On Father’s Day today, 23-year-old Russell Lupe Ta’ala, of Vaiusu, is unlikely to have the best of days.
For a start, he misses his grandparents who raised him from when he was young, the late Lupe and Penisila Ta’ala.
“It was him who gave me the courage to strive for the best and aim for the stars,” Russell said of his grandpa.
“He was the kind of father who loved me for who I am and he was my biggest supporter."
“I remember when I went through a lot in life he would always say ‘Son, you have to have a big heart that should allow you to achieve anything in life. Life is a struggle but you’ve got to aim for the stars and most importantly you have to set a goal and you make sure that you achieve that goal.”
Russell said special days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are hard for him because he misses his parents.
“If I have to describe the word 'father' in two words I would say Protector and Provider,” he said.
“Being a father comes with great responsibilities because that is what I saw with my grandfather when he was still alive.'
“It means he has to protect his family as well as his children from any harm that may come to them. He was chosen by God as his family’s guardian."
“He leads his family with love and strictness to ensure that they succeed as the Samoan saying goes 'E āfua mai mauga manuia o le nu’u.'"
“Fathers have so many responsibilities, they are the bread winners of their families, they are the providers, leaders and most especially they are the protectors of their families.”
Russell went on to say that it saddens him to see some fathers being convicted of crimes that involve abusing their wives as well as young girls.
“In my own opinion, the lust of the eyes is the cause of all these problems,” said Russell. “It even says in the bible that this was the reason why God disapproved and became angry with King David was because of his action towards Bathsheba."
“It was the lust of King David’s eyes that made him choose wrong."
“Not only that but it’s the lack of trust as well, without trust there will be no peace in between couples."
“So, we have to be in control of our hearts and especially our eyes and if a father is in control of those two things he will never have to put his family through problems because of the love that he has for his family."
“ I am not telling anyone on how to be a father to their children as well as their family, but because this day is especially for Fathers I wanted to send out a message to everyone on how important the role of a father within their families.”
“I wanted to wish all the Fathers of Samoa, starting from the Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi as well as the Owner of TV3 Joe Keil and all the fathers of Samoa a prosperous father’s day."
“Most especially to my grandfather, my hero, my guardian and most especially my protector who is in heaven, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY PAPA!!