Molesi Matagi, from the village of Vaitele-Uta, has a message for all the youths of Samoa; hard work really does pay.
Aged 31, Molesi has made a career for himself with elei printing. He says the money he earns goes a long way towards taking care of his family.
Asked for a message for all the other youth, Molesi said that honest, hard work is the way to go in this life.
“My advice to all the youth of Samoa is to always pray and stay true to whatever work you get,” he told the Village Voice.
“Honest and consistent work is what’s important in this life. If you do something useful with your life then people will never look at you with disgust. Doing good will help push you forward and you will live a happy life.”
Molesi said that he showed interest in printing elei and so the pastor’s wife gave him a few lessons.
“This work I do is from the skills I learnt from all the trips to the pastor’s house,” he said.
“Everything I know about design printing was taught to me by the pastor’s wife long ago and I have kept those skills.”
“I learnt the different types of paint, how to decide which paint is for which piece of fabric and other important lessons. Now that I am making printed designs, I realize how important those lessons are to me.”
Molesi says that his work brings him the most joy and as an added benefit, he is able to help out with his family through his earnings.
“Ever since I finished school, I have had many different jobs but printing designs is what has brought me the most joy,” he said.
“I am earning a decent amount of money which goes towards helping to take care of small things within the family; especially with all the faalavelave’s.”
“This work is perfect for those youths who have nothing to do with their lives. It has done wonders for me and I urge others to pursue it too.”
Molesi also shared another message for the youth of Samoa; he said that the key to a happy life is to be obedient to your parents.
“My other message to the youth is that there is no other key to a blessed life than to always be obedient and listen to your parents,” he said.
“You must also know your duty in and out of your house and also the house of your pastor. Always remember that wherever you go, you are carrying a lot of names with you.”
But like everything good in life, Molesi job does run into a few bumps.
“The only problem I have is the usual one from this line of work; everyone wants the prints for free,” he said.
“People come asking to have a print done then they’ll pay later but when later comes, they have disappeared. No one wants to understand that the reason I am doing this work is because I need money too.”
“But despite all those problems, I still work to the best of my ability.”