He arrived a day later but home is where the heart is for one of Samoa’s favourite sons, Toaletai David Tua.
The former world heavyweight boxing title challenger touched down at Faleolo International Airport yesterday, arriving with his wife, Helen Tua, on an Air New Zealand flight.
The welcome was not as elaborate was when To’aletai was one of the hottest boxing prospects in the world heavyweight division but that did not matter to the Faleatiu native, who is in Samoa for the God’s Grace Concert in front of the government building tomorrow night.
Finally out to the delight of waiting friends and relatives, To'aletai immediately made his way to Nu’usuatia where a prelude to the main concert was held last night.
To’aletai will be part of the Annie Grace concert tomorrow, where he will use his strong testimony of his battle against depression and suicidal thoughts along with a few other social challenges to incite the message of hope for the Samoan people.
“It’s always amazing to be back home,” he told the Samoa Observer. “Even more, to be part of an amazing event led by the amazing Annie Grace, Mission and the rest of the team.”
During the peak of his career, everyone knew who To’aletai was.
But what people don’t know is his battle with depression after the fame.
“To be asked to come and speak about my depression as well as my suicidal thoughts, it’s a true blessing to help where I’m needed,” he said. “I have nothing but love for Samoa.”
To’aletai extended an open invitation to members of the public to join them in front of the government building tomorrow.
As for his late arrival, To’aletai was his brutally honest self.
“We got bumped off the flight last night (Wednesday),” he said with a smile, “but it’s alright because we’re here now and that’s all that counts.”
To’aletai and Annie Tonumali’i will front a media conference at the Orator Hotel at 10am today.