THE MUSEUM OF SAMOA COMES ALIVE
‘I’ does not exist. I am not. My self belongs not to me because ‘I’ is always ‘we’, is a part of the ‘aiga’ …a part of the nu’u, a part of Samoa (Sia Figiel, where we once belonged).
These award-winning lines, published 16 years ago, brought to the feet of an audience of 500 odd people the reminder of our living culture when a play that was locally assembled by our own artists was hosted at the Museum of Samoa from the 24th to the 29th of September.
For the play to be realized, the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture and the National University of Samoa joined hands to make it happen by supporting the Ivilasi Films’ production featuring all Samoan actors and actresses. The business and church community was remarkably supportive also.
The launch of the play was held on Tuesday evening outside the Museum at Malifa. In her keynote address, and in her capacity as acting CEO of MESC, Mrs Doreen Roebeck Tuala stated that the “ Ministry of Education Sports and Culture is ever pressing for avenues to promote and preserve our cultural heritage through education. This play is an addition to the support administered by the Ministry to the artists and art of our country, whether they are of traditional or contemporary form. “
Mrs Tuala also commended the Ivilasi Films’ cast and crew for bringing the business community, diplomats from foreign countries and the government and church leaders to celebrate our culture through art and in a very suitable place, the Museum of Samoa which is here to remind us of the importance of such “undervalued initiatives.”
Upon introducing the content of the play, the Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa, Professor Le’apai Tu’ua ‘Ilaoa Asofou So’o, stated that all Samoans are natural actors. He spoke of the Samoan person’s daily life requiring him or her to play several roles in his or her community. Acting, according to the professor, is inborn to all Samoans due to their way of life.
The spiritual father of the opening ceremony, Reverend Pastor Talomua Mona, embraced the opening with the reminder that all human talents are God-given.
After six days of performances, crowds of cheering and inspired fans marvelled at the creativity and abilities of the artists. Even more surprising was how the small room of the Museum of Samoa was made to look bigger than it truly is.
Through the commotion, the Museum of Samoa was no longer a lonely old house in Malifa, but was made to live culture alongside its audience and artists.