Haylanni scribes her journey

By Sulamanaia Manaui Faulalo 05 June 2023, 10:30AM

Miss Samoa, Haylanni Pearl Mataupu Kuruppu became emotional as she launched her book on Saturday at Taumeasina Beach Resort highlighting her journey of becoming Miss Samoa.

The book is titled "Haylanni - The Journey to Miss Samoa".

“The book highlights my struggles, my challenges, my insecurities -  it teaches a child to be resilient,” said Ms. Kuruppu.

Miss Samoa said what sparked her book creation stemmed from a place she holds dear to her heart, Moata’a Primary School where she once attended.

As part of her duty as Miss Samoa, her service is to read children’s books to the students at the school once a week.

“I saw the engagement, the excitement, the benefits of reading to young children - and so I sat there, and it occurred to me that if Palagi’s can do it, why can’t I write a book?” said Ms. Kuruppu.

Her objective in writing the book was for young Samoan girls to "pick it up, read it and relate."

In partnership with the Chief Book Series, Miss Samoa’s book was able to be finished within two months of their planning.

Miss Samoa commended the author and founder of the Chief Book Series,  Falefitu Tony Laulu, also her uncle, on “making the impossible possible.”

Falefitu, who is based in New Zealand, joined the launch on Saturday. The author spoke on how the Book Series was inspired by his two sons, who attend a bilingual school, Clendon Park, in South Auckland, New Zealand.

“They would come back with these resources, which were books - palagi books - where they’ve typed out the Samoan on it and sellotape over the English,” said Falefitu.

He describes how these books only portrayed palagi stories such as Humpty Dumpty.

“For me, I’ve always wondered where our Samoan books are,” added Falefitu. 

The proud father of two, who also has a book dedicated to them, says he doesn’t have an official business and took it upon himself to produce books in the hopes that the children in the diaspora gain access to books that can be read in Samoan and English.

Falefitu resonated with all the books he has created and enjoyed working hand in hand with the Miss Samoa for her book.

“We spoke for a couple of hours at a time so that I could hear her story right from the start,” said Falefitu.

“Some of the parts in the story, I choked up, and I teared up,” added Falefitu.

He hopes that people will be able to read the book as it highlights “the struggle with identity and trying to fit in.”

According to the Chief Executive Officer of SSAB, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, the book is set to be released to SSAB stores by Monday with a selling price of SAT$55 and a special price of SAT$49.90. 

The other books that were also a part of the launch by Falefitu were O a’u o le Samoa, O fea Tamā, and Lemalie and Sakalia’s School Holiday - Falefitu's book about his sons.

By Sulamanaia Manaui Faulalo 05 June 2023, 10:30AM
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