25 September, 2012     

Gafa – A Family called Samoa

The Samoa Tourism Authority UK office is proud to announce its support of local production ‘Gafa A Family called Samoa’ which will be live in Battersea, London on 27 September 2012, celebrating Samoa’s 50 years of Independence.

‘Gafa - A Family called Samoa’ – is based on history and legend and comes to life through spoken word, film, music and movement. “We have come together as a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary group of London based artists to collaborate and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the independent state of Samoa,” commented Samoan Creative Director & Opera Singer Sani Muliaumaseali'i (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Montreal Symphony Orchestra). Sani continued “The tales presented in Gafa take their inspiration from acts of Heroism, some long forgotten, of the Mau a Pule independence movement of the early 20th century”.

Celebrated NZ author Stella Duffy contributes in her element of writing and describes the layered art experience as “One that offers both truth and entertainment, but also heart and warmth in a London autumn”.

New Zealand born Rosanna Raymond, an Arts Innovator with Samoan heritage said “I want people to realise that Samoa is a dynamic living culture that engages with the world through its people”. Raymond, also a published writer, has art works held in museums around the world and is exhibiting her aesthetic appeal in the collaboration.

In his filmic trilogy 'Odyssey: I alo' NZ/Samoan Film Maker Paul Yandall is “Bringing the human tale of a search for identity via Gafa to the heart of London”, whilst ensuring Gafa stays in tune are Opera singers Aivale Cole (Samoan), Australian Louise Callinan & local songstress Jodie Michaels.

GAFA - A family called Samoa is a one night only affair, on Thursday 27th September 2012 at Testbed1, 33 Parkgate Rd, Battersea SW11 4NP. Show starts at 7.30pm and the cost of a ticket is £12/£10 available from the website www.gafasamoa.com

  03 September, 2012     

Koko Samoa – Samoan cocoa drink

Courtesy of Real Pasifik, Food Culture of the South Pacific

In the Pacific region you can find some of the rarest Cocoa in the world.  Cocoa is said to have been introduced to Samoa in the 1800s.  The crop is a Criollo and Trinitario type cocoa, a fine or flavored variety and was first planted on German plantations in Samoa.  It’s so important to Samoa that the crop is been protected by law since 1961 and imports of any fresh cocoa product are banned.

Cocoa has become a common crop in Samoa and the drink made with it, koko samoa, is very popular and rivals the local beer, Vailima as the unofficial national drink.

It’s pretty simple to make, grind up the dried cocoa, add hot water and sugar and it’s done.  The brew we tried was straight off Repeka Meafou’s farm at at Faleasiu, on the main island of Upolu.  It was a surprise treat and offered up with typical warm Samoan hospitality before we began filming on the farm.

Repeka’s farm is part of the Women in Business network (WIBDI) which means organic and top quality.  The cocoa is grown sustainability alongside other crops.

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