Namu Lopa playing guitar for his daughter, Lynnal, 10, who sang to him as a Father’s Day gift. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

It was hard for Masterton’s Namu Lopa to keep his eyes dry on Father’s Day when his 10-year-old daughter cornered him in the kitchen and sung her heart out.

Lynnal Lopa’s older brother caught the tribute to their dad on his cell phone and it has now been viewed 58,000 times on Facebook, with more than 600 shares by Tuesday.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Namu said about his daughter’s surprise performance.

“It just blew me away. I came in for my breakfast and while I was waiting she said ‘dad, I’m going to sing you my favourite song for Father’s Day’.”

As a result, Namu said he lost his appetite and had to turn away from the camera to hide his emotion.

With three sons, Namu said he had a special place in his heart for Lynnal, his only daughter.

Lynnal, a Lakeview School pupil, was laid-back about the number of hits her home performance was getting.

She had chosen to sing You Are The Reason, by artists Calum Scott and Leona Lewis.

Namu said the video had struck a chord with people all over the place, with one woman in Hamilton requesting Lynnal sing her down the aisle at her wedding.

Her mum, Mereana Lopa, said her daughter was responding like “a typical 10-year-old”.

“We say, ‘wow bubba, your video to dad has blown up’ and she’s like ‘ah yeah’ and skips away to do her nails – she really has no idea how huge it is.”

The young internet star comes from a musical family.

Her brother Jerome’s vocal talents have won hearts both at home and across the ditch, and he has been honoured by the Masterton community for his contribution to music and tutoring others.

A film crew from TVNZ’s Tagata Pasifika were in town recently documenting the musical journey of the gifted siblings.

Mereana said her children were in demand, with invitations to perform at events in Brisbane and Auckland.

She said it was important her kids remained humble about their talents and use them for good.

She said the music industry was “a hard bugger to crack” so she and her husband – also musical – were teaching their kids resilience and to believe in themselves.

“We want to shape them really well and make sure they’re good citizens in the community, that’s the most important thing – to be great people, that’s what’s important to us.”

The next gig for the young siblings is in Auckland next month for Tokelauan Language Week.