“You don’t even know who you are…”

…and I suppose you do?’ asked Simba… ‘You’re Mufasa’s boy – bye

With a quick dash Rafiki was in among the twisted roots of the jungle while Simba helplessly struggles to weave his big mane through!

If there is a most memorable part of my childhood? It is the day Dad took 5’beans, little big bro and I to the movies for the first time. Thank you Dad for choosing ‘The Lion King’ as my first film on big screen – it remains #1 on my listings.

Rafiki came over tonight – his finger pointed straight at me and dared me to find out who I am.

It came in the form of an old, brown, faded book. With only it’s covers held by tape – the pages stained with years of being left out in the cold, wet, from toddlers doodling, the ink fading yet still enough to make sense of the words. The writing told of history, knowledge, of genealogy. Who I am.

At first I was reluctant to even help Mum with typing out the book’s content. I knew the book existed but it’s content written in le gagana Samoa (Samoan Language). Don’t get me wrong I understand, read, write and speak the mother tongue but not as well as I would like. Apologies Pa I’m trying my best lol.

As Mum read I typed and that’s when it hit me. I was typing out my family tree. It didn’t just date back to my Pa and Nana it dated back about 10 generations. So began the ‘wait’ ‘who?’, ‘what sort of name is that?’, ‘she had how many husbands?’, ‘but’, ‘oh hell NO!’

This was getting more and more interesting. I’ve always been open with the fact ‘I will never marry a Samoan’. Don’t get me wrong there are some handsome (HOT) Samoan men out there – But I’ve always held onto the phrase that people used to throw around so candidly ‘at the end of the day we’re all related’. Yes. It is true!

My two worlds, my two families just became one. Yes thanks to Salamasina (le afafine o Tuiaana Tamaalelagi) her daughter Fofoaivaoese had three children. They were Sina, Taufau and Asomualemalama.

Say what? I snap at Mum. Aso who? as in Dad’s great, great…. Mum gives me the look – as in Asomualemalama, Bronson’s Samoan name. So you’re telling me Pa’s like great, great… grandma is Dad’s great, great… grandpa’s sister? *SCREAM* To top it off the oldies had not just the one, but a number of husbands, wives (I don’t even know if those titles are legitimate ha!) with the one child. Like it was a trend to leave your gene print while by passing a village on your way to the plantation. LOL!

I know what your thinking; How do you know if what Pa’s book says is credible? A few years ago Dad went to his family reunion and received his family tree and what one family tree records matches the very recording on my Pa’s book. I’m not even going to argue. It’s there written on stained, faded blue ink.

Am I disgusted? No! Am I horrified? Not at all! Am I sad? Yes. To hold the book he once did, turn the pages his finger tips once touched, brush my hands across the pages he had looked upon, read the words he wrote for this very purpose; not only prompted many questions but made me miss him all over again. Time machines should be manufactured ASAP or a direct dial to heaven. Thank you Pa for thinking of me and all the future generations. This book is a real treasure. Keepsake.

Which brings me to a greater realisation. No matter what I do today or tomorrow I must be grounded with the past. Although Pa or any other elder is not here to answer my questions – I can do something about it. I can go back. Go back to Samoa. Visit the places that Pa mentions. Go to the lands, see the people who live there (most probably my relatives) and embrace more than just the beauty of my dear Samoa. I seek to learn from her what she has known about me all this time.

Hakuna Matata πŸ™‚


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