“Music is the food of love when its played, it heals the human soul when you are sad, makes us forget all our troubles,” the words of the late Lucky Dube.
With just a simple homemade ukulele Jackson is spreading love through music, he performs at his local community, the street and when he is invited by friends.
“Everybody has their own talents and skills and from a very young age the ukulele was something I enjoyed,” said Jackson Akwasia as he tuned his ukulele for another song, performing to a small curious crowd at the central market in Honiara.
Mr Jackson Akwasia comes from Folotana village in North Malaita and is now based in Honiara.
“I made this ukulele myself, and I added four additional strings, so it has eight strings altogether. So, I create my own style which sounds different and people always enjoy it.
“My interest with ukulele started when I was a young boy, maybe when I was around 10 years old. I made this ukulele after several attempts, and it is the only instrument I play. For a long time, it was the only form of entertainment in my community.”
He says he started off playing the ukulele for fun, but has since taken it more seriously, and performs regularly at the central market.
“I am doing this just to make people happy, and sometimes I add comedy to my songs, people appreciate it and a lot of time they give me money at the end which is good,” Jackson said.
“I make maybe $50 to $100 per day just playing my ukulele, so it has become a good way to make some money as well.”
The ukulele is a small guitar-like instrument, said to be introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira. More than 25,000 Madeirans went to Hawaii in the late 1800s as immigrant workers. Madeira is a small mountainous area in the southwest of Portugal.
It is said that the ukulele was brought to the Solomon Islands by early traders, seemed like the ideal instrument to pass time as they journey across the vast oceans and islands.