“I am alive and I am free”

By Aruna Lolani and Fetalai Tuilulu’u ,

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE SAMOA: Iakopo Autagavaia from Alafua.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE SAMOA: Iakopo Autagavaia from Alafua. (Photo: Aruna Lolani)

While everyone was rushing to Apia to witness and watch performances for Independence Day, Iakopo Autagavaia from Alafua was walking everywhere to sell his fa’alifu talo and bananas for $6. 

He’s a 54-year-old father of two.

“It’s not everyday I have good money from selling my fa’alifu but I know today is going to be sold out fast because it’s Independence and it’s a busy day,” he said.

“This is my job everyday so even though it’s a very special day, to me it’s like a normal day and I’m just going about my normal duties.

“I’m the only one in the family that works so you can see why I always need to do this.

“My family and children are relying on me.

“So I may be old but it doesn’t mean I’m tired of taking care of my family.

He added on to say “Of course I’m grateful for this day and I’m celebrating it by selling my fa’alifu.

“It’s one of the happiest days for Samoan people and I’m truly honored to be a Samoan.

“My job to sell fa’alifu is a Samoan tradition so that is a celebration for today and every other day. 

“Our ancestors have fought a great battle for this day. 

“And I know that I wouldn’t be here today, doing whatever I want if it weren’t for them.

“So as soon as I sell all of these, then I’m going to get something nice to eat for our family and watch Independence.

Mr. Autagavaia is hardworking man and he’s happy about that.

“It’s always good to be positive about everything because that is how you get to be happy with whatever life you have no matter what.

“Today is Samoa’s day and we all know what it means for our people.

“It’s Independence Day for Samoa; I am alive and I am free.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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