A changemaker should possess a strong quality that comes with great responsibility. Becoming a role model is a challenge especially creating a platform that can help inspire young talents in the Solomon Islands and abroad.
Gloria Konare, a 32 years old theatre performer from the northern part of Malaita province started her career in a community art activity.
She graduated in Business and Financial Administration Studies and become a financial administrator at a local NGO but deemed that she’ll lose her dream on the way.
So in 2006, she became courageous and starred herself in a local band as a singer. Gloria highlighted that she was the only female around the small band at that time. ‘’I can’t believe that I’m the only female at that time singing for a boy’s band. But with that, I began to grow my confidence.’’
Photo by Ms. Gloria Konare
The swift even picked Gloria’s dreams in 2013 when she was selected as one of the three casts on New Zealand’s theater play, Marama. Her success goes down in Solomon Islands’ history along with the 2 other casts.
‘’It was a massive opportunity that I can’t believe I was selected for. It was also the closest I get to be in a world premiere theatre with awesome directors who direct movies like Lord of the Rings. It enabled me to share Solomon Islands’ arts and culture through theatre performance.’’
She believes that being with people who inspire is very important because, in her experience, they enlightened her path, becoming who she is today. ‘’I am forever thankful to those amazing inspirational people for their professional leadership, mentorship, and guidance that kept me going. I take my hat off to all of them.”
As a way to give back for her performing success, also in 2013, she founded a theater group called STAGE OF CHANGE (SOC), becoming an influential theatre group in the Solomon Islands to date.
SOC’s performances awaken the hearts and minds of Solomon Islanders as they focus on performing about social issues like eliminating all forms of Gender-Based Violence (Violence Against Women and Girls), civic education on the election, to name a few. The group is composed of all-women performers.
Stage of Change (SOC) performance
photo credit to Faanati Mamea
‘’Nationally SOC’s work had reached over 10,000 people, covering more than 44 rural and some remote communities in the Solomon Islands with great impact. I’m so blessed to be part of this empowering women-led organization that is dynamic, passionate, enthusiastic, and determined to continue driving to achieve social change,” Gloria said.
STAGE OF CHANGE gradually expands with its productions, significantly reached out to global audience representing the Solomon Islands in many international festivals, conferences, seminar, summits particularly in Brussels, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, UN SIDS Summit Samoa, and many more.
When asked about how SOC inspires her, the young changemaker remarked, “being part of SOC really boost my life. This platform served as my training ground and teaches me to become a better changemaker. For anyone out there reading this, I just want to end by saying that the world is an open space where dreams and aspiration come to life through strong determination, passion, and hard work. Don’t wait for opportunities, create opportunities from your talents and work hard to achieve your dreams. Be a great changemaker today.”