Samoa PM praises High Chief Seiuli “the Rock” Johnson

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said he is extremely proud of the achievements of Seiuli Dwayne Johnson and his latest blockbuster movie Hobbs & Shaw.

Of particular applause from the Prime Minister is the Samoan haka and Seiuli’s call for war in Samoan in the movie contrary to critics (mostly Samoans) ridiculing the former World Wrestling Champion turn Hollywood super stars’ efforts to speak fluent Samoan.

“I take my hat off to Seiuli,” says the Prime Minister in his weekly radio program on National Radio 2AP to be aired Thursday this week. “He deserves the recognition of the Government and People of Samoa.”

The Prime Minister added that speaking Samoan fluently is secondary to him but for Seiuli to be the spokesman for Samoa to the world through his efforts on the world screen speaks volumes.

Off air, the Prime Minister was audible with his praises.

“For a few seconds, Seiuli immortalised our country, our people and our Samoan identity on the silver screen. And for that Seiuli and all of the Samoan actors and actresses in the movie have more than earned the Government and People of Samoa’s approval and highest commendation.”

The Prime Minister says that unlike certain Samoans who had benefitted from local taxpayers hard earned money which funded their scholarships and have returned home to rip the people off with their financial and political scams, Seiuli is one of the unique Samoans who is proud of his heritage.

He is also mindful that critics’ have downplayed Seiuli’s genuine initiative as a promotional campaign to boost the movie’s ratings and earnings but in Tuilaepa’s eyes it can not to be compared to the spin-offs to Samoa in terms of tourism exposure, “to say the least,” says the Prime Minister.

And for Samoans like Seiuli, the contribution to Samoa will no longer go unnoticed by the Samoa Government, he reassured.
Cabinet has approved (before the Hobbs & Shaw movie’s debut world screening) has approved a project to create a Register of Samoans residing worldwide, says the Prime Minister.

The Registrar to be implemented by Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet will be utilise as the informational data base for Government to refer to in its deliberations on future national issues that will benefit Samoa.

It will also acknowledge Samoans based overseas for their accomplishments and contributions to the welfare of the country.

“Our people residing overseas are world renown for their natural talents and flair in their respective career and field of expertise,” says the Prime Minister.

“In sports, Samoans are world champions in professional boxing for instance. David Tua for one is the first Samoa to reach the world stage and his achievements will be recorded officially in the registrar as one of our rare breed of Samoan achievers,” he said.

“I was also moved with the emotional reactions by Samoan World discuss Champion, Beatrice Faumuina while here as a supporter and spectator for the recent Pacific Games.

“In tears during the opening Games ceremonies, Faumuina there and then to me reaffirmed her pride and for me she represents the patriotism of hundreds of our sons and daughters overseas who would give all to represent their country of birth and heritage,” he added.

“We have comedians who have highlighted our Samoan way of life, our struggle as a people and our journey of survival to capture our genuine Samoan way of life for the world to appreciate and respect,” Tuilaepa continued.

“And Samoa’s footprints in Hollywood is the latest historical chapter,” he elaborated noting that he will relay Samoa’s appreciation to Seiuli.

Seiuli’s grandfather is the late God Father of Samoan professional wrestler, Fanene Leifi Pita Maiava while his mother Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Ata Johnson hails from Lalomanu Aleipata.
Seiuli and his mother last visited Samoa over a decade ago where the late Head of State, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II personally bestowed Johnson, with the Honorary Seiuli Matai Title.