Author talk with johannes langkilde

Key Highlights of Johannes Langkilde's Lectures:

  • A captivating narrative of Johannes Langkilde's encounter with his Polynesian family, delving into their shared history
  • Embark on an adventurous and personal journey, immersing yourself in the fascinating Samoan culture
  • Experience the expertise of a professional and skillful communicator who enthralls his audience


My Cousin is a Chief in Samoa

As a child, Johannes Langkilde was told that he had family on a distant Pacific island. He was even informed that there was a genuine chief among them. It sounded like something out of a children's fairy tale, and for Johannes, the story never amounted to more than a curiosity he discussed with his parents.

Twenty years later, Johannes finds himself as a correspondent in the United States, specifically in the city of Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party is set to nominate Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. The delegate from American Samoa is none other than Chief Fagafaga Daniel Langkilde, who is tasked with delivering the votes from the American territory. As if arranged by destiny, Johannes suddenly comes face to face with his distant cousin, who happens to be his blood-relative from Samoa.

This becomes the beginning of an extraordinary and personal journey that, a couple of years later, takes Johannes Langkilde, his wife, and their two children to Samoa to uncover the incredible story of how his ancestor ended up establishing a large family on the Polynesian islands in the 19th century.

It is the story of Hans Alfred Langkilde, the son of a royal master huntsman and a former soldier in the war of 1864. It follows Hans Alfred as he flees to the United States under dramatic circumstances - after a duel with a German soldier - and battles his inner demons, attempting to wash them away with a new life as a whaler. However, that too fails, and as a last resort, the young Langkilde tries to create a new life by jumping overboard from a passing boat near the exotic archipelago of Samoa.

There, he ends up marrying a chief's daughter and has five children with her, all given Danish first names and the surname Langkilde. For over 100 years, the Langkilde family in Samoa has known little about their Danish origins.

"My Cousin is a Chief in Samoa" is a surprising, uplifting, and intimate account of how Johannes Langkilde meets his extended Polynesian family and, together with them, investigates their shared history. Johannes and his family develop close bonds with the many Samoan Langkildes and experience the fascinating Samoan culture up close during their journey. For example, they witness the unique practice of burying the dead in the front yard and placing them in impressive and eye-catching monuments.

Along the way, Johannes himself is offered a chief title, which remains a prestigious and influential position in Samoan culture. He also receives a new Samoan name through a grand ceremony.


Denmark's Leading Entrepreneurs

Get up close with some of the businesspeople who have created several of the country's prominent companies. Mia Wagner is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and former host of DR's successful show, "Løvens Hule" (The Lion's Den), and Johannes Langkilde is an award-winning journalist, author, former US correspondent, and together with Mia, they host the major current DR series, "Matadorerne" (The Titans).

In this lecture, Wagner and Langkilde talk about their work on the series and what the present can learn from the unstoppable drive for innovation, audacity, and creativity that characterised Denmark's first and possibly greatest series of entrepreneurs, financial magnates, and business giants.

Mia Wagner draws parallels to her own work as an entrepreneur, and you can learn how companies today can be inspired by the giants of the past. The speakers also encourage and facilitate a debate.


Jan Kvistborg
Aalborg Congress & Culture Center

Contact Johannes

TV host at DR and musician, best known as a TV host in news programs on both DR and TV 2.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.