Riki Adamu up for award

Wednesday March 20, 2019 Written by Published in Culture

Singer, musician, a master ukulele craftsman, Riki Adamu is one of the Golden Ukulele nominees.


Born in Rakahanga, he taught himself to play the ukulele when he was 12 years old; he made his own traditional coconut style ukulele using a machete, a coconut shell, birch wood sap for glue, and fishing line for strings.

When he was 14, Adamu moved with his family to New Zealand, here he refined the craft of making ukuleles. While on a stopover on Rarotonga from Tahiti, Adamu noticed the lack of ukuleles available commercially.

Making the ukuleles in Auckland, he would bring them to the island, selling out in just a few days. More than 10 years ago Adamu and his family moved to Rarotonga. He secured a hut at the Punanga Nui market and his ukulele business M&M Ukulele and Crafts was born. Adamu uses local wood such as cedar, mahogany, rosewood and wild hibiscus to make the popular musical instruments. His son Mahutaariki is also involved in the family business and is a talented ukulele player.

Adamu is an exceptional ukulele player, he plays at the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club on Friday evenings; he is currently visiting his home island of Rakahanga. 

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