I came across an inspirational article from the Samoaobserver where the people of Apia, Samoa celebrated the official launch of a project called Samoa Performing Arts and Creative Excellence (S.P.A.C.E) last week. The event was well attended by members of the community.
S.P.A.C.E was the brainchild of Seiuli Allan Alo Vaai who dreamed of creating a space to nurture, encourage and develop the talents of our people of all ages in the Pacific. His courage and bravery was praised by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi who officially opened the project. “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain,” Prime minister said. “The anonymous quotation fits the purpose of tonight in our coming together to celebrate Seiuli Allan Alo’s dream to create S.P.A.C.E.”
Tuilaepa said S.P.A.C.E offers opportunities for both youth and the veterans of Samoa and the region in the performing arts to develop their talents. He then paid tribute to Seiuli’s vision and hard work to realize it. “Seiuli’s S.P.A.C.E is a demonstration of the distinction between a leader and a follower,” Tuilaepa said. He continued, “You have not followed where the path may lead instead you have gone where there is no path and will definitely lead a trail so that others may follow. I feel privileged to be here tonight and I agree wholeheartedly that the performing arts give life its shape. An ounce of performance is certainly worth more ounces of promises.I am convinced that those who will enter the holes of S.P.A.C.E will know that when you are simply told of something you will forget whereas showing and involving someone will result in understanding and remembering forever and may we all treasure the gift of S.P.A.C.E born out of a dream.”
Seiuli was humbled by having Prime Minister Tuilaepa at the launch.“I feel overwhelmed mainly because of your presence here tonight,” he said. “But it’s the art that really gives me life and that’s what God gave to me and here to celebrate S.P.A.C.E to nurture and to develop the arts for our generations and people to come.”
Three months ago Seiuli was sadly diagnosed with cancer. “Additionally with my condition of cancer, I dedicate this space to dance for cancer, a program that will rejuvenate and rehabilitate those who have been paralyzed when they are being told that they only have one to three months to live,” he said.
“When the doctor said to me that I have three months I was so mad, I quickly got on the phone with my family here and my children and family in Fiji to please come. Let’s come together and dance for cancer and celebrate life,” he optimistically added. “And that’s why we are here to celebrate life with me.”