Accusation of colonialism “sounds like something a fa’afafine would say”


The claim by the General Secretary of the Congregational Christian church (EFKS) Church, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, about the Government bringing back the colonialism mentality sounds like something a fa’afafine would say.

That’s what Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said, in response to the General Secretary in the ongoing tax dispute between the Government and the EFKS.

Fa’afafine are people who identify themselves as a third-gender in Samoa, American Samoa and the Samoan diaspora.

Tuilaepa dismissed claims by Vavatau that the Government’s law to tax the alofa (gift/offering) received by church ministers is part of a colonial mindset.

It is an accusation the Human Rights Protection Party Government is finding hard to shake.

The Prime Minister laughed and said the word “kolone” (colonial) in Samoan means you are being dominated by another person.

“That is what a fa’afafine would always say,” Tuilaepa said.

“That man is my kolone and, who knows, maybe the General Secretary has a fa’afafine side.

“If he does have a fa’afafine side, he should come and join my association (Samoa Fa’afafine Association) where I am the patron.

“I am a fatherly figure to the fa’afafine of Samoa.”

Tuilaepa made these remarks on his weekly media programme.

He said Vavatau should leave politics to the politicians.

“He should focus on reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and not get into issues he lacks knowledge of” Tuilaepa said.

Fa’afafine are Samoan biological males who behave in a range of feminine-gendered ways.

They have been an integrated part of Samoan communities for centuries.

The word translates as ‘in the manner of a woman.’

They are assigned male at birth and explicitly embody both masculine and feminine gender traits fashioned in a way unique to the Polynesian cultures.

A considerable dispute exists about the causation and nature of this “third gender identity.”

Their behaviour typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to conventionally masculine.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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