Miss Samoa New Zealand a prospective beauty queen anything but superficial

Miss Samoa New Zealand, Fonoifafo McFarland-Seumanu is on a mission to raise the issues of health, education and the environment in the consciousness of the Samoan people.

The 24-year-old is one of nine contestants vying for this year’s Miss Samoa crown.

Ms. Seumanu was born in New Zealand to Samoan parents Nancy and Rev. Seumanu Seumanu from the villages of Saleleloga, Sapapalii, Avao, Aleisa and Letogo.

She has been a registered nurse for three years after completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2016 and also has a postgraduate certificate in nursing.

“I want to stimulate a change in low level health status for our Pacific people through the work I do as a health practitioner in the community and with education," she said. 

"I am a firm believer in the power and influence that education can have in changing the lives of individuals and their families.”

“As a nurse, I am most passionate about health, wellbeing and education is at the forefront of my everyday practice". 

"I have witnessed first-hand the impact that low health literacy can have on individuals and family, especially our Pacific families."

Miss Samoa New Zealand wants to inspire and motivate young Pacific youth to pursue higher education.

“I joined the Miss Samoa pageant because it highlights the beauty of our culture and is a celebration of the tamaitai Samoa (Samoan lady)," she said.

But Ms. Seumanu also believes that the pageant is an opportunity to champion the uniqueness of Samoan culture. 

“We have a culture that is intrinsic in so many ways. From our language, food, siva samoa, to our attire – Samoa is unique because it is embellished with a distinct culture that no other country can offer," she said. 

“I believe that the Miss Samoa embodies and exemplifies a tamaitai (lady) who embraces her culture; understands and values the role that she has in influencing positive changes within her community; and someone who is passionate about serving her people."

She said that, if successful in the contest, she would seek to use the role to promote causes that benefit the public.

“If I am crowned as Miss Samoa, I want to use my background in health to work with the Ministry of Health here to promote health awareness in our villages and create initiatives and strategies within our community to improve health outcomes," she said. 

“Additionally, I also want to promote other areas of concerns within Samoa that includes Climate Change, Agriculture and Economic Development.”

She said her preparations for the pageant opened her eyes to the many environmental issues facing Samoa. 

“Should I be crowned, this is an area that I would very much like to promote and build awareness of with this platform," she said. 

“I love the customs with the Samoan culture because there is so much richness with the traditions and customs that we have, especially with its deep-rooted connections to our ancestors and includes the chief system, traditional tattoos or the ava ceremony.”

All these customs and traditions date back thousands of years and were created by our ancestors and she strongly believes in continuing these customs.

Her hobbies include professional cultural dancer, singing and playing the piano (for the church).

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