Celebrated Samoan Comedian, Tofiga Fepulea’i, lit up Avele College with laughter yesterday.
Always looking to use his fame for the benefit of others, he took the opportunity to use humour as a medium for a very important message.
“Don’t be afraid to dream big,” he told the students.
“You can achieve anything you put your heart into.”
Drawing from his own family experiences, he spoke of his gratitude to his hard working parents.
“I am where I am now because of my parents, they had so much faith, passion and will power, and they have inspired me. I hope that we can have half of the qualities they had.”
Amid roars of laughter, the underlying message of the morning was taken on board by the students.
Manager of E-Life Events, who is running Tofiga’s local tour, Etu Tusitala couldn’t agree more.
“Humour in Samoa is better than sitting kids down and telling them off,” he said.
Etu, better known as Sir Life, has found laughter is a far more effective medium of teaching children than continual and ineffective discipline.
“We target schools that need this calibre of comedian, who is not only excellent and Samoan, but has experience in developing humour to bring about a sense of unity.”
Avele College has had some problems over the last few years, but if yesterday morning’s performance is a reflection of the schools state, they look to be back on track for success.
Etu believes that Tofiga is able to make a difference because humour is something Samoans in particular can relate to.
Samoa is renowned as a happy nation, full of laughter.
“Using traditional Samoan culture, means that kids can relate to the message, they have a lesson to take away with them. This will help with the whole idea of staying in school.”
Tofiga is clearly proud of his Samoan roots, and is eager to inspire the next generation to “utilise every opportunity that you get, whether it’s in music, the sports field or the class room”.
He added that disappointments are a part of life but by learning from your mistakes, we can work together to build a better future for Samoa and its people.
The funny man’s inspiring speech received boundless applause. The children’s choir of Avele College performed in thanks to him. He clearly found their show of respect touching as he stated, “It is an honour and a privilege to be at Avele College”.
Things are looking up for the school as its student’s embrace Tofiga’s imperative message of unity, empowerment and the importance of looking after your family, without which, he wouldn’t be here today.
Tofiga is performing his first solo show, ‘I Gan’t beliv it’ tonight at Taumeasina Island Resort.