Tag Archives: humans of mac+mae

humans of mac+mae: K’Lee McNabb

My mother’s beloved treasure box!

The stories it could tell of all the hidden treasures its held, including my teeth.

I vividly remember the day I realised my free money ride was over.

I thought I’d help clean the house, and surprise my hard working mother with a clean room. Dusting her vanity, I was curious as to what was inside her wakahuia? (treasure box)

Like Indiana Jones discovered the Lost ruby, my eyes lit up with excitement, I lifted the lid ever so carefully, peered inside to see ‘Teeth!’

Human, baby, white and a little stained ‘Teeth?’ What the hell was going on here?

My mother came in, startled and to my even bigger surprise she calmly – like telling me to ‘take the trash out’, told me ‘I thought you knew the tooth fairy wasn’t real? Huh well atleast I don’t have to give you money anymore’! Hahaha

I learnt a few things from that day –

Somethings are best left alone, that the tooth fairy wasn’t real & my mother was terrible at hiding stuff! Found Christmas presents in her closet. Hahahaha

Love you mum, thanks for at least trying xx

Kaleena Renae McNabb, better known by her stage name K’Lee burst onto the New Zealand Music scene 15 years ago with a cover of Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings.  As a teen sensation, she toured with the likes of Missy Elliot, Cypress Hill, Busta Rhymes, Pink, Shaggy, and Nelly Furtado.

Following her success in New Zealand, which included 4 Top Ten Singles, she moved to LA. Since returning home, she’s forayed into television and radio.  She can currently be heard on New Zealand’s #1 for Hip Hop and R&B station, Mai FM.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: John Elliott

These TOMS shoes were painted by Bertie Blackman at a special charity event held at a Westfield Shopping Centre in Sydney in July this year. They are called “Fallen from the Stars” and she gave them to me as a memento. These shoes are special as they remind me how talented Bertie is and how business can have great positive outcomes.

The really cool thing about this store was that Westfield’s helped TOMS by providing a store and their staff volunteered to help us raise money for a local community group, Holdsworth. Not only were we able to give 657 new shoes to children in need, restore 44 people’s sight and help 29 women with birthing kits and education to provide safer birthing conditions, but we raised $16,500 for Holdsworth. Westfield’s have been working with Holdsworth since 2008 to provide positive outcomes for the local community. It’s so inspiring to work with people that are committed to elevating purpose in business. Bertie is not only a great musician and artist but also a delightful person.

John Elliott is the Managing Director for TOMS, Australia and New Zealand.  This year on World Sight Day, TOMS encouraged their community to take a day to ‘Unite to Give Sight’.  Through the work that they do, TOMS hopes to bring attention to blindness and other visual impairment issues, educate about the aspects of life that are most greatly impacted by loss of vision and offer a way to make a difference with TOMS Eyewear.  Through proceeds of their eyewear range, TOMS has helped restore sight to 400,000 people in need with prescription glasses, medical treatment and sight-saving surgery.   Find out more.


Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM


humans of mac+mae: Theia

This is one of my favourite and most precious people, the queen and matriarch of my family, my Kui (grandmother).

My granddad took this photo last year, when she took me back to my paternal ancestral home – to where she grew up and where our rich history and culture was born.

I didn’t want to ruin the beauty of the moment by taking a picture, but I’m so glad he did, as there will not be another. These precious memories we shared are something I’ll cherish forever. 

She passed away suddenly a week after her 77th birthday and I have never been so heartbroken. Though it’s been, and still is, a process of learning to carry on in her absence, I can go head high into the future knowing her love and how proud and excited she was of life’s journeys that lay ahead.

She lived the most beautiful life, leaving her legacy of love with everyone whom she met. She loved boundlessly, generously, and passionately and had a laugh and warmth that would linger on long after she’d left.

The last text she sent before her departure is still on my phone and etched in my heart. Reading it makes me both smile and cry. She always wrote the important parts of her messages in capitals, as if to really show their potency and meaning.


Christchurch songstress, Em-Haley Walker has been turning heads since 2015.  Her single, Silver Second, originally released under the moniker Plum created quite a buzz, making her a firm ‘blogosphere’ favourite and an artist to watch.  

Now, with a new stage name, Theia is posed to release her debut EP.  Her EP’s lead single ‘Roam’ is already making waves, clocking over 1 million streams (and counting) on Spotify in only 6 weeks.  Catch Theia at Electric Coastline this summer.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Princess Chelsea

Hi, I’m Chelsea and something that’s special to me is Bruce Springsteen’s music.  I’m a musician so I think about music a lot.

I used to hate Bruce Springsteen when I was seventeen.  The older I got I kept hearing it and one day it was like I heard it for the first time.. the song Downtown Train from this album, which is my favourite Bruce Springsteen album, Born in the U.S.A.  I heard it and I started reading about him and I realised I totally misunderstood this artist.  There was a protest song about the treatment of Vietnam war vets.

I really love this music – it’s grand, it’s melodic.  It’s got guts and it’s got soul and he’s like the best friggin’ live musician ever and really inspiring.

