Miss Samoa's reign continues

This year’s Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands, Fonoifafo McFarland-Seumanu, will extend her reign for another year due to the cancellation of the next, forthcoming pageant due to coronavirus. 

It is understood to be the first time in history that a holder of the title has had it extended in such a manner. 

Both pageants are two of the biggest events of the year for Samoa and the Pacific island countries. Both were postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Attempts to get a comment from the management committee of both events were unsuccessful. 

But the Chief executive Officer (C.E.O) of the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A), Faamatuainu Lenatai Suifua, previously said that the pageants are likely to have to be postponed along with the Teuila Festival because of the current global crisis.

“The main meeting for the Teuila has been scheduled for next week but there’s a high possibility (for the meeting to be postponed) but we (the Teuila Festival committee and the Ministers) of course have to discuss this first in the meeting and confirm everything but yes there’s a high possibility for that,” he said.

“Every plan for the Teuila all depends on the convenient accessibilities of flights and so forth because we have a lot of people coming in for this event (usually) because it won’t be good to continue the event with so many people jamming the event amidst the COVID-19.”

Both major events are chaired by the Minister of Tourism, Sala Fata Pinati.

Fa’amatuainu said two weeks ago that Fonoifafo will need to be forced to continue to take on the crown for both the Miss Samoa and the Miss Pacific Islands for another year in the event of a postponement. 

“Because if the postponement is to happen, then [Miss Samoa] will need to carry the crown for the following year,” he said

Attempts to get a comment from Fonoifafo were not successful but she told Tagata Pasifika that her most memorable moment during her reign was the measles epidemic.

“It was seeing our people come together, band together in a time of crisis. I saw first hand all our Government agencies and just everyone, even the public, they’d exhausted all their resources and energy into trying to prevent the measles from further spreading out in our country,” she said.

Fonoifafo is a registered nurse in New Zealand and her work in Samoa during her reign raised the profile of public health including during the measles epidemic. 

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