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Prince Tui Teka - our showman

January 2, 2018

 

Better known by his stage names "Tui Latui" or Prince Tui Teka was a Māori singer and actor. Teka was a member of the Maori Volcanics Showband before having a successful solo career. 

 

Teka was born in Ruatahuna, New Zealand near Te Urewera. His parents were both musicians, and he learnt to play the guitar and saxophone at a young age.

 

He moved to Sydney in the early 1950s. In 1959, Teka, Jonny Nicol, and Mat Tenana joined the Royal Samoans and Maoris. The band was later renamed Prince Tui Latui & The Maori Troubadours. In 1968 he joined Maori Volcanics Showband, touring the Pacific for six years. In 1972 he began his solo career,and returned home releasing two albums; Real Love and Oh Mum, as well as the Māori love song E Ipo.

 

 Prince Tui Teka: Before the next tear drop falls

 

In 1974 he met with Noel Tio; both Tui and Noel had known each other since 1958, so Noel Tio Enterprises Pty Ltd. became his Australian (only) manager for 11 years. Before his death in 1985, he was in the West German TV series Jack Holborn and starred in New Zealand films Came a Hot Friday and Nate and Hayes.

 

 Prince Tui Teka: Mum and E Ipo

 

Teka died in early 1985 of a heart attack in his room while waiting to perform at the Ruawai Tavern in Northland, and was survived by his wife Missy and daughters Davinia and Missy Jr.

 

Missy died in 2008 as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

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