Tuesday 8 August 2023 Savaii, Samoa. Popular Samoan comedian and entertainer, Tofiga Fepuleai, has been honoured by his Papa Sataua family with the bestowal of the Tauili’ili title.
Tauili’ili Tofiga and his wife Bessie Fepuleai travelled from New Zealand last week to attend the ceremony held at Papa Sataua Savaii, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Tauili’ili has taken up a chiefly title from his maternal grandfather’s family and shares that this is something his late mother, Fuāmago Malae Malagamaalii-Fepulea’i, had spoken to him about before she passed.
“I am humbled to be bestowed one of the chiefly titles by my family,” said Tauili’ili.
“I thank God for this blessing. It is a real honour.”
Tofiga Fepuleai the entertainer, whose witty humour brings joy and laughter to his followers around the globe, never misses a chance to mention his Papa Sataua family.
His connection to the small village at the western most point of Savaii, is well known to his fans.
“Everywhere I go I always mention Papa Sataua so people know where I’m from..”
“But when people would ask me if I have a matai, I tell them I hold the title of Faletanoa’i from Falealupo, but they say I always talk about Papa Sataua..”
“And now my family have blessed me with the title of Tauili’ili.”
Tauili’ili Tofiga is the grandson of Malagamaalii Miti who held the title as the sa’o of their family branch.
Malagamaalii Miti was an entertainer in the village and all the elderly village members say Tofiga has been blessed with that talent and has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps.
The other branch is the Malagamaalii Levi branch where he is related to Matafeo Reupena, Educationist and Co-owner of TV1 Samoa. Through this branch Tauili’ili is also a relative of popular Samoan Tattooist, Li’aifaiva Imo Levi whose father is the current holder of the Malagamaalii title and sa’o of the family.
Tauili’ili says the occasion was even more special because his younger cousin, Mason Malagamaali’i, was bestowed the Tauatele title alongside him on Monday morning.
“Mason is like my younger brother,” says Tauili’ili. “His dad is my mother’s brother Tapua’i Satuala Malagamaalii and he is the only surviving sibling of my mother, out of 14 of them.”
Tauili’ili is Tofiga’s second title. He was bestowed the Faletanoa’i title from Falealupo when he was just 24 years old, but never used it in New Zealand as he was an only child and chose to tautua his late father, afioga Tuua Fepuleai from Fusi Safotulafai.