Fighting through the struggles

By Vatapuia Maiava and Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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LIFE IN SAMOA IS NO WALK IN THE PARK, AND THAT’S WHY PEOPLE GET DESPERATE: Fotu Viliamu, 60, from the village of Levi, Saleimoa

LIFE IN SAMOA IS NO WALK IN THE PARK, AND THAT’S WHY PEOPLE GET DESPERATE: Fotu Viliamu, 60, from the village of Levi, Saleimoa

For one man, making a living has gotten to the point where things have become life threatening.

As simple as taking care of pig’s sound, no one would think that there are risks involved but according to Fotu Viliamu, from the village of Levi, Saleimoa, life is tough and it could lead to desperation.

Aged 60, Fotu was hired by his family to take care of some pigs. Living alone in his house, the hard working man tries his best to live solely on the goodness of the Lord.

“Living alone is risky,” he admits to the Village Voice.

“One night I heard the dogs barking and when I went to investigate I found a pig cut up and dead. I tried to carry it back and three men appeared and told me it’s either me or the pig.”

“I stood there and I thought if I should run with the pig or not. As I stood there thinking, something told me that the pig has no life in it but my body still does. So I left without the pig.”

“I think they targeted this area because they know that I live here alone.”

Armed with just a small lantern, Fotu has to endure the risks of living alone every night.

On the other hand, Fotu tries to keep life as simple as possible through faith in the Lord.

“The only thing that’s very important to me is my faith in God,” he said.

“Although I don’t have much I do my best still. For meals, all I need is some cooked banana and tea; tea is what gives me a lot of strength to go about my daily tasks.”

Fotu Viliamu house in the village of Levi, Saleimoa where he lives alone
Fotu Viliamu house in the village of Levi, Saleimoa where he lives alone

“I have some family who live nearby; they hired me to take care of their pigs and chickens. So I try my best to do an honest job with what I do.”

Fotu is paid $100 a week to take care of the pigs but some of that money goes feeding the animals.

“I am living here alone and I do my own thing,” he said.

“The toughest job I have is trying to look for food for the pigs and chickens. I just got back from getting some coconuts from the nearby family. It’s not easy trying to get the food for these animals.”

“I am paid $100 a week for my work but I admit that it’s not enough. I have to pay the car that transports the coconut and I pay the people I get the coconuts from.”

“Whatever is left from that $100 is mine to keep but it’s not much to cover much. There are about 13 pigs but some have escaped no matter how much I try and fix up the fence. It’s hard keeping them all in line.”

He admits that even when someone works to his dying limit, there will always be struggles in modern day Samoa.

“Life these days aren’t easy and no matter how hard people work, they will always have struggles,” Fotu said.

“The pay I get is all the money I make. This land belongs to my family that I work for so there’s not much I can do with it.”

“I am alright though because I just rely wholly on the Lord for his provision over me.”

But through his faith in the Lord, Fotu says he will be alright. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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