"My Goal Is To Serve My Family And My Village": KJ Apa Was Made A Samoan Chief

·2 min read

You probably know KJ Apa as the actor who plays Archie Andrews on Riverdale.

  Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

But did you know the New Zealand–born actor is actually half Samoan?

Last year, KJ spoke about his heritage on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! After Jimmy asked what KJ stands for, the actor said, "KJ is short for Keneti James, which is a Samoan name. I'm named after my father."

  ABC
ABC

He shared that his dad "holds a matai title, a chief title, of the village that he’s from and I’m from, called Moata'a, in Samoa."

I love these pics of KJ's father proudly displaying his pe'a, the traditional Samoan tattoo. It is deeply significant and often conveys people’s history and lineage. To get the traditional tattoo is a great honor; it represents a person’s acceptance of their responsibility to their community and celebrates their permanent dedication to the culture. 

I love these pics of KJ's father proudly displaying his pe'a, the traditional Samoan tattoo. It is deeply significant and often conveys people’s history and lineage. To get the traditional tattoo is a great honor; it represents a person’s acceptance of their responsibility to their community and celebrates their permanent dedication to the culture.

ABC

After the actor shared that his grandfather was also a chief, Jimmy asked if KJ would become one too. KJ was unsure at the time and mentioned he's not fluent in Samoan. "I would think it’s a huge responsibility," he said. "I don’t really feel adequate, to be honest, but I doubt myself in almost everything that I do."

  ABC
ABC

Well, the matai title Savae was just bestowed upon him!

  Rich Fury / Getty Images
Rich Fury / Getty Images

Last night, the 25-year-old shared a pic and some videos from the saofa'i (the cultural ceremony) in Moata'a. In the Instagram caption, he wrote, "O la’u fautuaga - o le a ou tautua i le tatou aiga ma le tatou nu’u. Fa’afetai i le Atua. My goal is to serve my family and my village (Moata’a) Thank you God."

According to Talamua, "O le a ou tautua" (I will serve) was the testimony he gave to his village and his family as he accepted his 'ava.

  KJ Apa / Instagram: @kjapa

The chiefs reportedly commended the actor’s decision to "take on this step in accepting his Samoan heritage and culture as well as his new responsibilities."

  Radio Samoa
Radio Samoa

Malo, KJ! Congratulations!