Twenty-year-old Lene Alema fromTufuiopa of the Le Manumea Hotel was announced the King of the “Faletalimalo Siva Afi Challenge 2017.”
Held last week on Tuesday, the champion went up against Vaelaa Iloa of Jet Over Hotel and Poasa Tupou of Sheraton Aggie Greys, Mulifanua.
Mr. Alema received prize money of $1,000, the second placegetter received $800 and the third placegetter received $600 and a single knife from the owner of Siva Afi, Leota Lene Leota.
Not only did Mr. Alema received $1,000, but he now gains automatic entry to the International Siva Afi Competition 2017, which will be held in Apia, from 30th August – 2nd September.
The challenge began in the first week of March this year and it went on for about 12 weeks with two performers from each hotel going up against each other during the elimination rounds.
Galumalemana Patrick Rasmussen and Kome Feagaimalii were the expert judges of the challenge.
Jet Over Hotel Manager, Ms Donna Stanley travelled from Savaii for the elimination rounds, quarterfinals, semifinals and for the final.
She congratulated the three finalists of the 2017 Faletalimalo Siva afi Challenge.
“It was an amazing night as the three finalists showcased their talent at the finals of the Faletalimalo Siva Afi Challenge,” she said.
“Congratulations to the winner, Le Manumea and Sheraton as the 2nd runner up however, our Vaela’a did us proud by making it to the finals and earning his place as the 1strunner up.”
Ms Stanley added, “Jet Over Hotel represented all hotels in Savaii along with Amoa Resort and Le Lagoto Resort and we’re all looking forward to next year’s Challenge!”
Complex Manager for Sheraton Aggie Greys Hotel and Resort, Mark Francis also attended each of the rounds to support Sheraton performers.
“Congratulations to Le Manumea Hotel for the win, their champion was truly amazing, his skill has to be seen to be believed,” said Mr. Francis.
“Sheraton Samoa is very pleased to be associated with the Faletalimalo Siva Afi Challenge.”
“Our four warriors had a great competition and with our youngest reaching the final; we are very proud of you Poasa. Sheraton Samoa will be back next year, stronger than ever, challenging for the #1 victory.”
“Well done Lene and Geoff you ran a class event, I personally enjoyed attending the weekly completions.”
The owner of Siva Afi told the Sunday Samoan that the challenge brought in more talented dancers from around Samoa.
“The 3rd runner up of the night Poasa Tupou - he is new but the way he performed during the elimination round as well as in the finals, was brilliant,” he said.
“Tupou does not dance in the fire dance group but he went up against some of the good people and he won and he made it all the way up to the finals.”
“He is a hard working person hence why I gifted him with a single knife because he deserves it.”
“It’s people like Tupou, Alema and Vaelaa that we need in this industry so that the Samoan traditional dance can keep on growing.”
Leota gratefully acknowledged the support of their sponsors.
“Siva Afi entertainment would like to thank the participating Hotels and Resorts; Taumeasina Island Resort, Jet Over Hotel, Le Manumea Hotel, Le Lagoto Resort, Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel Apia, Return to Paradise Resort, TanoaTusitala Hotel, Amoa Resort, Sa’Moana Resort, and the Sheraton Resort Mulifanua as well as supporters Radio Polynesia and the Samoa Observer and Seafood Gourmet for donating the $1000 first prize.”
1st place – Lene Alema - $1,000
2nd place – Vaelaa Iloa - $800
3rd place – Poasa Tupou - $600