The role of a single father

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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DESPITE ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE: Taualeoo Latu, 70, from the village of Lalomauga

DESPITE ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE: Taualeoo Latu, 70, from the village of Lalomauga

Taking care of large Samoan families is a tough task on its own but when you are a single father taking on both parental roles, then that’s a different story.

Taualeoo Latu, from the village of Lalomauga, the recent passing of his wife has proven difficult for him but he remains strong for his children.

Aged 70, Taualeoo makes an effort to teach his children as much as possible so that they may pass down the lessons to their children.

“My wife has passed and I am still keeping the family together,” he told the Village Voice.

“She passed just recently and now it’s just me and the children here at home. I make sure we have enough to survive on a daily basis.

“My children have become accustomed with the words I always tell them. I try and teach them as much as I can because I am a single parent.

“No matter what work they do, I try and teach them to work hard and honest.”

Taualeoo explains that despite the work load of being a single father, life is still great for him.

“Everything is fine with my family,” he said.

“As the father of the house, there’s not much for me to worry about. One thing I can tell you is that the grandchildren is where most of the family’s priority’s lie.

“Three of my children are currently working and helping out with everything and one of them have already started sending their children to school.”

As many people complain about how village and church obligations are problematic, Taualeoo says that it isn’t and is a vital part of life.

“We don’t have much to do right now,” he said.

“I have a few obligations such as church and village commitments which I spend much of my time catering to.

“People complain that these sorts of obligations are a pain and are a cause for many problems. But if you look at it a little closer then you will notice that it’s not an everyday thing.

“We don’t have obligations all the time; for my village, there will be long gaps as much as a month before we have something to do in the village.

“The same can be said with the church obligations as well. You work to your heart’s content. It’s up to each person how much they want to give in; the pastor doesn’t force you to do anything.”

Taualeoo is also adamant that if the obligations are treated properly, then the blessings towards the family will come.

“If we serve well in the church and the village then you will be blessed,” he said.

“Take my family for example; my children are blessed which is a result of the serving their parents did. I know for a fact that when you serve then your family will all be blessed.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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