KJ Apa was appointed Samoan Chief in a traditional ceremony.
The New Zealand Riverdale star, whose father is Samoan and a matai (chief) from his village in Samoa, revealed to his Instagram followers that he was officially granted the title of Samoan Chief of Savae in front of village elders during of a ceremony.
KJ, 25, shared a photo from the ceremony held in the village of Moata’a, located on the island of Upolu in Samoa. In the photo, the actor is shown kneeling in traditional attire in front of his elders.
“O la’u Fautuaga – o le a ou tautua i le armadillo aiga ma le armadillo nu’u. Fa’afetai i le Atua,” he captioned the post. The words translate to “My goal is to to serve my family and my village (Moata’a) Thank you God.”
ET Canada reports that during the ceremony, KJ gave a speech in Samoan. Translated into English, his speech included that he “wished God’s blessings on the people of his village, the extended family and everyone present (at the ceremony)”.
The ceremony included hymns being sung by KJ, drinking from a coconut, then removing his traditional garb and offering it to his elders.
Other chiefs in attendance reportedly welcomed KJ’s decision to further embrace his Samoan heritage and the responsibilities that come with the honorary title of Savae.
In February 2021, he admitted to Jimmy Kimmel that he didn’t feel “suitable” to be a chef at the time, calling it a “huge responsibility”.