Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts Presents 2nd Annual “Love is Bigger than Cancer” Event

"Manamea lost her battle to breast cancer in 2018 and from this our event was born."

Love Is Bigger Than Cancer 2018 at Orator Hotel, Apia. PC: Coconet

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts will be marking Pinktober breast cancer awareness month with the ‘Love Is Bigger Than Cancer’ event, at the Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland next month.

The event aims to raise awareness and funding for the Samoa Cancer Society and the Tonga Breast Cancer Society to assist in the fight against cancer in Samoa and Tonga.

Love is Bigger than Cancer is in its second year after the inaugural event was held in  Apia, Samoa in 2018. The event was a success with $10,000 tala raised and notable members of parliament in attendance such as the Samoan Deputy Prime Minister and various Cabinet Ministers. The event was also supported by local businesses, families and friends, who have all been affected by this disease.

Dancers at 2018 Event

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts, based in Sydney Australia, is coming to New Zealand with 65 members (over 30 performers).

Matavai is Australia’s premier Pacific Cultural center where the fundamentals of six Pacific cultures are taught, directed by former Miss Samoa and Miss South Pacific Maryjane Mckibbin Schwenke and her husband Fred Schwenke. It was established as a reaction to the negative stigma surrounding Pacific People in Sydney.

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts founders Mary Jane and Fred Schwenke

The inspiration behind the event is a tribute to former Miss Samoa and Miss South Pacific 2001, Manamea Apelu Schwalger. A businesswoman, geologist, wife, mother, and sister she was also a cancer activist, Manamea was a respected member of the Pacific community who expressed her gratitude to both the Samoan and New Zealand Government for the opportunity to receive life prolonging cancer treatment in Auckland

Matavai co-director Maryjane Mckibbin Schwenke said Manamea was a dear friend and this event is an opportunity to bring awareness to the challenges that the islands face in treating cancer, and to reiterate the message of good health in order to prevent cancer.

“Manamea lost her battle to breast cancer in 2018 and from this our event was born.”

Mrs Mckibbin Schwenke said they are proud to bring their showcase to New Zealand, not only to display the gifted talents of Pasifika people in Australia, but to continue to raise funds to help Pacific countries deal with cancer. 

When: 03rd October 2019
Where: Mangere Arts Centre- Nga tohu o uenuku
Time: 12.30pm Matinee performance
6.30pm Evening show (Canapes served)

Love Is Bigger Than Cancer 2018 at Orator Hotel, Apia. PC: Coconet