Born on Christmas Day in 1956, Reverend Suamalie Naisali Tafaki Iosefa, was called to be a blessing for many including his five children and fifteen grandchildren.
A charismatic speaker and a founding minister of the Tuvaluan church in Auckland, Rev. Iosefa compares the joys of fatherhood to planting a tree.
“When you plant a tree, it’s not the sand, it’s not the leaves or the tree. But when you bear the fruits of the tree, that’s what brings you enjoyment. So being a father and having my first child changed my whole perspective on life.”
Born in Tuvalu, Rev. Iosefa moved to New Zealand in the eighties and says he was taught how to be a good parent from his own father. He applied his father’s teachings to his children and to the many members of his church.
“As a child I always listened to my father, who reminded me to be inclined to his words and his teachings. So, I was taught to be a good listener and also to be a good follower. Becoming a father, I knew my role was to keep my children safe by being attentive to their needs.”
Rev. Iosefa also hails from Kiribati, Samoa, Cook Islands and Tokelau. He speaks six different languages and has installed the importance of culture and spirituality within his own children.
“My fatherly advice to my children is to learn the language, to learn the culture and to learn Christianity, which is a strong foundation for their well-being. For our children to grow up in a foreign land, it’s important to know who they are.”
Since his wife Elisa passed away five years ago, Rev. Iosefa has focused on spending quality time with his many grandchildren.
“My mokopuna pull me out of my busy life. As a grandfather, I realise that life is short, and I have to pass on to them the wisdom and the pathways I have learned.
Physical and mental well-being is important for our children. But general health combined with spirituality, ensures the holistic well-being of our children.”
Date: Friday 04 September 2020