Hardwork a gift at Savai'i's Aisa ava plantation

Tuliatu Mamaioa of Faletagaloa, Safune owns and operates one of the biggest ava plantations on the island of Savai'i - the Aisa plantation - and does so with a smile everyday. 

After being spotted by the Samoa Observer on Tuesday he said that he views everyday he has a chance to spend working the land as a gift. 

Aged 59, Tuliatu said he has now been planting and selling ava for several years.

"I can't really remember when I started dedicating my efforts and strength [to]having an ava plantation," the hardworking father told the Samoa Observer. 

"But you know the norms for us, who couldn't find a job and work in an office. We stay home and work the land. So from a young age, I started observing and learning from my father, until I was able to do my own plantation."

Land, according to Tuliatu, is our greatest "asset" from God. 

"We are so blessed that we have our own lands, therefore, we must use it wisely,” he said. 

"I am a true believer that you will not get anything if you just sit around and do not work. We are born with different talents and gifts from God. 

"Not all of us were born to become Member of Parliaments or work in an office. Some of us were destined to work the land and serve our families and villages."

With a smile on his face, Tuliatu proudly explained how his business has helped his family over the years. 

"The money I get from selling ava after harvesting has been our family's main source of income,” he said. 

"Starting from when my children were very young, it was the money from my ava that paid for their school fees and everything they needed. 

"Now that they are grown up and some have families of their own, I am still doing it because it's a great help for our family. 

"We built a new house and have cars from our business.

"To tell you the truth, this year, I was able to give in $4,000ST for my taulaga (offering), all from the money I got from selling ava. 

"I also have a son who is a third-year student at the Piula Theological College, and I paid for his fee with the money I get from selling my ava."

While he admits that operating an ava plantation is labour-intensive, Tuliatu says that nothing worthwhile in life comes easily. 

"If you don't sweat, you will not get anywhere,” he said. 

"It is up to us to choose whether we want to become successful or not. But I believe that God helps those who help themselves first. 

"So instead of just sitting at home and depending on the children and families overseas, I will continue to work hard for my family, while I have the strength from God.

"Even during this lockdown, our families overseas are also being affected financially. But this is why we should always work the land and work hard to provide for our families and children."

Aisa plantation ava is supplied to stores in Savai'i only. It is based in Safune and can be contacted on 7247559. 

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