This week’s UH ‘Ōlelo of the Week is shared by UH Hilo alumnus Kekailiko Medeiros

This week, Kekailiko Medeiros shares the Hawaiian word wiwoʻole (fearless, brave, bold, courageous).


By Susan Enright.

Early last year, University of Hawai‘i System News began a partnership with Hawaiian language departments and Hawaiian-focused offices across the 10-campus UH System to spotlight a Hawaiian word each week in a ‘Ōlelo of the Week video series. Every campus is taking its turn showcasing a hua‘ōlelo (Hawaiian word) with the hope of educating and encouraging more people to learn and speak Hawaiian.

Kekailiko Medeiros pictured
Kekailiko Medeiros

This week, Kekailiko Medeiros shares the Hawaiian word wiwo‘ole (fearless, brave, bold, courageous). Medeiros is a 2022 UH Hilo graduate who earned a bachelor of arts in Hawaiian studies and a certificate in ʻōlelo Hawai‘i from Ka Haka ʻUla O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language.

Medeiros, who graduated from Hilo High in 2018, previously attended UH Hilo’s laboratory public charter school Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u, a Hawaiian language immersion school in Puna on Hawai‘i Island. Educator Iosepa Kaho‘oluhi Nāwahīokalani‘ōpuʻu (1842-1896) is the school’s namesake. Iosepa Nāwahī was from Puna and had been a teacher and principal at Hawaiian language medium Hilo Boarding School, which was also the original site of Hilo High School. Nāwahī was a prominent name in a number of areas of Hawaiian history.

Using the word wiwo‘ole in a sentence, Medeiros says in this week’s ‘Ōlelo of the Week video, “As a graduate from Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u, one of Iosepa Nāwahī’s best characteristics is being wiwo‘ole, is being fearless, which is the type of person that we all should strive to be everyday.”

Medeiros is also participating in a “Word of the Week” video series produced by Hale Kuamo‘o, UH Hilo’s Hawaiian Language Center.

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Hale Kuamo‘o, UH Hilo’s Hawaiian Language Center, launches “Word of the Week” video series


By Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories.

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