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31st Aug 2022

Emotional moment 11-year-old boy performs Haka to honour his late great-grandmother

Jack Peat

So much emotion 

This is the emotional moment an 11-year-old boy performed a haka to honour his late great-grandmother.

Zoe Gifkins, 32, from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, captured the moment her son Jahrell broke down in tears as he led the haka in honour of his great-grandmother Ann Tiki.

The heart-breaking scene was captured as Ann Tiki’s body was returned home for the first part of her funeral.

The haka was performed as part of a traditional funeral in which deceased family members are brought home for three days before their final burial.

The haka performed by Jahrell is one for four that were performed that day, each to mark the transition from one phase of the celebration to another.

This one marked the opening of the casket.

Jahrell had been chosen to lead the Haka because of his powerful voice.

Zoe explained: “I told him that he should lead the Haka, and of course he said yes, he loves the attention.

“It was so heartwarming, I still watch it to this day and cry.

“The next day he taught the Haka to his cousins, because they have different Hakas.”

“There was just so much emotion in that moment, you can see it in his face,” she said.

“He’s a really kind person, but he has ADHD, so he can be a little hyper, but performance and music like this are his coping mechanism, they are what calms him.

“Ann was an amazing woman, she was a bit grumpy, but a really good person, she was a hard worker and she just got tired.”