The nine contestants with Dr. Tanyamarie Petaia (fifth from the right)
By Natu Samuelu Tafunai
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 06 SEPTEMBER 2017: “I am here today not as a Doctor, not as a guest speaker, but as a motivator – encouraging you to keep pushing forward. Keep reaching for your dream.”
The words came from Dr. Tanyamarie Petaia of Healthcare Medical Clinic when she addressed the nine beauties vying for the Miss Samoa title this coming Saturday.
She was invited by the Director of Samoa Events Incorporated (SEI), the organizer of the pageant, to speak about the female health issues in Samoa.
She addressed the rising rate of unwanted pregnancies in Samoa as well as the increasing number of sexually transmitted diseases that is alarming especially among the young.
“There is a serious urgency in terms of awareness and education for our younger females,” said Dr. Tanyamarie Petaia
Then she shared what she came upon.
“Two days ago I was on my way to the wharf to pick up somebody from the first boat. On the way back and just passed where a construction company, there were like ten young Samoan females walking out of that gate.”
She said she can only conclude one thing – that this is one of the hotspots that the Ministry (of Health) has to target.
“However I won’t talk to you about the challenges I faced as a young Samoan in order to achieve my goal, especially entering into a male dominated profession where just being a female was challenge enough,” she says
“It’s not that hard if we go about finding ways and solutions on each step. I mean who doesn’t want a successful life? Who doesn’t want a perfect job or run a successful business although our definitions may be different as for some it may be just a roof over our heads and having three meals a day for others,” said Dr Petaia
“I’m sure your dreams of becoming Miss Samoa (then who knows Miss Pacific Islands) and then there’s the Miss World. But whatever it is, something we all have in common and that we wish for in life, is stress free and free of all the struggles. Unfortunately, it’s that stressing alone that is keeping some of us from achieving that goal,” she says
So if one day one of you decides to pursue medicine, by all means go for it. Don’t let the number of years get you down as they will just fly. Don’t look back when there’s a hurdle. Keep moving forward. Don’t think it’s a career for males. In fact, the number of female doctors graduating now far outnumber that of males.
“So dig deep. Push forward and go for it,” she encouraged the contestants.
NOTE: To watch the live streaming of the Pageant, go to the Miss Samoa button on talamua.com