SELF(ies)

Being yourself, is being beautiful.

IOPNZ celebrates our people and gives them a platform.

We'll profile people here regularly. Email us if you'd like to be profiled and we'll be in touch - info@iopnz.org 

Sam Malage

He/Him

Wellington

Indian

I’ve spent 12 years in this beautiful country we call New Zealand. I originally moved here as an international student to pursue my post-graduate studies in Hospitality Management.

If I had a vision for the rainbow community, it would be to be more inclusive of everyone irrespective of skin colour or race.

For the wider population of Aotearoa – be kind and share love. Life is too short.

A bit about me: I am new to Wellington so I am looking to explore the city and new hangouts. I love baking, cooking, badminton, and the beach and hiking during summer. I love comfort food such as dhal and rice, or Spaghetti Bolognese. And I do enjoy a neat whiskey or a G&T.

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Akula Sharma

She/her

Tairāwhiti/Gisborne

Indian

Kia ora, and Sat Sri Akal,

My name is Akula Sharma, I identify as a lesbian. I moved to Aotearoa from New Delhi in 2017. I'm a news reporter in Tairāwhiti. I aim to highlight rainbow whānau voices, across cultures in Aotearoa.
 

The most important part of my life is my identity as an Indian and as a part of Takatāpui whānau. My family has shown me how to be proud of my culture by accepting me for who I love - my lovely partner Sanura.
 

During my time in Aotearoa, I have been accepted in my community, however I know for some it hasn't been easy. We have always had to be assertive and secretive about who we truly are in our cultural and religious settings in Aotearoa.


My message to you is be who you are, and wear your culture and your sexual/gender identity with pride and love in these settings. Make yourself be known. 

Only then can we be visible, and eventually feel accepted in our cultural spaces as one community.

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