Seuoti Alofipo Sheryl Muagututi’a is entering the political arena to make a difference.
She is running for the first time contesting the parliamentary seat for the constituency of Gagaemauga No.2 which compromises the villages of Saleaula and Salamumu.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Seuoti said moving to Samoa with her family was a tough and difficult decision to make.
However, she is now set to follow what she believes is her calling from God.
“I am a child of God and I know what I am doing is a vision that has been planted in me from him,” said Seuoti.
“I know that we are not all perfect but I am someone who loves to hear His words and also follow His instructions. I believe that I was meant to be here and also to show our women that we are here to make a difference.”
As for her plans if elected to be the voice of the constituency, Seuoti said there is a lot of work to be done.
“I’ve seen a huge need for development within the district.”
Topping her list is the development of education within the district.
“My main target is education,” she said. “Education is the most powerful weapon that can help change the world, and I know that if we educate our children well, they will grow up to be powerful and intelligent leaders for the future.”
Encouraging early childhood education and having the right people for school committees are some of the strategies Seuoti has revealed in order to improve the standard of education within the district.
“Having the right people and people with the same passion to work with, can help bring change into our communities,” she said.
“I know that the levels of education in the rural areas are not the same as the ones in the urban areas, and I want that to stop. I want the children of our district to have easy access to all the opportunities they want in terms of education.”
Seuoti also considered the issue of youth unemployment and gave it deep thought.
She believes that “with the right education comes better jobs for our future generations.”
She said the development of the tourism industry within the district is also important. In order to start developing tourism, the roads and infrastructure within the district should be developed first.
The Gagaemauga No. 2 candidate is confident about her chances.
“But it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about where I am placed and where God will take me,” she said.
She said her plans to help out her district and develop education will not stop whether she wins or not.
“If I do or don’t get into Parliament, I will still carry on with my mission to develop and improve the education system within our district for a better future of our children,” she said.
“Like I said, I really want to stress to the people that if I do stand, I will do everything to the best of my ability to make sure that there will be opportunities available for our children to better their education.
“And if I don’t make it to Parliament, I will not stop from doing what I believe is best for the children of our district because they are the future generation of our families, villages, districts and most of all, country.
“It’s all about having the passion for wanting to make a difference. If it’s in your heart to do then by all means, just go for it.”
As the Election Day gets closer, Seuoti revealed that her preparations have been “going really well”
“I am just grateful to have a husband who has been supporting me 250% and who is always pushing me to be the best.
“And also to my children who have voted me in to run for the election and to make a difference. I am more dominant in just speaking but at home, my husband is always the head of our family and he is in charge of all the things that we do.
“I believe that this is God’s calling for me and this is something that He has put into my heart. And also to my parents, for if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here now and I am proud to be a true tamaitai Samoa regardless of where I was born.”
She also wanted to remind all the youth of Samoa, particularly women, that “we can all become leaders regardless of our backgrounds and education life; as long as we have the passion for something, then all we need to do is work hard to achieve our dreams.”
Seuoti is 42-years-old. She is married to Alofipo Lusi Muagututi’a and they have three children.
Her villages are Saleaula, Safune, Neiafu, Matavai Falealili, Malaemalu, Tafatafa, Sapunaoa, Poutasi and Salamumu.
She was born and raised in New Zealand but she moved here with her family so that her children could experience the Samoan lifestyle and culture.