In Hawke’s Bay, you’ll find a special mind that’s always dreaming up wonderful storylines, but our hero needed some help to bring them to life. Enter Satan’s Little Helper to sprinkle a bit of magic dust…
Over the hills and far, far away, nestled in Hastings’ back pocket, lives a 14-year-old boy called Cordayne Tupaea. Cordayne is a pretty special kid with a superpower.
But it’s not obvious to you or I, at least not straight away, because Cordayne doesn’t have bulging muscles, lightning pace or fireballs to shoot out of his hands. You see, Cordayne’s power lies in his mind, because this boy is Mr. Creativity.
He uses his gift to dream up stories that Peter Jackson would be proud of and, thanks to the help of his trusty sidekick (and teacher) Angela Hames, he broadcasts them to the world.
Getting his stories out there
“Sometimes we’ll read his stories out and, as an exercise, I get the rest of the class to write their own endings,” explains Angela, who nominated Cordayne to Satan’s Little Helper.
Our hero has his own battles and this makes him extra special. Cordayne was born with global development delay (GDD), which affects his mobility and confidence. All heroes overcome obstacles and ours is no different. While he works hard at his physio, Angela says it doesn’t light up his life in the way that writing does.
“Cordayne joined my class at the start of last year and I noticed that he was obsessed with writing stories. When the kids were out for morning tea or at lunch, he asked to stay in class so he could keep writing.”
The trusty crew
Supported by the rest of his loyal crew (his school in Havelock North), he’s published a three-part trilogy called Jack and the Dark Realm. Not content with just the words, Cordayne displayed a talent for art and illustrated it with paintings!
“He wrote Jack and the Dark Realm when he was 10, so his stories are now a lot more advanced. We’ve introduced him to different writers and he’s started to put real people in there, like a few Jeff Dunham characters.”
Angela says writing stories have helped Cordayne overcome so much and slay his biggest demon!
“When he came to us, his confidence wasn’t great. He’d cry at the drop of a hat, he couldn’t take jokes and took things very literally. He didn’t want to try anything new but in the last 18 months this kid is a different boy!”
One of the tools in Cordayne’s special quest against his foes is his regular slot hosting a show on Radio Kidnappers. But it isn’t free. To keep it going, Cordayne needed to find some treasure.
When Satan’s Little Helper heard whispers of this mysterious hero from over the Remutaka Ranges, we felt compelled to join the cause and pledge some of his own treasure chest for a year.
Strong character development
“Being on the radio has boosted his confidence so much. I haven’t seen any tears from him in ages and he tries everything now. For example, he’d never stay the night away from his mum but he’s done overnight camps and he’s about to have his first sleepover at a friend’s house. His confidence has grown in all areas!”
Cordayne’s shows are about 20 minutes long and he records them once a fortnight. Once they’ve played live, they’re available as a podcast so that other intrepid adventurers can tune in.
“Things are starting to happen for him,” says Angela. “He was over the moon to get his show sponsored, but he’s very humble and doesn’t expect help. I can’t wait to see how he’ll grow and develop in the next few years.”