A brief history on the start-up of beauty pageants in the territory. With maybe 30+ years of existence, the pageant for 2016 is the 33rd Annual Fa'afafine Beauty Pageant. And, here is Our Story:
Once upon a time on the rolling hills of Fagatogo [a town-center in American S amoa] there stood the proud and historical residence of le Afioga ile Tapunu'u - High Chief Tiumalu Scanlan. The place was call Herb & Sia's Motel and it was the scenic setting for the first and officially recognized fa'afafine tausala event. A group of aspiring fa'afafine entertainers gathered along with the assistance of le Afioga Tiumalu formed and started what was going to be a remarkable quest to be remembered and celebrated in years to come. The winner was Ms. Nancy Olo of Fagatogo village. Ms. Nancy Olo is now happily retired after a lengthy career service at the American Samoa Tele-Communications Office.
From 1979 when Ms. Olo was named the first winner to the current Ms. Jayleen Chun - winner of the 2016 pageant; fa'afafines of American Samoa have come a long way. We have all experienced the multitudes of paradigm shifts of the same group of fa'afafines yet under different labels, banners and leadership from one year to another. Some of the most notable names in the early years that were actively involved in the making of our beauty pageants and the works for the association(s) include the following founding members:
Contributing Members to Founders:
An important aspect of our pageants is to raise funds for development of organizational objectives and especially to promote the spirit of community service. The named fa'afafine associations in the territory have long made kind donations and contributions to our local community specifically to Fatu-O-Aiga, Home of the Elderly now named Hope-House, and to others like the local Pediatric Ward and local Red-Cross Chapter.
Throughout the years, many other community events have led to further promoting and staging of fa'afafine beauty pageants around the island most of which were done for and by church organizations, congregational-women associations, business-sports or for fundraising activities. The territory prides itself with hosting not just a few but many annual beauty pageants. It is important to recognize that the difference between the many crowns and titles a fa'afafine holds comes from the organization to whom the title belongs. SOFIAS' Beauty Pageant only recognizes titles and crowns of and by fa'afafine organizations for the betterment of the fa'afafine community. Hence, the list of "formers" viewed here are former queens from the lines of Island Queens & American 7s. Pictured here is the reigning Miss SOFIAS for 2011:
Note: The period of 1999 to 2009 there are two recognized Crowned Queens for each of the years in that period - Both Miss' shared the honor, and then there are some years where no pageant was held.
Here is a list of some of the most notable names in the realm of Beauty Queens and Pageant Contestants in American Samoa and short stories on significant aspects in each Miss' lives and the tenure of her reign. The art of female illusionist may take many forms or what is simply known as fa'afafine in Samoa.
When She first ran, She became 1st runner-up to Ms. Maya Blaque...the second time was a sure blissful and beautiful night for this tall statuesque and talented diva - Ms. Arykah Fonoti. She hails from the mountaintop villages of the island of Tutuila, A'asu and Aoloau. Her talents vary from sports where She is a professional volleyball player to singing where She can hit the notes of any Opera musical. Ms. Arykah is a teacher by profession and She teaches at the Leone High School, Leone Village. She is one of the few Miss SOFIAS with a petite figure and height. She is dashing and loving from all angles when She's on the stage!
Miss Maya Aprhodite Blaque-Ierome hails from the easternmost village on the island of Tutuila, named Tula! This beauty also comes from the House of Seasons. Maya is a veteran member and supporter of SOFIAS and after a few tries at the competition, She captured the crown and title of MISS SOFIAS with her heart of sapphire blue diamond rendition of the love story - Jack and Rose in Titanic. By profession, Ms. Maya is a licensed nurse and is one of the veteran nurses at our local LBJ Hospital. There you will find Ms. Maya working diligently in her nursing duties at the Eye clinic and her specialty, the Dialysis Clinic. It was during Ms. Maya's reign that we started the charity for the Dialysis Clinic -- the Annual Mr. American Samoa all male competition, fully sponsored by SOFIAS. Also during her reign, Our Beloved Advisor Ms. Shevon Matai passed away a month before the annual pageant... Maya is a warm-hearted and loving person that is free-spirited and likes to travel here and abroad during her of times.
