HERE’S the face of Chief Yapa, the happiest man on the planet.
The concluding part of Meet The Natives on C4 last night was pure TV joy.
Our favourite five ambassadors from the South Pacific island of Tanna completed their mission to meet Prince Philip.
The tribesmen then returned home in triumph – leaving a trail of wisdom for viewers back in England.
Chief Yapa’s aim was true when he was given a bow to shoot in Northumberland.
“In our belief, if you shoot at your target you will hit it.
“And no-one can say you missed.”
Filmed and directed by Gavin Searle, Meet The Natives was heart-warming, award-winning stuff.
As discussed here, it involved the journey to England of Chief Yapa, Joel, Posen, Albi and JJ – “who is talking to you now”.
They stayed with three English tribes – the middle, working and upper classes.
The final instalment included their thoughts on the animal chased during a traditional English hunt.
“It’s a small ginger dog called a fox,” they observed.
But noting that hunting a real one was now banned, they were bemused by the employment of a quad bike to lay a trail.
“We understand that they are hunting like this to preserve their traditions.
“But, to us, chasing artificial foxes with dogs is a crazy thing and a complete waste of time.”
The islanders enjoyed “a traditional upper class eating ceremony, known as a black tie dinner”.
As they pointed out: “By sitting and eating dinner together, we are showing love and respect.
“Life is all about doing things together, so that we can all live a better life.”
Amazed at seeing snow for the first time, all five men displayed a child-like wonder.
“This stuff’s everywhere – if only people could eat it.
“I will take some with me so that I can grow it on Tanna.”
There was a different sort of amazement watching thousands of grim-faced commuters head to work across Southwark Bridge in central London.
“They are rushing and they don’t talk.
“Even when I smile at them, they don’t smile back. They are very serious.
“I wonder why this is?
“And I wonder where this lifestyle is taking them to?”
The people of Tanna believe that their island and England were once part of the same land.
They also believe that Prince Philip is the son of their god.
The cultural ambassadors had a mission to meet “The Big Man” and ask if the time was right for him to return to Tanna.
Trooping off to Windsor Castle, they were dressed in suits from “a traditional English tailor” – George @ Asda.
It’s not every day the Duke of Edinburgh is asked: “Is the pawpaw ripe yet or not?”
But, obviously, forewarned, he gave an answer which left Chief Yapa animated with excitement.
In a final masterstroke, the TV team flew back to Tanna, where Prince Philip’s answer was finally revealed to the village elders.
It seems he had replied: “Whether the pawpaw is ripe or not, go and tell Chief Kawia that now it is cold.
“When it is warm, I will send a message.”
All makes perfect sense to me.
Then it was time for Chief Yapa and co to show their film to the village.
There were also some final words of wisdom from Tanna:
“I think the English should return to a more traditional life.
“They used to be a lot like us, living with love and respect and unity.
“But if they carry on the way they are, they won’t be able to find that life anymore.”
“I am the happiest man because I share.
“The secret of happiness is sharing.”
Meet The Natives
The Natives Are Restless
Is Prince Philip An Island God?