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Miss Pacific Islands may prove prime minister wrong

Saturday 12 December 2015 | Published in Regional

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APIA – The woman Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi ridiculed for competing at the Miss World pageant might end up having the last laugh.

Reigning Miss Pacific Islands and former Miss Samoa, Latafale Auva‘a, remains in the competition with a very good chance of even winning it with the finale approaching.

On Thursday, Auva‘a made the final of the Miss World Sports Challenge Event in Sanya, China and came fifth.

Her performance gained her valuable points for the Miss World leaderboard, which will determine the overall winner.

The sports challenge follows other top performances in the Talent and Traditional Wear categories where she made the top 10.

Posting on her Facebook page, Auva‘a said the Sports Challenge was a tough battle but she was comforted by the thought that the people of Samoa and the Pacific are supporting her.

In another post, she wrote: “My faith has been the backbone to my drive for life. Jesus keeps me sane, comforts me when I am so often away from the rock of support which is my family.

“With God’s grace, I am overjoyed to understand the power within us to succeed, achieve and dare to dream of things we think can never happen.

“Last year, I would never have thought I’d be involved in beauty competitions. But God’s hand delivers me a forum to show true beauty comes from your heart, your actions and not merely aesthetics. So here I am now at 22. Competing in the biggest pageant in history.”

Prior to her departure, Prime Minister Tuilaepa had blasted Auva‘a for choosing the Miss World Pageant over the regional Miss Samoa Pacific Islands.

“The only pageant that our Miss was supposed to contest in is the Pacific Islands one,” Tuilaepa said. “But to go on the world stage is a waste of time.”

Tuilaepa said Auva‘a should get her priorities right.

“The Miss Pacific is to promote Samoa and the other Pacific islands,” he said.

“But to jump up onto the world stage is just wanting too much. It is common practice for us to leave what we are capable of and to reach for something that we are nowhere near accomplishing. All you get is embarrassment.”

Auva‘a has to overcome 132 other contestants in all the categories of the competition to attain the Miss World crown.

- Samoa Observer