Miss Mitiaro

Tuesday January 28, 2020 Written by Published in Outer Islands
Sahay shows off the muumuu she wore for the big pageant in London. 20012611 Sahay shows off the muumuu she wore for the big pageant in London. 20012611

From a London arena to the Mitiaro community hall, Miss World Oceania Tajiya Sahay was determined to return to where it all began. Melina Etches reports from the island of Nukuroa/Mitiaro.


The night was clear, quiet and still, then cheers and claps of appreciation resounded when Miss Oceania Cook Islands Tajiya, sashayed on a mat catwalk at the Mitiaro hall.

The mamas, papas, kids and everyone on the island gathered together on Saturday night excited to see "their girl" showcase her Miss Cook Islands pageant dresses.

Sahay thanked the people of Nukoroa for their warmth and beautiful and loving welcoming.

"It's an absolute pleasure to be back, from the bottom of my heart, meitaki ranuinui."

Her mother Ruth Scott and grandmother Tamanu Scott were raised on the island, and “I feel very  connected to Nukoroa.

“It's only natural, I could not be more honoured to have represented my ipukarea on the National Auditorium stage.”

“Nukuroa is so unique and has so much to offer.”

Sahay says she was guided by her ancestors, family and friends on the world stage in London.

She believes she could not have achieved her accomplishments without her mother, “for her strength, her support and unwavering commitment.”

Sahay was proud to acknowledge that her materials and items for the Miss Cook Islands pageant were all inspired and supplied by Nukuroa.

“I was very honoured to be sharing stories about Nukuroa with the people of Rarotonga.”

She noted the assistance she received from, Julian Aupini, Mama Ake, Papa Neke, Mama Kimi, Aunty Jane Strickland, Chris Story and everyone who helped out.

“As the saying goes, it takes a village ... and I'm so happy to be here to celebrate with you all.

“It just goes to show that nothing is impossible, a girl from a small island can become one of the best on the world International stage.”

Local Vivian Taia was proud: “It's a pleasure for us, to have her here on our island.”

“It's a good experience for our youth to see and hear what she has done, what else is out there for them.”

Leilani Aupini, too, was happy. “It’s nice she thought of coming back to the island, we are happy with her achievements.”

The island’s hospitality with the abundance of food, the mamas’ entertainment with their lively singing and the community spirit, finished off a pleasant evening.

Sahay and her team attended the Cook Islands Christian Church service on Sunday morning.

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