Aki, who hails from Manurewa in Auckland, grew up in awe of his hero Lomu, who he briefly played club rugby with at Weymouth.
The 25-year-old former Chiefs star also played with Counties Manukau and says Lomu will be massive loss to that province and New Zealand rugby in general.
“Jonah Lomu played in the same club that I used to play for when I first started playing rugby, he played for Weymouth.
“He was a big influence and I was absolutely shattered by the news that I heard.
“He played a big part in how Counties are so successful at the moment,” he said.
“It is really sad, and my prayers and condolences go to him and his family,” he added.
“It is a big loss for New Zealand rugby as well.
“I met him a few times, I had a few chats with him when I was back at Counties and he was a humble person.
“He talks from the heart, he was always there to help you out.
“He talked about what he came through and how hard it was for him.
“It keeps you on the ground, when he tells you what he has been through,” he said.
“Things don’t come easy as he said.
“He was just a great person,” said Aki.