Ms. Roberta Laumoli hails from the village of Vailoatai. A beautiful young, fun-loving spirited diva with the mindset of determination and willingness that led her to become MISS SOFIAS in the year 2013. She is an educator by profession for 3rd Grade Level at Pavaia'i Elementary School. Her passions are in reading, family bonding, assisting church related activities and raising awareness in the societies goals and objectives. Ms. Laumoli is known to have hosted several big to'ana'i gatherings at their Family's Guesthouse-Faletalimalo in Vailoatai and from there a lot of friendships and members were encouraged to join the efforts of the association led by her. Aside from leading the annual contributions for FatuOAiga and the RedCross, Ms. Roberta also made sure that presents were given to children at the Pediatric Ward, children at her own school of work, and outreach for all the young fa'afafine of American Samoa to pursue education. SOFIAS would like to thank the Families of Miss Roberta Laumoli in Vailoa for always being supportive of the association and her reign. A beautiful church service was also held in Vailoatai to kick-start the beginning of the Miss's last week leading into the pageant night. Most memorable is the night of Miss Roberta relinquishing her crown, she had set the stage on fire with a most spectacular opening number that wowed the crowd.
Ms. Tepa Vaina hails from the village of Aoloau. She is currently employed as a Social Service Case Worker for the Department of Human and Social Services, American Samoa Government. She is a Master's Degree holder from Chaminade University of Honolulu. Days after her crowning - She led the way for the SOFIAS cultural siva for the flag day festivities in front of government officials and the whole island territory of American Samoa as she danced to the taualuga. A few days after, Tepa led the way to making the Annual SOFIAS Charity Contribution to the Home of the Elder and Disable. A few weeks after, She led the SOFIAS march for the march past in honoring Samoa's 50th Flag Day celebrations in Apia, Samoa.
...Pictured here during the swimsuit competition is Tepa with one of the male models. Read more of Tepa in the Miss's Corner...
Ms. Trina Tui being crowned by outgoing Miss Pearl and the President of SOFIAS - Athena. Ms. Tui is currently an educator at Tafuna High School her alma mater, having taught for a little over 5years now. [Complete Profile Coming Soon!]
Highlights in 2011-2012:
April 16th, 2011 - Trina is Crowned Miss!
April 22nd, 2011 - The New Miss hosts her Annual Gala - Ball for King & Queens of the Royal Court
April 28, 2011 - Ms. Trina leads the SOFIAS Presentation of Monetary Gift(s) for Fatu-O-Aiga, Home of the Elderly and Disabled.
April 29th, 2011 - News Media reports the Official SOFIAS THANK YOU ad [Pics and more
news found on www.samoanews.com archives]
May 13th, 2011 - Miss hosts TEA PARTY GALA!
May 20th, 2011 - Miss Leads the 1st Annual SOFIAS Outreach event held at Tradewinds Hotel.
May 25th, 2011 - Miss & Officers & Members travel to Apia's SFA Invitation on "Vocational Workshop Training"
***FOR MORE INFO. CHECK OUT THE MISS's CORNER SECTION ON THE SITE***
She is from the village of Malaeloa. An alumni of Leone High School. She is a devoted member of the Malaeloa - LMS Congregation Church. Ms. Didi is found in the hallways and offices of the popular local newspaper agency. She is a sales representative and is very competent in network developments, advertisements, and journalism affiliations. Ms. Didi aspires to be a writer. Miss Didi and along with Miss Samayah were the crowning titleholders of the reigning Miss SOFIAS'. Recently, Ms. Didi along with Princess Auva'a - both are a pair of former Beauty Queens from Malaeloa hosted our Meet the Contestants Event in Malaeloa village, a glamorous and beautiful occasion - Thank You.
Ms. Samayah hails from the village of Pago Pago and is a 2008 graduate of Samoana High School. At the tender age of 19, Samayah has captured the crown and expertise in the art of female illusionist via entertaining crowds. This young soul lives to perform on many stages starting from within her village, church, and pageants. Also, a very active participant with her youth and choir groups belonging to the Pago Pago - LMS Congregation. Aside from performing, Samayah is also a very athletic and talented soccer player and plays for Pago's A-Division Team. She hopes to be the next big thing like David Beckham's sister [lol]. She is currently pursuing an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from the American Samoa Community College. In her reign, Ms. Samayah chose to promote kind donations to our local Pediatric Ward at LBJ Hospital - presenting gifts for children during the holiday season of 2009.
