Invercargill teen inspires Pasifika youth to prioritise happiness as he chases career in performing arts

Invercargill teenager Michael Kuresa excels in many things, whether it be rugby, performing in a jazz band or inspiring Pasifika youth whenever he can. 

Your playlist will load after this ad

Michael Kuresa says a career in performing arts is risky, but he’s determined to succeed. Source: Tagata Pasifika

But, it’s a career in performing arts the Southland Boys' High School head boy wants to pursue. 

Kuresa admits it’s a risky move, especially following the fall-out from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“You could go and study at the best drama school in New Zealand for three years, and then all of a sudden you’re not being offered any gigs or anything,” he said.

“So it’s just taking a risk.” 

He’s starting to get recognised nationally for his musical talents, too.

Kuresa won the solo/duo category in the Southland Smokefree Rockquest competition this year and was recognised for an outstanding performance at the Southern Youth Jazz Festival. 

While many Pasifika school leavers may feel an expectation to pursue a career that can bring about financial security, Kuresa is determined to succeed against the odds.

“I could study to be a doctor because I know there’s a bit of money in it but it’s just not down my alley,” he said. 

Watch Tagata Pasifika's full report in the video above.