Youngest H.R.P.P. candidate optimistic
An aspiring politician eyeing the seat for Fa'asaleleaga No. 4. in the upcoming General Elections is optimistic.
As the youngest candidate flagging the banner of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) Unasa Tauheia Leva'ai strongly believes that this is his time to serve and represent the people from the villages of Faga, Sa'asa'ai and Saipipi.
The 38-year-old businessman, sports administrator, funeral director, and accountant by profession, is up against the Associate Minister of Health, Tofa Li'o Foleni.
But that's not the only opponent he will face in the election race for Fa'asaleleaga No.4. There are three candidates contesting under the flag of the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) political party, Unasa Viane Toala, To'oala Fetaua'i Unasa and former M.P., Tea Peato.
"Being the youngest for H.R.P.P. is the biggest challenge for me in this election because this would be the first experience for me trying politics," Unasa told the Samoa Observer.
"I'm not underestimating all the candidates including the current M.P. within our constituency but I do believe in myself and the trust from my family and my villages (Faga, Saasaai Saipipi), and I believe it is my time to serve and give back to my family and villages.
"I do qualify because of the work that has already been done, but most importantly my passion and heart for the people of my constituency."
Inspired by a common phrase, "Be humble and love," Unasa said he is ready to give it his all to serve and help his people.
"There is no use of having so many qualifications when there is no love in your heart for those you love. I believe in my heart that God has instilled this love in me and I will use that to serve God and everyone else."
Even though he is a novice in the political arena, Unasa said he is not worried at all, with just a few weeks away from the April elections.
"I am not nervous at all because I'm a born politician. Like I said I'm not underestimating or belittling someone but I already planted the seed so right now all I'm doing is watering and praying to God for the sunlight to let this seed grow and give fruits.
"I've been serving my constituency and families for quite some time now and everyone knows me, so I am not worried at all."
Moreover, Unasa is confident in his preparations and has never thought of pulling out from the election since he made the decision to run for office.
"I have no regrets at all, not once, and I can assure you that my preparations are getting tougher and tougher every single day as we get closer to the elections.
"Well, I'm an outspoken person, but everyone notices my silence now, but in my heart, I am a silent giant and I fear of nothing else but God himself.
When queried if he is worried by the strong presence F.A.S.T. has made during this campaign period, Unasa said no.
"Regarding their (F.A.S.T.) roadshow held at Faga, I can confirm that only 15% of my constituency were present at the gathering.
"Our total roll is 2,156. I heard they've had a good time with this small number and I thank them for coming because what they promised to this small group has enabled me to broaden my vision, not just narrow it down."
If elected as the M.P. for Fa'asaleleaga No.4. after the General Election, Unasa will focus on health developments and sustainability, education developments, economic growth and developments, agriculture and fisheries developments, sports developments, and "breaching the unemployment gap" by encouraging self-reliance and independence.
Lastly, Unasa is sending out well wishes to his election opponents.
Unasa is an accountant by profession. He is an Executive member for Marist Boxing, a Member of Rugby League Samoa, President of Amoa Rugby Union, a Board Member of Faga Primary School, and a Funeral Director for Gisbourne Funeral Services
He is married to Mulitalo Joyce Ernestine Roache and they have two children.
Unasa graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the National University of Samoa. He was first employed as a Finance Officer at the Central Bank of Samoa before moving to work at the Development Bank of Samoa.
From there, he became an accountant and project coordinator at Silva Transport now called Silva Group. He moved again and became an internal auditor for the National Health Services.
He applied for the position of Principal Accountant Administration at Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital and all district hospitals in Savai'i and was successful.
He later resigned and started his own small business.
He also holds the title Tofa from Saipipi, Tauiliili from Lotofaga, and Tupai from Asau.