The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001352286-01
Funeral Notices


Malo Seleni loving husband, hardworking father, dependable papa, generous friend, and legendary fireknife dancer and entertainer entered Heaven’s glory on October 24, 2021. Born on Dec 12, 1946 in Vaimoso, Samoa to Leuta Levu and Tanuvasa Choulee; he was raised in Nuuuli, Am. Samoa by his grandparents Faaleiloa and Seleni Pua. Trained by the creator of the Samoan Fireknife dance Freddie Olo Letuli, he left Samoa as a young protégé to perform at The Seattle World’s Fair in 1962.

He came to Hawaii with only a tee-shirt, lavalava, slippahs, $20 in his pocket… AND A DREAM.

His professional career began when he moved to Hawaii in 1967 and was introduced to renown Kumu Hula Rose Joshua who sent him to Japan where he performed for Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko at the rededication of the Tokyo Imperial Hotel in 1968. In 1969 he fell in love with Barbara "Candy" Kunewa when they traveled to Japan to entertain at Hyakumangoku Resort Hotel. In 1970 he joined Tavana’s Polynesian Revue and helped build the Hawaiian Hut Showroom at the Ala Moana Hotel. He remained and headlined as the "THE SAVAGE" for over 30 years with Kalo’s South Seas Revue. In 1973 he was honored at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. After retiring from the stage in 1997 Malo’s love for the siva afi kept him connected to his people and his culture. He served as a judge at PCC’S World Fireknife, Tihati’s Si’a le afi Maui and The Siva Afi competitions & Teuila Festivals in Apia for many years.

In addition to entertaining, Malo worked as a laborer with many different construction companies where he learned and mastered building homes throughout the island, including his own in Kalama Valley. He retired from Gentry Homes in 2005.

Malo was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents and siblings Siliva Choulee, Maa Tanuvasa, Penina Savelio, Dorena Vaisagote, Faatali and Maka Fonoti and Saipisa Choulee.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Candy, his reasons, Michelle "Shelly", Lee (Kekela), Malo Jr and his Grandchildren Haley Blossom, Brooke, Gabriella, Noah Matai, Legend and Taimane. Sisters Sao Taufetee, Lalelei Fonoti, Vai, Manaia & Mui Choulee and Lote Rouse. Brothers Tau, Wayne, Alalita & Wayne II Fonoti, Aukilani, Mapusaga Choulee and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends around the world.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart…


Celebration of Malo’s Life will be on Dec 12, 2021 at New Hope Oahu 290 Sand Island Access Rd. visitation @ 4pm, service @ 5.

Arrangements Provided By: Oahu Mortuary