Twenty Questions with Makaira Lee Oyagawa

Welcome to Twenty Questions!

 Every week I’ll be sharing a new twenty-something on the blog and their responses to twenty quick-fire, intimate questions about themselves.

No one featured on Twenty Questions is a celebrity or public figure, and most of these people I don’t know very well, or at all.

My hope is that by taking a peak into someone else’s soul you will realise that, despite our fundamental differences, we still have very similar insecurities, make similar mistakes and have fought similar battles to become the people we are today.


Makaira Lee, 22

What is your full name?

Makaira Lee Oyagawa.

How old are you?

22 years old.

How old do you feel?

My age for the most part. But then I see what 15-year-old’s look like now and I feel like a 12-year-old potato.


Where were you born?

Auckland, New Zealand.


What do you do for work?

I’m currently a creative freelancer specialising in styling, photography and illustration but I also work in retail at Area 51, gotta make that $$$!

What do you do for fun?

Life. I should probably start taking that shit seriously!

Did you go to university? If so, what did you study?

I recently graduated from AUT University with a Bachelor of Graphic Design, majoring in Photography.

What is your favourite movie of all time?

I honestly have so many. I’m that person who can watch the same movie day in and day out. When Video Ezy was still around my mum would get so frustrated because once I found a movie that I liked I would hire the same one every Friday night for a month. If we are going by the number of views then ‘Dirty Dancing’ would be right up there, and ‘She’s the Man’!


What is the biggest risk you have ever taken that has paid off?

Buying a one-way-ticket to Sydney. I ended up living there for five months and met some of the greatest people. I miss it like crazy.


Hardest moment of your twenties so far?

If I’m being completely honest, 2016 was a really shitty year for me. Not long after settling into Sydney my Nana was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I made the decision to move home and in the five short months from the diagnosis she was taken from us. This has not only been the hardest moment of my twenties so far but the hardest moment of my life to date. It has taught me to love who you love while you still have them. “Forever” is sometimes just one second.


Best moment of your twenties so far?

God I’ve never realised how much I suck at narrowing things down but probably my trip to Europe in 2015. The highlights were spending my 21st birthday island hopping in Greece and seeing A$AP Rocky at a random nightclub in Paris (he’s even more beautiful in person).


Who do you miss?

My Nana.


What do you like the most about yourself?

My ability to laugh at myself. This trait is pretty essential for survival when you have as many embarrassing encounters as I do. I’m pretty much Auckland’s answer to Bridget Jones – and on that note, will my Mr Darcy please stop playing hard to get and slide into my DM’s?


What do you like the least about yourself?

Caring a little too much what people think. As an artist my fashion is an extension of my self expression and at times I filter this for others and their opinions. I would love to be one of those ‘fuck the haters’ people but I’m not.


If you had to get a tattoo, what would you get and where would you get it?

I’m not too sure, maybe some writing on my lower shins? I’ve actually already got eight. The goal is to achieve a similar aesthetic to Erin Wasson or Zoe Kravitz. I have a mixture of symbols and handwriting that are all about the people and places I’ve loved. Ultimately they make up the sum of my experiences. I guess I’ll have to wait and see who/what will inspire my next one.

How would your friends describe you?

I wasn’t really sure so I asked a couple of my friends. My friend Nic’s response was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me. Even though I paid her to say it, it still warms my heart…

“I’ve never met someone with a more contagious energy; she’s the life of the party, even when the party is over. I don’t think she realises how similar she is to her mama in the sense that she will do anything for the people she loves. Her heart is glittery, solid gold. She is Bridget Jones meets Alexa Chung and it’s only fair that this creative babe is condemned to mortifying moments and social horror stories- there’s gotta be some justice in the world. And the kid knows how to laugh at herself.”

How would your parents describe you?

I just asked my dad and he said “bloody annoying” – they won’t take me seriously so I’m going to put words into their mouths. I think they would say that I am a rule breaker and don’t place too much importance on societal norms, that I have a big heart but am a little too trusting in people and the universe. They are super supportive of my creative endeavours and would say that I am talented and both extremely hard working and extremely lazy. I also always hear my mum telling her friends that I am a “party animal” or “social butterfly” which cracks me up. My parents rule.


When was the last time you cried?

About an hour ago, I watched ‘Lion’. Don’t do it. Okay do it because it’s an incredible film, but get the tissues ready.


What are you afraid of?

Flowers – don’t ask.


If you could start your twenties again, what would you do differently?

I can’t pin point one specific thing that I desperately need a do-over for. Maybe little things like save money for a rainy day, spend less time drawing rappers at Uni, not crush on assholes, drink less so I remember more of my nights. Nothing major. I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.