand terms – and it’s working.”

Epstein said Molokai is a model to other communities in the world. “It’s the same battle fought over and over in different communities,” Epstein said. “This exposure will help those communities.”

The new partnership is already at full throttle. Anyone in the world with Internet access can view Hemowai Bros episodes through the internet. “We do something called video on demand,” Epstein said.

Web surfers who visit smn.com will see that the Hemowai Bros have their own “channel” link at the top of the site. To view an episode simply click on the link and the video will play in your web browser.

This partnership also allows for the opportunity to show people that by embracing technology, Hawaiians don’t have to give up their core values, according to Naehu. “It’s a great confidence booster for all kanaka,” he said.

Molokai has a solid reputation statewide of being in the forefront of Hawaiian rights activism. Naehu said many battles fought statewide by residents against big corporations were inspired by viewing battles fought on Molokai, which were broadcasted on Akaku, Maui County’s community television channel.

Akaku has been a great vehicle to Hemowai Bros. However, on Akaku viewers can only watch a certain show once every 24 hours, and anything older than 2 years is trashed, according to Ritte. “Now you can watch anytime you like,” he said.

The MML originally started as a for-profit organization. Over time, parts of the business became not-for-profit, allowing it to receive tax-deductible donations. The MML is partially funded by small business in Paia Town. Other sources of funding come from contracts, such as one with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and also from fixing computers and networks on Maui.

MML also provides computer and production skills education to children and teachers. The business grew from a small facility to a 2,000 sq. ft. media facility with multiple editing bays, HDTV, and multi-track audio recording facilities.

Epstein encourages anyone in the community interested in more information or in joining MML to call (808) 579-9887. Tune in to MML’s Web site, www.smn.com, and watch the latest, and oldest too, adventures of the Hemowai Bros., anytime.


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