Thu 01 Mar

The Rise of Buttabean

David Letele (aka Brown Buttabean) is your man. He’s the man behind the movement that is Buttabean Motivation and a finalist for Kiwibank’s Local.


[Aka Brown Buttabean]

Sometimes an event calls for one of the big guns.

Someone who will inspire your audience to live more purposefully, make fewer excuses and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in their lives.

David Letele (aka Brown Buttabean) is your man.  He’s the man behind the movement that is Buttabean Motivation and a finalist for Kiwibank’s Local Hero of the Year award in 2017.  He’s on a mission to tackle some of the thorniest issues in the toughest parts of our country and he’s doing it like a steam train - head-on and with conviction.    

A big personality with a big heart, as a speaker, David’s secret sauce is his connection.  Honest, upfront, side-splittingly funny and with a knack for challenging preconceptions, his message is a powerful one that will leave a lasting impression with even the toughest crowds.  

David has fast become a household name across the country - for all the right reasons, though it was a pretty close call.

Half-Samoan and half-Maori, David was born in Hamilton in the late 70s and spent his childhood between both Australia and Auckland.  His father, formerly the President of the Auckland Chapter of the Mongrel Mob, was imprisoned for most of his primary school years.  A talented sportsman, David made the NZ Maori Secondary Schools rugby league team as a teenager, but a freak injury brought his career in the sport to an abrupt end.  Drugs, violence and gangs quickly took hold but, in spite of this he went on to make a name for himself as a heavyweight boxer with a villainous streak and a temper not to be trifled with.  However, happiness was eluding him - fast.  A supermarket he owned went bust and he was left bankrupt.  His wife and kids were wrenched away and his weight ballooned to over 200kg.

In 2014, David Letele was not in a good place.  Depressed, destitute and morbidly obese, a life of crime beckoned and his fate looked almost certain to be sealed.  However, thanks to a timely encounter with a childhood friend, some seeds of hope were sown.

David didn’t look back. By the end of 2017 he’d lost 100kg.  He now owns a booming wellness business and has inspired thousands of overweight New Zealanders to follow his lead and change their lives through exercise and nutrition.   

David’s social media following surges by the week, and he uses his burgeoning public platform to maximum effect, to motivate and empower whole communities and to challenge big corporates not to exploit their vulnerabilities.  The people he works with are just like him – they’ve endured hardship in various forms and have all but given up on their pride and their purpose.   They’re in need of powerful wake-up call.

An articulate and masterful storyteller, David is made of very special stuff which makes him rise again, whatever blows he’s dealt in life, and we are beyond proud to represent him.

As the man of the moment, there are limited spots left in his speaking schedule this year.  To secure David for your next event call us today at Essential Talent.


Phone Shaun O'Neill on 021 466 733 to discuss Buttabean for your next event

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