An Auckland teenager's confronting poem about Maori stereotypes, performed at this month's Word: The Front Line Poetry Slam, has earned him an invitation to two Australian poetry conferences.
Jai Selkirk left from Dilworth School left his Auckland Town Hall audience spellbound, as he took a verbal sledgehammer to stereotypes of Maori, calling them "not true".
"All Maori are uneducated thieves living on the benefit using WINZ to pay the bills forgetting who the loser really is – not true," Jai said.
"This brown skin means theft – not true; These hands means fight –not true; This culture means domestic violence – not true; I am a different shade of brown," he continued.
His performance helped his Dilworth team of "The Boys" - Jayden Osbourne' Philip Toriente, Nathan Su'a and Jai Selkirk earn an invite to the first ever Upside Down Youth Poetry Conference in Melbourne on December 4 as well as the Melbourne Spoken Word Prize.
A Givealittle page has been set up to help fund "The Boys" trip to Australia and has as of this morning received more than $1000.
Watch Jai's entire performance HERE.