Princess Amirah a.k.a. Princess Teuila Auva'a [gigi] hails from the village of Malaeloa. The second in line from her village to join the ranks of another former - Ms. Hazel Talia. This young individual has aspired to become probably one of the youngest and most entertaining manager at one of American Samoa's famous hubs then called Rubbles Tavern. Princess is a dedicated princess in the art of female illusionist and after her sole try for the crown of Island Queens in '08 - she opted to reach to the skies and has graced the stage of Miss UTOPIA-Seattle. Princess as she is commonly known amongst family and friends dedicates her passion for life and crown to her beautiful mother, Mrs. Terry Custodio-Auva'a and her grandmother whom is still alive and well. This young lady also hails from the village of Samoan entertainment - Malaeloa for which she is also a member of the Methodist Church Youth Group in Malaeloa. Most notable, Princess is a graduate of Casablanca's Modeling Institute, U.S.A. in 2007. She is often seen around in her fashionista sense for style - beautiful, colorful, with pride. In her free time, Princess likes to brush up on her writing skills with novels on lamentations of fa'afafine Samoa.
The young Trisyss Ali captured the crown just upon graduating from Leone High School in 2008 at the age of 17. Ms. Ali was sponsored by the talented Ms. Shiki and in her moments of presentation for Crown and Glory - this young lady was carried in by 12 men in silk and satin of blue and green for the Las Vegas Show-Girl Category. Ms. Ali hails from le Puapua - a sub village of Leone. She is of half Fijian and half Caucasian blood but speaks perfect Samoan with a lil' chopsuey. Trisyss is very proud of the fact she has been able to maintain her size 2 figure since the age of 10 and aspires to be the next Isyss in Tyra Bank's - America's Next Top Supermodel! She is a fun-loving and caring person. During her tenure, Trisyss promoted giving kind donations to the Home of the Elderly in Fatu-o-Aiga, a.k.a. Hope House She is currently residing in the Sin City - Las Vegas, Nevada. Where she is currently happily engaged to a Jewish - Saudi Arabian young man.
The lovely Ms. Bianca as she is commonly known amongst family and friends is by far the most often-seen and talked about entertainer in a year. This young lady is a fast learner of music videos and is often in charge of choreographing routines and acts for pageants, etc. Bianca is the niece of one of our long-time member and contestant, Ms. Roberta Kiriakis. Ms. Yoshimiro hails from the village of Pago Pago and is an alumni of Samoana High School, Class of 2002. She is currently a sales rep. at Blue Sky Communications. Bianca is one of the few from amongst the highly decorated beauty queens division with not just one but 5 crowns to her collection. She is a former Countess - Public Health Pageant at ASCC, a former Miss Samoa Packing, a former Miss Island Queens held at le Tautua Hall, Pago Pago, a former Miss Pava'ia'i Catholic Queen held in Pava'ia'i, and is currently the reigning Miss Flowers 2010. Bianca aspires to perfect her talents in the art of female illusion. This young and beautiful entertainer is of Russian, Yugoslavic, Tongan, Caucasian, and Samoan ancestry.
Miss Marion Malena Mageo or Marion as she is commonly known is no stranger to the pageant stage and anywhere else in the Territory of American Samoa. She was born and raised in the capital of Pago Pago - A proud alumni of Samoana High School, Class of 2003. This young lady has been an aspiring character full of life and passion for the arts at a very early age - since level one when she first watched disney's Little Mermaid Princess. She started of from singing and role-playing the whole Aerial and Urshla's conversation for the mermaid loosing her voice when Marion starts at high-pitch that famous a a ah ah Ah Ah Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! in front of circles of friends to performing monologues and characters in plays in front of high school crowds - most remembered for her role in The Conversion of Queen Kaahumanu, to winning major fa'afafine pageant titles in front of large audiences. She is a former Miss Island Queens, former Miss American 7s, former Miss Rugby Union and former Miss Corona International. Theres more than what meets the eye with this young lady - she is also the reigning Miss Asia Pacific in Seattle Washington and the reigning Miss Nubian also in Washington. Whether she was adding another tiara to her trove full of trophies or simply collecting 1st place - Marion is still a down to earth home sweet girl. She is an inspiring young leader as well whom has served in the momentous buildup of faafafine organizations in the 21st century here in the territory - a former President of Island Queens. She is by far one of American Samoa's best bet on winning an international title bigger than what one can chew of the big apple. Favorite quote is "Shoot for the moon, because if you miss it, you will still be amongst the Stars" - author unknown. Marion is currently residing and pursuing her dreams in the continental U.S. via Seattle, Washington.
