Other Programmes Enrolment Semester 2, 2019 - Day 2

Other Programmes Enrolment Semester 2, 2019 - Day 2
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Faculty of business and Entrepreneurship lecturer, Fesolaí Aleni Sofara says that men have an important part to play in advocating for the rights of the Nofotane.

This was during his presentation entitled, "THE LAW OF BEING AN IN-LAW.”

Mr. Sofara's presentation coincides with the commemoration of International Women's day, on the 8th of March 2018. He said that to date, there is no English word that could define the word "nofotane" which is the term given to women married in to other families.

Fesola’i challenged many of the stigmas and stereotypes attached to being a nofotane. "Nofotane are Women who are new in a family or a village and their role is to serve the men's families. She belongs in the kitchen,” he said.

“The Samoan saying is ia mu mata ile afi, or that the nofotane’s main responsibility is the kitchen facing the open fire,” he said.

Fesola’i said, that while Nofotane is an individual choice, it is a choice that is looked down upon by many.

“Once you made this choice to get married and move to the man’s family there is only one word to describe you. The Nofotane," he said.

He strongly disagrees that the nofotane is being valued less than women of the families of their husbands, and that they have no voice in decision making, as suggested by the United Nations.

Fesola’i says that many families are wealthy because of the work of the nofotane. He says in his own experience, after interviewing five nofotane women in his family, he found them to be more trustworthy than his own family members.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Lafaitele Fualuga Taupi agreed with Fesolaí saying that Nofotane are not slaves, and that behind a great man is a greater woman.

Head of Department for the Samoan Language and Culture Seiuli Vaifou Temese commented that the word "tamaítaí," is translated as the daughter which all the fine things in her family is presented to.

The problem lies when she is relocated to her husband's family, where she cannot expect to take those fine things, and enjoy the same privileges as that of her husband's sisters.

Yet she believes that the Nofotane understands the family better, and patience is the key to her being blessed with something more special.

Fesola’i Toleafoa ‘Ape Aleni Sofara is a lecturer in Commercial law at the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship at the National University of Samoa.

His article, Tui’umi: The assassin has recently been published in the Journal of Samoan Studies, Vol 7, (3), 87-93.


The status of the feagaiga, or the sacred covenant, the sister as the apple of the brother's eye is not enough to protect "all "women from the prevalence of domestic violence in Samoa.

This is according to Professor Tagaloatele Peggy Dunlop, Professor of Pacific Studies at Auckland University of Technology, in delivering the keynote address, at the second day of the 4th Samoa Conference currently underway at the National University of Samoa. The professor presented a research titled "revisiting sisters and wives", asking the key question can value of women translates to ending violence against women.

The professor based some of her research on the recent first commission on Women's rights where a steep increase of family violence was presented. Among the most vulnerable to violence according to her research were young girls, and particular the nofotane, or women who are married into other families. According to the professor, women were prevented from sharing their stories by the mentality of families to hide and silence what has been happening to protect the family status, undermining the emotional impacts on them and their children. This highlights the urgency of seeking answers.

Professor acknowledges the legal processes set up by the state to address this problem. However the professor said that rearranging a few tasks and changing a few roles, will not provide a solution. She said we should go back to our family structures, and reevaluate how we value relationships with others in the past.

One of the practices in the faásamoa which should theoretically prevent violence against women in Samoa is the women's sacred status as the covenant or the feagaiga the apple of the brother's eye. However the professor claim the feagaiga is no longer enough to safeguard women from violence. This feagaiga can never stop the domestic violence that women are facing today.

The professor was unable to determine exactly when the status of the ‘feagaiga’ stops being a force to prevent domestic violence. She claim however that the feagaiga only protect somebody's sister, and not the wives.

In the question and answer session, some says feagaiga stops when the sister gets married however some says it only stops when the sister is no longer living. According to the Vice chancellor of the National University of Samoa professor Fui Leapai Tuua ilaoa Asofou So'o, the feagaiga is now relegated to the periphery because the realities and contexts that it was related to are not there 100%.

He said it was relevant in the old times, times of wars, conflict, strategies, deciding who to hold the matai titles. "Now we have customary laws now to take care of conflicts. So the feagaiga relegated to the periphery. It is up to us Samoans to decide what to hold on to and what to let go," commented the Vice Chancellor. Tuiloma Dr. Susana Taua'a, one of the participants also suggested that perhaps the ideology of the feagaiga has shifted to a stranger, in this case the church minister which perhaps is the reason for the feagaiga status being relegated to the, periphery“ The wives and the sisters have the right to be safe. Women should be free from violence and harm”, says Prof. Dunlop.

