Sports sends a message about ending discrimination
The Miss Queen of Thrones contestants took to the streets of Apia this week as part of the sporting component of the Samoa Fa'afafine Association's annual pageant.
With the pageant and crowning night scheduled for Friday, on Wednesday contestants participated in team battles, zumba, a team knock-out and public selfie challenge.
The activities were held with the aim of highlighting the message of ending violence, stigma and discrimination.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer at the Mato'a ole Alofa, Fagalima Tuatagaloa said the sporting event on Wednesday highlighted key messages on violence, stigma and discrimination.
"We are covering three things such as physical, spiritual and mental because the aim of this week is [ending violence, stigma and discrimination]," he said.
"[The purpose of the event is to] deliver the message to our contestants, also to equip them [to] understand about this years theme."
He added that the event is run every year in recognition of the fact that Fa'afafine love to play sports but that it is an effective medium for communicating with the public.
Miss Celine Hunter – contestant number 4 – said the public selfie race event was an eye-opener for him because it required running in public.
"I am sure that while we were running people were saying things about us because we are fa'afafine," he said.
But Miss Hunter said the race made them oblivious to public reaction.
"I think this what we should do: don't focus on what people say but just be yourself and be you," he said.
"Also we live this life once so live to the fullest".
Miss Sandora Barak Obama told Samoa Observer Wednesday's event was a good way for the fa'afafine to stay healthy.
Fagalima Tuatagaloa said sports activity helped establish team-work among contestants while delivering a message.
"They bring the team work skills from a sport game to help [spread a message about] ending violence, stigma and discrimination, " he said.
Contestant number 2 Miss Berta Ali'ipule, Queen of Flowers, was declared the winner of the events.