A young and outgoing beauty queen. This diva holds nothing back and Shiki is her name. Born and raised around the tuna canning capital of the South Pacific - Ms. Shiki Leaupepe hails from the village of Atu'u. An alumni of Faga'itua High School, American Samoa Comm. College and Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii. Shiki is an M.B.A. - Public Administration Degree holder from Chaminade University. She is an educator by profession and has added to her many feats of accomplishments in education the prestigious award of being Teacher of the Year for Tafuna High School in 2009. She is coined the 'dolly' of the mighty warriors campus in Tafuna. But, perhaps this individual is more popular known for her phenomenal and gaga'-fierce presentations during our beauty pageant programs. A lover of fashion put into action and a free-spirited aspiring artist that has dare to break boundaries in our island world of entertainment. Shiki is a former Miss American 7s and during her tenure - the association traveled to Apia, Samoa and Auckland, New Zealand whereby she wow'd crowds and audiences with her alluring 'Shiki Persuasion' acts in the world of female illusion. Shiki's reign also saw to the further promotion of giving kind donations to Fatu-o-Aiga, Hope House. One of the most notable characteristics accredited to Shiki - is her commitment and compassion to be a role-model for her young daughters and sons in the education setting, at home, and around her village. Shiki is a proud member of the Atu'u LMS Sunday School, Church Youth & Choir groups. She has sponsored numerous contestants and won major pageant titles with her work in freelance makeup and artistic presentation. For her work in the art of beauty - Shiki is deemed the Queen of MAC & All of that!
Ms. Marion won her first major title - Miss Island Queens succeeding her achievement with the Miss American 7s crown. She joins only a handful of fa'afafine whom took up a double take on our coveted crowns. [See and read more of her on her profile Miss American 7s 2007.
Miss Lydia Risati is also a double-taker for both titles Miss American 7s and Miss Island Queens. She is an educator by profession and hails from the village of Tafuna. Lydia as she is known to family and friends is one of our long-time teaching fa'afafine with a career service of almost 20years. Her teaching career has taken her from Pago Pago elementary to Faleasao in Manu'a elementary and across to the Aloha State of Hawaii. Ms. Lydia holds a Masters Degree in Education and is fond of promoting the reading and storytelling programs with the young ones. During her tenure as Miss American 7s, she has traveled to Apia, Samoa and Auckland, New Zealand on behalf of the association to promote a shared objective with similar organizations in Samoa and NZ. Lydia is a devoted Methodist Churchgoer and is usually seen in the soprano lines of the famous Fagatogo Methodist Church choir. Ms. Lydia currently resides in the state of Hawai'i enjoying her work there with close family and friends. All in all, Lydia is a humble and fun-loving individual.
Sheena or Ipi as she prefers to be called is an active member of fa'afafine associations here in the territory. Ipi holds the record of also being the first crowned fa'afafine in the tuna-canning factory - Samoa Packing pageant. A caring and responsible individual - she currently holds the title of Executive Treasurer for SOFIAS. Simultaneously, Ipi also holds positions of treasurer in the Board of Officers for the Catholic Youth - American Samoa Diocese and secretary in the realm of the Board for Authority at her own Catholic Church in Aua. She is a devoted church-goer and a die-hard Catholic. Ipi aspires to be a lady of elegance and likes to be wine and dine as she may say. Currently Miss Ipi is employed at the Attorney General's Office for the American Samoa gov't. as an administrative assistant.
A lover for music and a dancer for life, Aysha is a proud alumni of Tafuna High School, University of Manoa, Hawaii, and University of Wales. Aysha is a talented dancer, athletic runner, energetic individual and a devoted Seventh-Day Adventist believer. Her hero as she puts it next to God is the angelic sensation - Mariah Carey because of the lyrics and tunes of her songs - Aysha feels she is complete and is at ease just by listening to Mariah. In the talent category for her pageant - this young diva sang her heart out to Mariah's lyrics. Watch out for Aysha at any pageant when she performs - the whole works for Beyonce's - Get Me Body routine from start to end with no sign of stopping. An educator at one time in both Tafuna and Samoana High Schools, she is currently employed with the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources in American Samoa as a biologist on special projects. Aysha is a recent graduate of the University of Wales in Sydney - Australia with her Masters in Science and Biology.