“In New Zealand the family system isn’t working because there are so many options. Others turn to law for help”, says Prof. Dunlop.

In Samoa, there are many communities that they are divided into. For instance, there are the Matai Village Administration, Faletua & Tausi (In marrying wives), Aualuma (Daughters of the village), Aumaga (Untitled males) and Children.

Prof. Dunlop said we need to find a system that prevents family against "all women" not some women.

She insisted that we should go back to the traditional family structures and evaluating our relationships and how we use to view others, therein lays the solution to family violence against women.

The Samoa conference continues.

*Vaelei is a first year Media and Journalism student at the National University of Samoa.


The 4th Samoa Conference hosted by the National University of Samoa was officially opened Yesterday 4th September 2018.

Hon. Keneti Loau Sio gave the keynote address and reiterated the hope to achieve sharp minds after the Samoa Conference. Samoa has been facing a lot of challenges however they were able to find the right solution for them. Challenges like domestic violence, climate change, and so forth. He also highlighted the importance of having partnerships with other countries. He believes that if there are many lights then there will be many shellfish.

At the end of the Samoa Conference, Samoa will be able to tackle any trials that may arise. Good governance is one of the issues that need to be addressed and he is expecting for it to be overcome. Domestic violence and climate change are the biggest ones that we have to deal with head on.

The conference delegates were welcomed with a traditional Ava ceremony held on the 3rd September at the NUS Fale Samoa. The Conference is for three days and covers a wide range of topics and discussions.



The Office of the Electoral Commissioner is starting early on registering students that will turn 21 by election 2021.

The office of the Commissioner spent three days at the National University of Samoa to register the soon to be 21 in preparation for the 2021 General Election. This is part of efforts to register all persons eligible to vote for the 2021 General Elections.

The outreach was an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of exercising their rights to vote, and register voters over 21 who should vote in the next election.

This is the second year that the Office of the Electoral Commissioner implemented this programme to register voters who will be turning 21 by election 2021 but it is the first time they have entered the gates of the National University of Samoa.

Principal of registration for the office of the electoral commissioner Tiá Ituautagata said the outreach programme to schools, is part of the efforts to minimise the problem of overcrowding closer to the deadline of registration.

"Registration has been quite slow, students are not keen to register. However, we are hoping that after the three days that will change", said Ituautagata.

She said not many students were aware of the outreach programme, and perhaps this is the reason for the slow response.

Jay Mikaele a student from the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship said this program is very helpful for students of NUS because this is the easiest way for registering and prepare for the next election. He also said this is the contribution of the youth for our government's election. In order to register, voters need to have their passport and birth certificate handy.

Office of the Electoral Commissioner will continue with their outreach programme where they will visit other educational institution such as the University of the South Pacific at Alafua.


Apia (3 August 2018): Another history in the making was celebrated last week when the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pacific Islands Orthopaedics Association (P.I.O.A).  

The MoU confirms the establishment of a collaborative relationship between N.U.S and the Association for the provision of the medical postgraduate programme of Master of Surgery in Orthopaedics (MSurgOrth).

Signed by the Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Fui Asofou So’o and the Association Director of Training, Dr Desmond Soares, the agreement marks a new phase for training of medical postgraduate programmes in Samoa offered through the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at NUS.

Orthopaedic conditions caused by trauma and degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis of the hip and knee are the major causes of disability in the Pacific. This programme will train doctors to the standard of specialist orthopaedic surgeon that will fit the medical conditions and health context of Samoa and the Pacific Island countries. Doctors in the programme will be trained in their home countries with minimal travels during course of this programme which will have significant reduction of cost in terms of manpower and service delivery.

The programme currently has 18 students from seven Pacific Islands namely Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, American Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Federated States of Micronesia. At present, the P.I.O.A team is in Samoa to run the third Paediatric Orthopaedic course.

P.I.O.A was established in 2012 with strong partnerships with Orthopaedic Outreach (Australia), Orthopacific Trust (New Zealand), the Australian Orthopaedic Association, the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association and the Swiss Surgical team.

“I am very pleased with this milestone and I am grateful to the Vice Chancellor and the National University of Samoa. This is a culmination of many years of work for the Association and we thank the team from the School of Medicine who were involved in the initial discussions and re-development of this programme. We are also thrilled with the excellent facilities at the TTTM Hospital for training of doctors in this programme and the friendly nature of the Samoan people” Dr Soares said.

Caption: M.O.U. sealed: NUS Vice Chancellor Professor Fui Asofou So’o and P.I.O.A Director of Training Dr Desmond Soares.


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