Princess Chelsea is the recording project of Chelsea Nikkel, a composer from Auckland, New Zealand.  Princess Chelsea’s album Aftertouch, a collection of covers recorded between 2010-2016 is available to pre-order on vinyl through Lil’ Chief Records.  Stream it here.

“The ‘Princess Chelsea’ sound is something I’ve spent years developing and is heavily based on arrangement.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours fine tuning an instrumental palette and one of the ways I do that is by recording covers of my favourite songs.  The common theme amongst all these songs is quite simply good songwriting – I always cover songs that move me emotionally and hope that the songwriting might rub off on me a little bit. Those nearer to my age group will hopefully be as moved by an Interpol cover as most people should be by the most beautiful song in the world ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’.” — Chelsea

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Lizzie Morris

This is my favourite denim jacket, it fits every occasion and can complete every outfit. It’s an authentic retro jacket and was given to me by my Aunty on my last trip to the UK.  I’m not one to value material possessions and often value an experience over things but this jacket is the exception.

I love clothes (especially secondhand ones) and feel that the way that you present yourself is often an extension of your personality or your artistic self. My wardrobe is filled with items that tell stories, but I’d be most devastated if I lost this one.

I was given this jacket by my aunty when I visited the UK for my Grandfathers funeral, it was only about the fourth time I’d ever met her but she managed to give me a jacket that suited my style perfectly.  It used to be hers in the 80’s and as soon as I saw it I fell in love.

This jacket is just like me. It’s quirky, a bit tough, and scruffy in an endearing way. This is also how you could describe the theatre that I make and the projects that I commit myself to – Messy and charming.

Lizzie Morris created and performs in Lucinda and the Cactus Girl in Auckland Tuesday 18 – Friday 22 October.  Buy your tickets here.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Tiffany Singh

This is a Max Gimblett gold and silver foil artwork.  ​It is special to me for 2 reasons:

The first, it is from my mentor and friend Max Gimblett and shows his handprint in gold leaf reaching out to the quatrefoil. it is significant because of the guidance and support he has offered me over the 12 years I have known him.

He has shown me unconditional love through tough times in my life and is always on hand to offer advice and support, both personally and professionally.

It was Max who encouraged me to go to India and has endorsed my decision to focus on Social Practice Arts which often is misunderstood as it sits on the periphery of community service, social work and arts practice.

The second reason, it is important to me is because it signifies my first Solo Art exhibition in 2010.

Union was an exhibition where people could exchange an object for one of my wax castings, Max gave me a card which said I could choose one of his prints from the Gow Langford Gallery in exchange for series of the Ganesha’s for his Ganesh collection in New York.

It took me months to choose the print and I finally settled on this one because it was the only one which had his hand in it.

Every time I look at this work I see Max offering me his love and support and feel encouraged to keep making art that is of service and that reiterates both Max and my Buddhist belief systems.


Tiffany Singh is an installation based social practice artist who examines the role of the sacred in contemporary society.  She’s been splitting her time between India and New Zealand since 2005 and continues to exhibit in both locations.  Tiffany has also traveled extensively throughout the East and Central and South America, studying cultural and mythological beliefs systems and patterns.  She uses arts as a tool for education, empowerment and communication – she uses art as a mean to generate and affect change.   

You can check out Tiffany Singh’s latest exhibition, The ART4FOOD Project at St Matthews in the City as part of Artweek Auckland 8 – 16 October.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Samantha Hannah

A friend took this picture of me meditating on a rock at the Komune Restort on Keramas beach in Bali. I chose it for several reasons; I was on my 200 hour Yoga teacher training retreat, travel makes my heart sing, Bali is a beautiful soul place for me, and it reminds me of one of the most powerful transformational events of my life.

It had taken me an enormous amount of courage to decide to become a Yoga teacher because Yoga is everything to me. It’s a way of life that teaches me how to live on purpose, feel joyful and calm, and stay centred in my truth.  I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to teach Yoga like my teachers who I love & respect so much. I remember thinking, I have to push through fear to reach my dreams… but I’m so scared!  I will admit there was a fair bit of crying.

The meditation on the rock was the moment everything came together. I gained the clarity, strength and self-belief I needed to step into what I now know is my Dharma (my life’s purpose), which is to help women of all ages cultivate more joy and less overwhelm in their lives.  I believe all women are powerful creators who, when living on purpose, can achieve greatness beyond their wildest dreams.  We just need to realise our fears and know that on the other side is love.

Busy mum of two, Samantha Hannah knows a thing or two about using time efficiently, being productive, staying balanced and being a leader of confidence.  It’s her mission in life to help women worldwide improve their confidence and self-express with ease.

Samantha is regularly asked to speak around the country at conferences, corporate engagements and fun events.  She’s written for Lucire, NEXT, Fished, Wild tomato and Good Magazines, appeared on Good Morning and various radio shows as a style expert and she’s also co-hosted two TV shows; Brunch – a daily lifestyle show on Choice TV and Starting Over – a career makeover show currently airing on Sky TV’s Vibe Channel.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM