Samoa’s potential is endless

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

There is absolutely no reason why Samoa cannot become the fashion, arts and entertainment capital of the Pacific. We’ve certainly got the people to make it happen, they have the skills, know how and the expertise. 

And with a little bit of a push, they can go a long way to add one more dimension to Samoa’s array of baits to lure visitors to our beautiful shores.

What’s especially important about this is that it has the potential to help the government’s efforts to promote tourism by making Samoa an events hub. Yes we are talking big, big numbers.

Why would you want to attract one or two visitors when you can fly in a crowd? Why try to fill a plane when you can charter planes from all destinations across the world for an event here?  

We know for a fact the current promotional efforts to lure visitors is finding minimal success. If the moans and groans of industry members in terms of low occupancy rates and their financial struggles is anything to go by, Samoa needs another dimension in its thinking about tourism.

 We need to be innovative in our approach, we need to be smart and we need to take some calculated risks to offer something others in the south Pacific aren’t doing – or maybe not doing it to the fullest of potential.

And looking at the quality of talent and skill in Samoa, we’ve got the stuff the world is looking for. Take fashion for example. One of the best things about Samoa today is that we are slowly developing to become the fashion hub of the Pacific. While we have still some work to do to catch up with the likes of say Fiji, we have been making huge strides during the past few years.

The success of last week’s inaugural Life Con Explosion is an example. This event has added another dimension to other fashion-related events like the Samoa Sinnett Fashion Show, the Samoa Arts Council Fashion Week and similar events that have emerged over the years. They have provided a solid platform to build on. And we’ve got the materials to sustain them. Lots and lots of them.

Think of the Pacific region – and the world - and how people adore Samoan designs. Think of the success of major fashion houses like MENA, Janet’s, Cecilia Keil, Pacific Jewel, Eveni Pacific and many more on the global stage. What they all have in common is that they all started small in Samoa. Their stories as they are today tell us that there is a place for Samoa-made products in the world of fashion. And that’s because we are unique, beautiful and bold. These are great qualities. 

But it’s not just clothing per se. There is so much more. Think of professional modeling opportunities, job creation opportunities for tailors and workers at the low end of the scale and ultimately revenue and taxes for the government. Think of how we can inspire a new generation of creative and innovative minds. Imagine the new fashion houses emerging made in Samoa.

I know it’s easier said than done. Of course. 

But every great and wonderful achievement in this world began with a dream. It has to start with an idea. And in this country today, we need some dreamers, we need some positive energy. 

We say this because while we are too busy pulling each other down over petty stuff, the world is robbing us of what is rightfully ours. Our patterns, designs, measina (treasures) are being stolen, exploited and used by others to get ahead. What are we doing about this? Moaning and groaning will not get us anywhere.

We need to be proactive, do something. Stop fearing failure. If we fail, so what, at least we’ve tried. Think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb. His teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Mr. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. 

Determination? Courage? Commitment? We need all that and more.

Now let me get back to Life Con Event of last week. It was beautiful and well thought out. What was even more inspiring was the idea of honouring the iconic women of fashion in Samoa, allowing emerging fashion houses to show their stuff as well as bringing back the former Miss Samoa title holders for a grand finale all for a good cause. 

Given the social problems of today, one of the biggest problems is young people not having role models to look up to. 

It’s difficult to fathom this. We shouldn’t be having that problem in Samoa. We don’t have to look at the international magazines to find role models. 

We have roles models galore in this country, whether you are an inspiring fashion designer, artist, entertainer, business entrepreneur, media, sportsman or woman or whatever profession you are interested in. 

We are a talented nation, people blessed by the Almighty God with skills, expertise and talents to reach the nations and bring them to Samoa. 

Have a wonderful weekend Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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