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Utumalafata ready to serve her family in Samoa

A New Zealand-based Samoan woman, Simaima Mary Toomalatai Wilson, has been bestowed the chiefly title “Utumalafata” of her family.

The bestowal ceremony was held at the family's residence in Matautu Tai, with the family and village council giving their blessings for the Utumalafata in the usual Faasamoa (Samoan ways) bestowment.

The intricate ceremony kicked off with a morning service that was followed up by the blessing of the new title and the Faaaloaloga (Samoan traditions of respect).

Utumalafata said she is honored and blessed to have come back to her family where it all started and to serve again. 

Her goal is to bring her family together in peace and love as anyone Samoan would do.

“We all know the world right now, everyone does whatever they want in this world but I humbly thank God for this blessing, to be the woman chief to bring peace into our family especially putting God first in everything,” she said.

For Utumalafata, she will still be based in New Zealand but will travel back and forth between New Zealand and Samoa. She believes living in New Zealand will have benefits for her family in Samoa.

Having her seven boys by her side, whom she described as her strength, she thanked God for the gift of the Samoan culture instilled in her children and that they have the spirit of love and respect.

“I say thanks to all my seven boys, most of them are here to support me, even though the others are not here. I know they are supporting me all the way,” she said.

“I’d like to thank my extended family here in Matautu Tai for the love and accepting me to become a chief in our family.”

Everything will change for the better according to Utumalafata. She now wills to use her remaining days to serve her family, culture, village, church and Samoa with all she has.

“All my family especially the Toomalatai Aloasina for choosing me to be Utumalafata so I am humbled to serve my family and village and church especially God as he is first to everything.”

“It’s not a title to be praised for but it’s a title to love, love one another and serve the family.”

“I will take into account of the support by my family, village and my church for choosing me to become the woman chief in Matautu Apia.”

Utumalafata is the second eldest of 10 girls and two boys and is the daughter of the Sa’o (chief) of the Toomalatai family, Lealaosina Toomalatai.

Following in her father's footsteps, she said her bestowal is a milestone and she is willing to take and guide her children in order for them to know and understand their cultural roots.

The Toomalatai family said they are proud to accept another woman chief to serve and develop their family in Matautu Tai.

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