Mojo Mustapha – Founder of Hedonisia Hawaii
Mojo was born in England with parents who immigrated from Trinidad. He studied Sociology and Women’s Studies in Canada. After university, he started traveling. He has been to 35 countries with the latest being Iceland where he attended the 2019 #MeToo International Conference in Reykjavik.
Mojo has lived in many community settings around the world. A Kibbutz in Israel, a Japanese ‘Gaijin House’, a tantric community near Amsterdam and an Ashram in India were among the many alternative communities he was a participated in.
When Mojo started Hedonisia Hawaii in 2004, it was a challenge to clean up the, rusting cars junk and trash on the land left by the previous owner who was a mechanic. Nevertheless, his approach to community-based eco-tourism was an immediate success with visitors coming from around the world.
As the Community Director, Mojo was not satisfied with simply creating an eco-hostel in paradise. Over the years, Hedonisia slowly evolved into an ecofeminist community.
Mojo wanted to create a community that grew food and also practiced the idea of pleasurable activism, having fun while working on meaningful projects. As part of the Hedonisia mission statement, work at the community was divided into Brain, Body and Heart options. This allowed visitors to come and enjoy a discount working vacation in Hawaii where they could contribute their own heart, body or brain skills and experience to projects that resonated with them.
Diversity & Free Speech
As a little brown man who loves to travel, I know that life has a certain amount of risk. If I had traveled and felt offended every time someone made a joke, or critical comment about my culture, I would have never enjoyed relating with wonderful people across the planet. As long as I felt safe, I let people speak their truth. This lead to amazing insightful conversations with so many different kinds of people. I traveled as a proud 1st Amendment Liberal.
My travels influenced the pre-volcano Hedonisia ecofeminist community mission statement, supporting our right to free speech while being polite and respectful of personal boundaries and consent. As a result, our community attracted many intelligent and free thinking people. The experience at Hedonisia, inspired one of the most interesting and rewarding post-volcano projects; the Hedonisia Diversity and Free Speech Workshops, which was born from
As we try to rebuild, we are offering volunteer options at Hedonisia Guava Land, a property we own near to the volcano zone. Volunteers, guests, and interns are welcome to work on any sites in the Hedonisia Web Portfolio they have interest, enthusiasm, or experience with.
With "call out culture" people are afraid to speak because they might give offense. Technology and Social Media fuels the "weaponization of empathy" to inflict "reputational violence" on anyone who makes a mistake in their language that causes a person to feel offended, especially if they are from a group deemed as oppressed.
This phenomenon is happening in much of the Western world. As a result, so many conversations and flirtations that could happen are not because people are anxious about offending. The pandemic made it worse.
Post-Volcano Mojo in his own words:
Hedonisia Hawai Eco-Feminist Community took a single day to be inundated in the 2018 Kilauea eruption. The community was supposed to be the culmination of my life’s work. Instead, almost everything I owned and worked for, was covered by lava.
Our beautiful community now only exists in our memories and our website. It was much more than a community on a piece of land. It was a very personal relationship. I felt married to this land for 14 years. Now I feel like the widower of a loving spouse who died in a tragic accident.
To lose 90% of your assets and income in one day is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person. Losing my community to the volcano was devastating on a personal as well as economic level.
It has been a painful adjustment. However, we have only one life. So, despite the great sadness, I feel inside, I try to keep a smile on my face and focus on rebuilding.
The volcano was the most traumatic period of my life. And then came Covid 19. Two apocalypses in two years!
Here are some tips on how I survived my first apocalypse. They might help you to stay positive in these challenging times.
- Let yourself cry. From the moment two years ago on the morning of May 27, 2018, when I discovered the lava had taken my property, I let the tears flow. I did not try to be a macho male type and hold it all in. I just let it flow. It was very cleansing. I would often smile and feel strangely relieved after a good cry.
- Take stock of your life. When you are in crisis, it’s a great time to really take a hard look at your life. A crisis is a time of danger and opportunity. It is a great time to make major changes in the direction of your life.
- Use the downtime to work on your dreams. I did exactly that and so I have lots of projects in the Hedonisia EcoFeminist Portfolio that keeps me busy and engaged which has the added benefit of keeping me in a more positive frame of mind.
- See the Positives in a Crisis. Nature is returning. All the Covid lockdowns across the world are giving a much needed break for Mother Nature. Pollution is down, wildlife roamed around as ‘tourists’ in many cities. One could argue that Mother Nature put the human race under house arrest for the crimes committed against the environment.6
Stay safe everyone. Wishing you all much aloha in these challenging times.
Hedonisia Hawaii Community Director