Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

TUA FIGHT: Super Sporting Saturday in Samoa

By Jeremy Rose in Samoa

It’s being billed as Super Sporting Saturday in Samoa. A day which will start at 4.30am Saturday Samoan time (Samoa is 24 hours behind NZ) with the Manu Samoa vs Wales test, continues with the league World Cup quarter-final between Toa Samoa and world champs Australia and then climaxes with the David Tua’s shot at the world heavy weight title.

But it is the David Tua fight which has galvanised the nation of 170,000.

Policemen, taxi drivers and what seems like half the population are wearing the ulafala necklaces popularised by Samoa’s favourite sporting son.

The ulafala, usually only worn by high ranking matai, have become so popular that the Samoa Observer is reporting that they have more than doubled in price and are now selling for about $30 (tala), a considerable sum in a country where the minimum wage is just $1.45.

Demand for the necklaces, both in Samoa and among Samoan communities in New Zealand and the US, is such that the red fruit of the pandanus tree from which necklaces are made are now said to be in short supply.

Inhabitants of David Tua’s village, Faleatiu, can be spotted by their distinctive ulafala which incorporate two pieces of tapa on the back of the necklaces which spell out the words “Tua Man”.

Everyone you ask from school kids to taxi drivers are convinced Tua is going to win. And you get the feeling that to say otherwise would be tantamount to treason.

Pre-schoolers and primary school children are putting on performances to celebrate Tua’s achievement in obtaining a shot at the title and church services are being held throughout the country to enable people to pray for David Tua.

New Zealander Peter West says he hasn’t seen anything like it in the three years he’s been in Samoa as a Volunteer Service Abroad volunteer.

West, the principal of the Loto Taumafai Education Centre for the Disabled, says the “country is going crazy” over the fight.

“Our kids are putting on a mime performance which will be filmed by the local television station,” he says.

Gatoloaifaaona Tilianamua Afamasaga, the dean of education, at the National University of Samoa says there’s been a noticeable improvement in the standard of dress as a result of people wearing the ulafalas. “You can’t wear any old thing with a ulafala, so where people might have worn a tee-shirt now they’re wearing a shirt.”
f
“I hate the sport of boxing but I am as excited as everyone else by the fight,” she says.

“Everyone is joined together for the country, for the culture, it’s wonderful.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reactionary Politics Of Fear

What do you call a situation where the state tries to create panic among its own people for party political gain? As practiced by Theresa May and her faction of the Conservative Party, this has become a well-honed form of state terrorism… More>>

Viva Scoop 3.0! Rounding Up 2018 And Looking Ahead

2018 has been quite a year for Scoop. We are so thrilled to have successfully met the funding target for the first stage of the ‘Scoop 3.0’ plan raising $36,000. This means we can now proceed with the planning phase for the delivery of this bold vision for a community-owned, participatory, independent newsroom... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog