When it comes to knowing what he wants and going for it, 28-year-old Samuel Keli’inui “Kamu” Kapoi is all guts.
Kamu is a man on a mission. He describes himself as ‘straight up.’ “I never settle for less. I’m persistent, and I have a burning passion to be the change I seek. I’m an optimistic Moke! When I really want something, I go get it.” That attitude explains his long list of accomplishments- -impressive for anyone, no matter what age.
Kamu graduated from Wai’anae High School then earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Digital Film making and Video Production from the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles. Since graduating Kamu has been a ‘serial entrepreneur.’ He says, “If it makes sense to me, I go for it. That’s because I’m a man on a mission. I have a purpose–an ‘ohana to provide for, my wahine and two keikikāne.”
When Kamu co-founded his first production company in 2006, they landed a $1.8 million contract that spanned over 3 years. “Not to bad for a bunch of Wai’anae boys,” laughs Kamu. Currently, Kamu runs an independent production house. He directs, shoots, and edits–commercials, music videos, documentaries, short & feature length films, and Reality TV. “I’m primarily a camera operator, but I do anything.” Kamu is working with ‘Ōiwi TV and the Polynesian Voyaging Society documenting the Hōkūle‘a & Hikianalia as they sail around the world to share the mission of Mālama Honua: To Care for Island Earth. Kamu is also a camera operator on CMT’s popular hit show Dog & Beth: On The Hunt. Kamu is also involved with Ola Kino Maika’i, a program aimed at helping people improve their health. Also, as part of his commitment to Mālama Honua, he’s helping ‘ohana and businesses by providing free solar systems. Kamu laughs as he shares, “I’ve got other things in the works too, but I can’t show all my trump cards!” Kamu’s mission is to share stories about challenges that mainstream media overlook. “In those stories come triumph over obstacles, and it’s important to tell those stories.” Kamu also adds, “I believe that giving back is a key element in my success. Wai’anae has a traditional replica voyaging canoe named, “E Ala”. My good friend, Kaina Nakanealoha and I are the current captains who volunteer to mālama E Ala. If you’re Interested, bring your good mana to our new Hālau Wa‘a at the Wai‘anae Boat Harbor.”
When I asked Kamu, “Who do you thank for guiding you along the way?” Kamu answers, “I aloha and mahalo my grandparents Jerome and Cynthia Kapoi, their children, my mom, Yvonne-Marie “Missy” Kapoi, all my brothers and sisters. my dad and stepmom, Doug and Joann Westbrook–all were instrumental in giving me a solid foundation.” Kamu also thanks “Ke Akua, Nā Akua, Nā Aumakua, Nā Kūpuna, Nā `Ōpio.” Kamu adds, “There’s so many people who have mentored me over the past 28 years of my life. I could write a novel. If you my mentors are reading this, I mahalo you for that piece of mana’o. It made me who I am today. I have and always will look up to the people who kept pushing, through all the bullshit, to make positive changes in their lives and in others–the people who rise above the stereotypes and naysayers. Much respect to them. Keep it up, because someone is always watching.” When asked his advice for young men watching him, he says, “Find a purpose and live like no other.” Kamu quotes his mentor Jim Rohn: “The same wind blows on us all. The wind of disaster, sorrow, bad times, good times, success, money, etc… So it’s not the direction of the blowing of the wind that determines our destination, it is the set of our sails.” And Kamu adds, to the young Kanaka Maoli, “Rely on the ones who have come before.” As Papa Mau says so eloquently, “If I have courage, it is because I have faith in the knowledge of my ancestors.”
Sam “Kamu” Kapoi is definitely a man on a mission, and we thank him for sharing his mana’o with us. If you’d like to check out his work, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also find out about the solar systems he’s providing for families at www.samkapoi.com.