Founder of TAMĀ - Pacific Scripter Word Art Business
My name is Lila Taulapiu, I am married with 4 children and I’m a grandmother of 1, soon to be 3. I worked in tertiary education holding various roles for 12 years and made a transition into HR, which I'm currently doing on a contract basis alongside my own business, TAMĀ. My mother is from the village of Savaia Lefagā and my father is from Samatau - my Samoan heritage I am very proud of.
TAMĀ, what inspired you to start it?
I've always enjoyed the idea of business. I think one of the things that intrigued me about it was the possibility of a role that allows me to be balance family needs as a mother and invest in something I’m passionate about. For myself as a Christian, I really feel the drive for this is a faith calling from my heavenly dad hence the name TAMĀ, which also inspired my Dad, Mutimuti, who was very much an entrepreneur and determined soul.…more
Miss Fa'afafine 2017 & Marketing Executive at Digicel
My name is Charlize Leo. I am the youngest out of 8 children, I’m 27, I grew up in To’omatagi, I’m a marketing executive at Digicel, and I love watching movies. Everything that I like has something to do with Hollywood. My favourite movie overall is ‘The Hours’ with Nicole Kidman and Merryl Streep, Julianne Moore. Yeah, I just love that movie.
Congratulations of winning the Miss Fa’afafine Pageant 2017! What was that whole experience like for you?
Well, it really took 7 years in the making of course. Last time I competed was 7 years ago and the experience was umm, I guess my focus was on winning. But not to forget that at the end of the day we’re human beings so, the thing about the contestants is that you know I’m always available to help out and they were much younger than me, and some were older but a lot more experienced.…more
Kingdom of Tonga
I’m Kiwi born and bred out in West Auckland and both my parents are from Tonga. In the last two years I came back (to Tonga) for the 7’s, originally to help coach, but when I got here I played for a little bit too.
I was coaching by myself at first, helping the local teams, then was approached by a New Zealand company (CSM) to start up the Tongan side of the academy, helping kids get scholarships into NZ teams. We work throughout the schools and take the elite kids and help with coaching etc.
We go and video the rugby games, pick the guys that we want and do highlights. We train them separately from the other kids and from there we try to get contracts and pair them up to other schools in New Zealand. It gives them a chance to better their education and to do rugby.…more
Fitness Trainer & Owner of 'Coffee Post' in Nuku'alofa
Originally born and bred in South Auckland, my family (husband and kids) have been in Tonga for the last 8 years. I’m a mother of five. We came here for our 10th wedding anniversary and were supposed to only be here for a year but we’re still here 8 years on. My Mum and Dad are also both from Tonga. I'm from a family of 8 and am a middle child. My family have been really supportive of me and my husband, without them we would not have made it this far.
Running Fitness Training programmes in Tonga
I started doing training because it was something I loved and got paid to do.
While I was having babies I was training. I’ve always been health conscious. My aunty who brought me up had breast cancer and my family has high obesity, diabetes and cancer.
When we came here, there was nothing running at the time. There were fitness classes, but there weren’t group classes and boot camps.…more
Founder of Ono'u Tahiti
I’m 28 years old and I was born on the island of Raiatea. I grew up in Tahiti until I was 16, then I left to do my studies abroad, first in France where I studied political science and international relations. I then did my Bachelors in the US at Berkeley, then I went back to Paris where I did my Masters in Economics and Project Management. I worked as an Energy Consultant for a while, then as the EU Representative of French Polynesia, in Paris.
At the moment, I still work as a consultant in communications. I have my own consultancy company and basically I work for a leading bank in French Polynesia where I handle their Communication Marketing, this is what I do for a living.
Introducing young filmmaker blazing the scene at the moment... Amberley Jo Aumua!
Kia ora Whanau, Malo ‘aiga my name is Amberley Jo Aumua. I’m 22 years old of Samoan/Maori descent and I’m a storyteller. I grew up in Manurewa , South Auckland and I’m the middle child of 5 siblings.
I directed a short film written by Samuel Kamu called “Waiting.” It’s about two boys who wait outside a dairy for a phone-call. It was chosen as one of six finalists for Best Shorts NZIFF 2017 and took away the jury prize for Best Short Film in New Zealand at NZIFF 2017. It has also been selected to screen at Toronto International Film Festival 2017 next month.
This past year I’ve worked on and supported many projects that I believe in such as Vela Manusaute’s short film “The Messiah,” Rachel House & Tweedie Waititi’s “Moana (Te Reo Maori)”, and Hanelle Harris’& Mia Marama’s “Baby Mama’s Club” Web series
How did you end up on this path in film?
I’ve always been introverted and in my own world.…more
SESALINA SIMONETTI aka Shezel
Hair Braider at King Fadez (Kingsland)
Tell us a bit about yourself - What you do / Where you're from / Your Pacific heritage.
I was born and raised on the North Shore, Auckland. My parents are from Tonga - Dad is also of French/italian heritage and born in Fungamisi Neiafu Vavau Lahi. My Mum is fromTatakamoTonga / Kolomotua Nukualofa Tonga. They now live in Auckland.
Before getting this job – I was volunteering for church groups and second hand stores. I’m a full time mother of three kids (7,6 & 3yrs). Now I’m working here at King Fadez as a full time member doing braids.
Its always been a hobby, something I always enjoyed especially back in high school, when we used to be rocking corn braids for dancing competitions. Then I thought I would start it up at home, so as a part time gig on the side, I was doing corn braids.…more
Anne Christine Dunn
Paralegal preparing to pass the bar & reigning Miss Hibiscus, Miss Fiji & Miss Pacific Islands
Tell us a bit about yourself and your Pacific Island heritage.
I’m full Fijian. My Dad is from Namosi, and my mum is from Nadroga. So usually when I introduce myself, I say I’m from Namosi, vasu i Nadroga. I come from a family of two – there’s just my brother (Amos) and I, who’s 12 years older, and he has three beautiful children.
After living in the United States for so long, what brought you back to Fiji?
After elementary and high school in California, I graduated then moved to Fiji to be with my Dad. The most defining experience for me was definitely moving to Fiji. I don’t think people realise how different life is to what people perceive it to be in America. People think you have “the life” when you’re brought up overseas, but in reality, I didn’t have that, and I was raised by a single mother.…more