Kanoe Gibson Nitta
As a student at University of Hawaii, Kanoe Gibson Nitta was studying business with a focus on marketing and management. But she just wasn’t sure how she would apply her studies to a job after college.
Then friends, including Olena Heu and Ron Mizutani, encouraged her to apply for an internship that had opened up at KHON2.
So she did, turning what began as a temporary position into a complete career change, entering an entirely different industry than she had imagined.
“I just had to learn everything on the fly, on the job,” she says, “and luckily, (there were) great people there to teach me.
“It was great, a lot of fun.”
It wasn’t an immediate shift, though. At the time of her internship, Gibson Nitta was pregnant with her first child. It wasn’t until two years later that she would rejoin the crew of Wake Up 2day as a weather anchor.
She left the station again in the summer of last year while on maternity leave with her second child. But she knew it would be temporary, a matter of waiting until something part-time opened up.
“I loved it,” she says. “I loved the excitement of the news industry and I loved the reporting.”
Earlier this year, she rejoined KHON2 as a weekend weather anchor, providing Gibson Nitta with the flexibility she sought. In this new position, Gibson Nitta is able to stay at home with her children — a daughter now 8 months and a 4-year-old son — during the week, and work at the station Saturdays and Sundays.
“The most important job is being a mom right now,” says Gibson Nitta. “It’s nice, though, to have something to, I guess, make me feel kind of normal again, you know, as a person,” she adds with a laugh.
A couple of days a week in Waikiki, you also may find Gibson Nitta, who appeared on MidWeek‘s March 10, 2004, cover, singing along with guitarist Randy Allen. The duo also sometimes performs at weddings.
“It’s been nice to be able to still do that,” says Gibson Nitta. “I feel like that’s … just kind of my passion.
“As long as I get to keep doing that, it keeps me fulfilled.”
Don’t expect to see Gibson Nitta turning to music as a full-time commitment. It’s something she says that she always will keep in her back pocket.
“I don’t ever want to stop loving it,” she says. “And I think if I did it full time, I could possibly stop loving it.”
Mom, weekend weather anchor, musician — it’s a busy life Gibson Nitta leads, and one she takes day by day. Little projects, like a planter she just completed, and writing help to manage her packed schedule. But, ultimately, it is her spirituality that helps Gibson Nitta stay grounded.
“I read my Bible,” she says, “and I think that what really keeps me in line, keeps me focused, is making sure I seek God in everything I do.”