In the past decade, Kava has increasingly become the social drink of choice on Ebeye — more so that the word itself has become a common household name used on a daily basis next to words such as wia (buy), mona (eat/food), taxi and jerbal (work).
In the course of three weeks, without planning it, I walked into four kava tables on my way to and from town. And of these four tables, two used the traditional kava bowl or Tanoa while the other two resorted to either a large silver basin or (this one caught my attention) a piece of a buoy cut in half — same ones used for tying boats on the ocean.
Of all the kava users on Ebeye, one group stands out for incorporating music during drink sessions: the Likrok Kava Club or LKC band, as most call them.
The group’s founder, Anjo Kabua, has been a kava enthusiast for years and has been the owner of the oldest Tanoa on Ebeye and perhaps all of Marshall Islands. The Tanoa was gifted to his father the late Iroojlaplap and former RMI President Imata Kabua by the Forum Secretariat during a visit to Fiji back in 1998. The Tanoa was featured in the Are You Aware section of the Journal several weeks ago.
LKC was always a drinking club but it wasn’t until Anjo shared a session with a group of boys who happened to play music that idea of forming the LKC band materialized.
“It all started with the love for Kava and music,” Anjo told the Journal. “That and the fact that forming a band would enable my shy daughter Miracle “Li Mike” to come out her shell when she joined the band.” Then on the birthday of Miracle’s younger sister Laan on August 17, 2018, LKC officially became a band.
Since then, Anjo recruited young talents from his neighborhood, most of whom come from families of musicians into the group and broadcast their performance on Facebook.
Their talent landed them several gigs and a steady cash flow followed, which had the group create their own bank account, one that to date has benefited members of the band.
LKC’s popularity skyrocketed when they were featured on the front page of the Kwajalein Hourglass during the Kwajalein Day celebrations in February this year. Word of their talent landed them a gig to perform on Majuro during the 40th Constitution Day celebrations.
Read more about this in the November 22, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.