February 28, 2018
Herbs percussionist a pied piper of whanaungatanga
A great musican and a great family man.
That's how Herbs founder Dilworth Karaka remembers Thomas Nepia, who died this week of pancreatic cancer.
The singer and percussionist joined the band in 1985 and quickly assumed a lead singing role, often with the late Charlie Tumahai but also solo on songs like Rust in the Dust and Homegrown.
Karaka says as well as bringing a different style of reggae to the band, he was a model for its message of whanaungatanga.
"He was great father, grandfather and he was almost like the pied piper with our friends' children, he knew all their names and he had a great rapport with his own mokos and children. He always dug into that side of the whanautanga and looked after his family, right through from the oldest down to the youngest," he says.
Thomas Nepia is being taken today to Te Kauri Marae in Huntly.
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