Life is beautiful for Valema Sagisagi.
This is despite living in a small shack in the village of Falefa.
While many complain about what they don’t have and their daily struggles, the 64-year-old is grateful that there is still more to life than materialistic things.
The father of six lives without any electricity or water supplies because he lives in the mountainous area. This, according to him, gives him the freedom and peace he searches for.
“Living in this environment gives me so much peace. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. For me at this point, I don’t need any materialistic things because they’re all rubbish,” Mr. Sagisagi shared with the Village Voice team.
“I am happy that I have a covenant with God in the midst of having less. I have no money, but there is food lying everywhere for me. I don’t need money.”
“The ocean is right there. Every time I get hungry, that is where I will go. Two medium sized fish and I will be satisfied.”
Mr. Sagisagi explained: “I have been living overseas for a very long time. I went to New Zealand when I was only 11 years old. I went to school and studied three years in the University of Otago medical school.”
“I made a family and had a lot of money. I then travelled overseas and navigated the globe, studied Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and I became an atheist. I didn’t know what to believe in. I spent 11 months in the Buddhist monastery in Burma.”
“Those people, they don’t believe in God, they are the doctrines of Buddha, which is the cause of mental and physical suffering.”
He mentioned he feels for people who face poverty.
“There is money hidden in the soil. The reason people are struggling with insufficiency is because they do not work. They are lazy to work the land.”
Despite his past and living in a hut for five years now, he considers himself a free man.
“You see where I live. I am happy and free. I am a very happy and contented man. I have no worries.”
“I have six children all living in New Zealand and my wife, she has passed on. But I am alright, I don’t need help, maybe some other people need it more than me.”
“I have my mountain stream down there and up top there is a spring. This time of the day you will be really cold in just five minutes. The water is fresh.”
Mr. Sagisagi adds he came to Samoa without any idea of the function of a Christian State.
“I came to Samoa assuming that maybe I will find freedom here, a Christian country. I read my Bible and studied it.”
“I came here thinking that it was a country of Christian people. Since I have been here, I have been to a lot of churches and have not seen what it means to be a Christian.”