ALEX HICKEY | Culture
YOU DON’T KNOW RANGI???
Last year’s Rangi Ruru head girl has come crashing back down to earth already in 2024.
Samantha Almati, 18, has been a high achiever her whole life, and has revelled in the accolades that have followed.
2023 was a particular high point, as she flaunted her head girl status at Rangi Ruru Girls’ High School all around the Christchurch social scene.
Doors would open, people knew her and she enjoyed recognition and respect wherever she went.
However, on moving to Auckland to study medicine, on scholarship no less, Samantha has had something of a reality check.
“I’ve met so many amazing people here already, and it’s weird, it’s like they’re not really that interested in where I went to school. A couple of guys hadn’t even heard of Rangi – that’s what they said anyway, I’m not sure if they were joking or not.”
As a result of her new-found anonymity, Almati has had to readjust her approach to social situations.
“At first it was kinda cute that people didn’t know who I was, or that I’m a Rangi girl, so there was no special treatment. I thought they’d all realise quite quickly, but it hasn’t really happened and so I have to make sure I slip it into the conversation quite early on.
“I’ve even started to say it a bit louder, like, I almost yell that I went to Rangi. But it doesn’t seem to really register – I don’t know how else to tell them.”
Compounding her conundrum, Lincoln High School old boy Bevan Kelsey, who is in the same student accommodation as Almati, has belied his lowly status and is proving incredibly popular.
“I just don’t get it,” Almati said, exasperated.
More to come.