Mrs Vaiee ‘Tauafiafi o Maupaolo’ Addresses Violence Against Women and Girls

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Laauliolemalietoa Leuatea, Loukinikini Vili, Mrs Vaiee 2020, Galumalemana Faiesea Matafeo, Mulipola Anarosa Molioo
Malaolemā Mauava Vili has been crowned Mrs Vaiee in a pageant that honoured the maupaolo or women married into the village of their husband’s families.
From the villages of Fusi Safata, Faleu Manono and Faiaai Savaii, Malaeolema was a crowd favourite and also the eldest contestant in a unique pageant, judged by inner beauty according to organiser and Chairman of the Vaie’e Safety and Development Committee, Tuia Logoiai Pu’a Letoa.
Mrs Vaiee 2020, Malaeolema Mauava Vili

“The contestants are judged on their ability to show their talents, their ability to engage the audience and to show their values as women in contributing to their families, church and village.”

Sponsored by Aiga’s Bakery of Vaiee, 67-year-old Malaeolema also won Best Puletasi, Best Interview and Best Talent.

The Maupaolo of 2020 has been living with her husband Mauava Vili in Vaiee since 1979. They have two children and are members of the Fusi Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS).

The First Runner up was taken by 34-year-old Kalameli Limasene Te’o Saluvale from Matatufu Aleipata and Salani Falealili. Sponsored by Jireh’s Gift Shop Vaigaga, she is married Teo Suluvale Tom Savea and is a receptionist at Saletoga Resort.

The Second Runner up went to the youngest contestant, 23 year old Lineta Aso Tuitea. Daughter of Talafa Euta of Pata Falelatai and spnsored by Siliga and Atina Designs of Vaiee.

Other prize winners: Best Puletasi: Malaeolema Mauava Vili and Fay Faamanu Malaesilia. Best interview: Malaeolema Mauava Vili. Best Talent: Malaeolema and Helen Sione Anitelea Fagailima. Best Evening Wear: Kalameli Tauiliili Limasene Teo and Faamanatu Aofia Tutoatasi.

The Charity Award went to the contestant who raised the most during her siva Samoa. Potofou Tuiletufuga was well supported by her familes and villages of Safaatoa Lefaga, Lufilufi, Fatausi Fogapoa and Matavai Safune. She won a night for two at Valentine’s Accommodation.

The pageant saw 9 contestants advocating to End Violence Against Women and Girls with key messages being delivered during their talents, through the descriptions of their laei and in the articulate responses to interview questions.

“Violence against women and girls must stop, the Alii and Faipule of Vaiee have taken a stance and we are here to show that the idea of nofotane being slaves to the families of their husbands has to change in Samoa”.

“Families are founded on God and God is love.”

PC: Mulipola Anarosa Molioo

These were the messages delivered with confidence by the winner during her winning interview question.

One contestant was asked about her views on the impact of violence on children. Kalameli Teo’s voice broke as she shared how she had grown up in a violent home, with her own mother a victim of abuse.

Mrs Vaiee was crowned by Mrs Malili Teo who has been the reigning Mrs Vaiee since the pageant was last held in 2010. She has held the crown ever since and presented an eloquent speech to mark her gracious exit.

Former Mrs Vaiee 2010, Malili Teo, daughter of Fao from Asau.

Pageant judges included the Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Tourism Authority Faamatuainu Lenatai Suifua, Owner of TV1 Samoa Galumalemana Faiesea Matafeo, Co-Manager of Western Union Afioga Mulipola Anarosa Molioo, Former Speaker of the House and Memeber of Parliament Laauliolemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao and Director of the Human Rights Division of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Judges Faamatuainu and Mulipola enjoying the evening.

Miss Samoa and Miss South Pacific Fonoifafo McFarland Seumanu attended with her chaperone Kristian ChiChi Scanlan. Fonoifafo showed her support by not only performing a siva Samoa, but also seen ascending the stage to aiuli the siva Samoa of the pageant contestants.

Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands Fonoifafo McFarland Seumanu

Representing the village council of Vaiee, Tuia Logoiai Pu’a Letoa said one of the key messages of the initiative is to address the commonly accepted norm in Samoa that women are viewed as ‘slaves’ to their spouse’s family and have no voice in decision making.

“The significance of the pageant is the recognition and honouring the silent service by women referred to as ‘maupaolo’ or ‘nofotane’ and the promotion of their status as women who should be appreciated within all villages.

“Several maupaolo women have been injured, maimed and killed in recent high profile family violence cases in Samoa,” Tuia said.

Tuia said the pageant has been reignited after 10 years because they believe it is an effective way to change perceptions and attitudes towards maupaolo.

“In the true faa-Samoa maupaolo means someone who resides in the safety and protection of the family she is married into,” he said.

The event was also a fundraiser to help construct a new community hall for the development of the village and Safata District.

The event was sponsored by TV1 Samoa who had exclusive broadcasting rights, Samoa Airways, Office of the Ombudsman, Naydith Events Hireage, Taula Beverages, Central Bank of Samoa, National Bank of Samoa, and Digicel Samoa.

Naydith Hireage bow in prayer to bless it’s new stage, donated to support the pageant.

Sina Retzlaff