101 years old Tupou Mafo’e passes away

One of the oldest living persons in Samoa, Anaseini ‘Tupou’ Mafo’e, has passed away.

Born on 21st February 1918, Tupou as she is commonly known, celebrated her 100th birthday last year. She turned 101 years old in February.

The life of the mother of 13 children will be celebrated today during a family service before she is laid to rest tomorrow.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, her eldest son, Tuipalusami Elia Mafo’e, said his mother lived a good life.

He paid tribute to her life and legacy of hard work after she took on the “mother and father roles with her children after her husband passed away.

“Our father passed away when I was 11 years old and my mother took both roles of the parents to try and nurture us alone,” he said.

And the secret to her long life?

“One most important things we learned from our mother’s life with us was how she honoured her parents and God.”

Tuipalusami said his mother always taught them the value of being obedient and putting God first in everything.

“She is always talking about her relationship with God,” he said. “We found that very inspirational and I think if there is something from her life we can share with the young people of Samoa it is the fact she always advised to put God first.

“Looking at Samoa today, most of the youth that are walking around are being blinded by their actions, which are not what parents would want. It was not what my mother wanted for us too.”

Tupou suffered from a lot of health ailments when she turned 60 years old but her son said her faith in God kept her going.

Tupou was married to the late Mafo’e Tupu of Saina. Her eldest daughter is 82 and lives in New Zealand. The youngest of her 13 children is 60-year-old prominent Pastor, Apostle Viliamu Mafo’e, of the Worship Centre Church. Born in Tonga, she was brought to Samoa at the age of five after her father, Hagafili Tupou, passed away.

A family-oriented person from her youth until her passing, Tuipalusami said his mother always dreamt of returning to Samoa.

“One of the most common issues happening with us living overseas is that we always get our parents to come live with us overseas, so they can go to work and their parents will look after their children, which is wrong,” he said.

“Our parents are neither prisoners nor babysitters to look after our children while we go to work.

“My advice is to leave our parents in Samoa where the air is warm and safe for them and fill them with the luxury they want to see us holding.

“Here in Samoa, they can just crawl to the front yard and do their garden that they love.”

Her eldest son is of the view that he and his siblings fulfilled their mother’s dream of letting her stay in Samoa. On top of that, she was well looked after.

“Now my advice to the youth who wish to be based overseas is to look for brighter futures for their families — do not forget that even if our parents’ dream is to see us succeed — we should also be aware that they also have dreams of their own so give back to our parents, who nurtured us with the best of their abilities.”

During the celebration of her 100th birthday last year, Tupou spoke with the Samoa Observer at Saina.

“I cannot thank God enough for blessing me with 100 years to live on this earth,” she said.

“I am happy that me the ‘masta’ is still alive,” she said laughing during the interview.

Despite her age, Tupou does not like it when her children try to help her get out of bed.

“I don’t like things being handed to me I want to get it on my own, because I can.

She also had a message for those who wish to reach the age of 100.

“Not everyone can reach 100 years old like me, because I am the masta and as a prayer warrior even at my age, I pray and pray for good health and for my many seeds.”

Tupou was ecstatic about staying at Taumeasina Island Resort for week as part of her birthday gift from her children.

Asked why Taumeasina, she said: “Because I can afford it,” she said laughing.

“You see at my age, all I need to do is ask, my children will always make sure I get what I want and luckily I’m at the age where I don’t really want much.”

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