About the Project

Filmmaker’s Statement

“Shaka, A Story of Aloha” started as a passing curiosity when a friend introduced me to Kupuna (elders) in La‘ie who, as Keiki (children) in the 1930s and 1940s, knew the Shaka Man, Hamana Kalili. It turns out that the Kupuna have kept their story secret for almost a century as they didn’t want it commercialized. But given advancing age and a world in need, they asked that I help share their story.

Hawai’i History

In May 2019, our film crew first visited La’ie, Oahu to record oral history from Kupuna who learned to fish and the lessons of life from “Tutu Hamana” (“grandfather”) who despite a debilitating injury, became the embodiment of strength and the aloha spirit.

Alternative Theories

While the above storyline is well-documented, alternative origin stories abound including a Maui-based marbles-playing version that centers around TV actor and entertainer Lippy Espinda, a Molokai-based Kalaupapa leprosy colony version and a Portuguese drinking gesture version. As documentarians, our job is to fairly present all credible findings so audiences can decide for themselves.

Aloha from Hawai’i to the World

In the end, we may never prove the actual historical origin, but what seems clear is that the Shaka originated in Hawai’i and carries the aloha spirit to the world. And today, more than ever, the world is in need of optimism, tolerance, cooperation and living with alohaWe’re therefore honored to be entrusted with this story and hope you’ll join us with a Shaka attitude of “Fear Not, Go for It!”

       ~ Steve Sue, Bizgenics, September 3, 2019, last updated May 3, 2022

Production Entity

“Shaka, A Story of Aloha” is produced by Bizgenics, a Hawaii-based 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. Our Mission: empower all people to discover unique personal skills and learn positive social values to catalyze a bright future.