We buy from the Chinese and I.O.U. from the Samoans
Many people complain about the rising number of Chinese shops opening up in Samoa but for Peti Li’ma, from the village of Faleula, he says there’s no point in complaining.
Aged 59, Peti says that there’s nothing much we can do about the situation; but rather than complain about the Chinese, we should start helping out our fellow Samoans to see that same success in their lives.
He stressed that instead of always spending money on the Chinese stores and purchasing on credit at the Samoan ones, we should be doing things the other way around.
“The one thing I want to talk about right now is the many Chinese businesses popping up around everywhere in Samoa,” Peti told the Village Voice.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see it as a negative thing but there are many people who complain about it. The way I see it, there’s nothing much that we can do when it’s the plan of our government.
“Rather than try tear down the Chinese, we must work hard to bring up other Samoans. It’s not like the Chinese came over to Samoa and brought their own land.
“To be honest, we can’t compete with the Chinese when it comes to businesses, but it doesn’t mean we can’t work hard to succeed.”
Peti continued on to explain how annoyed he is by the way Samoans tear one another down. He says that when one begins to climb the ladder of success, others get jealous and try to drag him back down.
“The problem Samoans have is that we can’t stand to see others succeed,” he said.
“We try and bring them down rather than pull them up. That’s a very sad truth that we can’t avoid. Like for example, when we have money then we go straight to the Chinese shops to buy goods.
“But when we’re broke, we run to the Samoan-owned shops and ask to purchase on credit and then continue to rant at them if they refuse.”
According to Peti, the only way for Samoans to truly move forward is to find unity in everything they do.
“Once our people learn to work together and find unity, we can overcome anything,” he said.
“My family works hard together to plant different crops so we can take care of everything we need. We take them all to the roadside stall in front of our house so we can earn a bit of money.
“That’s because we know the value of unity and anything we can make is what we use. So if we stop caring about what others are doing and focus on working our own land to earn a bit of money then everything will be all right.”