Birth Name: Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa
Place of Birth: Auckland, New Zealand
Date of Birth: June 16, 1997
Ethnicity: Samoan, Scottish, English, Northern Irish
KJ Apa, also known as K. J. Apa, is a New Zealand actor. He plays Archie Andrews in the series Riverdale.
KJ is the son of Tessa Apa, a writer, and Tupa’i Keneti Apa. His sister, Timena Apa, is an actress and model. He has Samoan, Scottish, and English ancestry. His Samoan family is from Moata’a. His surname, Apa, may be related to the name of the capital of Samoa, Apia.
A picture of KJ with his father can be seen here.
KJ has said:
My dad’s father was a high chief … and the family agreed my dad would take over his chief title: Tupa’i… Later, we decided to get a tattoo to commemorate that… I’d love to get my whole body tatted up. I love Polynesian and Samoan designs… The original plan was that this would be the start of a sleeve tattoo, but I think I need to get big arms first…
His first cousin, once removed, is rugby union player and coach Michael Jones. KJ’s paternal great-grandparents Niko and Taaloga were also Michael’s maternal grandparents.
KJ’s paternal grandfather was Utumakaiona Tupa’i Se/Seapelima Apa (the son of Niko Vaimasenu’u Apa, and Taaloga Kaiona/Ta’aloga Apa). Niko was the son of Niko Vaimasenu’u Tamapua Apa, from Moata’a, Samoa and Meripa/Melipa Apa, from Sapapali’i, Samoa. Taaloga was the daughter of Tafeamaalii Taauta Kaiona and Nerisa/Nelisa Muliaumavae.
KJ’s great-uncle, Asi Falana’ipupu Vaimasenu’u Niko Apa, was Samoa’s first Consul General in Auckland, New Zealand. He was the brother of KJ’s paternal grandfather.
KJ’s paternal grandmother was named Jenny/Janet Fitzgerald (the daughter of Fergus Bill Smith and Tossy). Janet was born in Wellington.
KJ’s maternal grandfather is John Russell Callander, a judge (the son of George Walker Callander and Winifred Thyra Knight). George was the son of John Callander, whose father was from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and whose mother was from Dudley, Worcestershire, England; and of Flora Carmichael, whose parents were from Argyleshire, Scotland. Winifred was the daughter of William Edward Short Knight, from Southhampton, England, and of Eliza Caudwell, whose father was from Coddington, England, and whose mother was from County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
KJ’s maternal grandmother likely is named Sandra Paulina.
He has also said:
…[my father is Samoan]. I have a massive Samoan family. And the Samoan culture has always played a massive part of my life. I’ve got hundreds of family on my dad’s side that live in Samoa and in New Zealand. I’ve just been surrounded by the culture ever since I was a kid. I actually used to speak Samoan, but me and my sisters all kind of lost it. We go there at least once a year to see family. And my dad recently just got a traditional Samoan tattoo. He’s a chief in Samoa, so he got that tattoo to commemorate it.
Genealogy of KJ Apa – https://www.geni.com
Obituary of KJ’s paternal great-uncle, Asi Falana’ipupu Vaimasenu’u Niko Apa – https://www.rnz.co.nz