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Miss Heilala
August 5, 2019 | by  | in Arts |
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Heilala Drama

The ‘shock factor’ of this year’s Miss Heilala Pageant has left the people of Tonga starved of their classic saying that they are “friendly” people of the Pacific Islands. The Heilala pageant stage echoed the notion that those in attendance of the prestigious pageant were far from friendly. Kalo Funganitao stood on that very stage to have her final say on the injustices she experienced throughout her reign. The Auckland Law student presented her final address as Miss Heilala 2018–2019 on a physical platform not as just a “ta’ahine fo’ilole”–pretty girl. Being “fo’ilole” (pretty), only gets you so far. Funganitao’s speech reflected that being “fo’ilole” does not address the problems faced by women of Tonga on a day-to-day basis. Being “fo’ilole” alone does not yield prosperous futures. For a pageant that is aimed to elevate the position of women in Tonga, this year’s event only shed light on the politics and manipulation of those working behind the scenes.

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