Miss Pearl hails from the village of Afono. Besides being a former Miss Island Queens this hot and forever looking young diva holds the title for Miss Empress of Samoa as well. Pearl is a devoted church - goer and a die-hard Catholic to. One of her many talents is her singing, and she is no stranger to the public with taking soprano notes. Her win in the talent category for Ms. Empress was singing in 1st soprano "Lau rosa, la'u rosa toe sau" - a Samoan melody. She is one of the few with an eye for creativity and presentation with flower arrangements where she is a long-time artist in the business. Pearl likes to be at the heart of Samoan family cultural faalavelaves - events where she is a master of the local Samoan craft & skills in - sula toga! Currently, Ms. Pearl enjoys the comfort of being a self-employed entrepreneur preparing beautiful flower arrangements for any occasion.
Athena is currently the serving President of SOFIAS'. Starting from being a Secretary officer for her church youth in her young days [lol], she also served as President for ASCC's Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society '98, a former President for the Lumana'i O Samoa Club for Chaminade University of Honolulu yr '2000, and has been an officer and President of the formerly known American 7s Association since 2004 up to being Vice President then President of SOFIAS. She is an educator and a former teacher at her alumni Samoana High Sch. and she now teaches full-time at the Am. Samoa Community College [ASCC] with a M.B.A.- in Accounting. Sponsored by her friends in college, the Chaminade Divas - Shiki, Dakota, Tahir, Nadia and Desilva - Athena was crowned Miss American 7s, the first for any pageant at Maliu Mai Resort in 2003. During her reign - the Association traveled to Apia where she performed the siva-Samoa on the stage of formerly known Kitano Tusitala Hotel now Tanoa Hotel as an invited guest for the Miss Tutti-Frutti - where the popular Ms. Blondie of Samoa took the title home that night. A former Miss Chaminade Gender-Bender and voted Queen of the Ball by her graduating class from ASCC.
Born and raised around the administrative capital of Pago Pago, American Samoa - Athena lives to inspire her many students to always seek higher education. A proud alumni of Samoana High, ASCC, Chaminade University, and a proud Catholic product of the Marianist Education system. An optimistic and realist at the same time - Athena is dedicated to the work of being committed to the commitment for non-profit organizations. During her time as President for American 7s, Athena continued the work of previous faafafine-elder leaders in promoting and giving kind contributions to Fatu-o-Aiga, the local Red Cross Chapter, the local pediatric-ward, and took the association to and from; trips to Apia, Samoa & New Zealand. In her new term and office, the SOFIAS have established affiliations with the local AIDS/HIV Board, the Samoa Fa'afafine Assoc., Inc., and other regional network groups. Overall, this young leader is a simple island girl popular for having long hair, a sense of humble wit mixed with intelligence and class - recently donated her long braid to the locks-for-love charity.
Miss Mavis is a legend for being a main contender for fa'afafine pageants in the territory and Samoa. She is originally from Samoa and has been a long-time resident in Pago Pago. Currently employed as a Safety Specialist at the now closed Samoa Packing Company. Mavis as she is known around the community boasts of a colorful character both entertaining and friendly. She's an athletic diva whom enjoys playing netball and marathons. An interesting remarkable note for Mavis in her pageant was her singing her lungs out to Celine Dion's "Power of Love" in front of a wild crowd and won the crown overall. At the time of her reign - the luvly Ms. Edwina of Masefau passed away and the association gathered to mourn a friend and celebrate the life of Edwina, another beautiful fa'afafine. Additionally, Mavis is a former Miss Samoa Packing Queen. This hot diva has also resided around the region from Pago to Auckland, to California to Apia. here She aspires to meet the man of her life in a very near time and whisk of to the city lights of Auckland.
Miss Lydia's win with Island Queens succeeds her reign as Miss American 7s. See and read her profile under her tenure as Miss American 7s 2005 for more info.
Miss Atio'o currently serves as the Vice President of SOFIAS'. Also a former President of Island Queens Association. Originally, Tasha has always been a Fagatogo-town girl. She is an alumni of Samoa College, American Samoa Community College, and the University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii. She is an educator-administrator by profession. Currently employed as the Vice Principal for Matafao Elementary and has been an educator for 20+ years with many achievements. Like others, Tasha is an acclaimed Teacher of the Year and a Judge for the popular - Speech Festival in American Samoa, etc. She is also a double winner for both coveted titles of Miss Island Queens and American 7s. Tasha as she is fondly known as by her students, friends, family, and the community has been an active member of fa'afafine associations in the territory. A devoted member of the Fagatogo Methodist Church choir and youth groups. Ms. Atio'o is also very dedicated to her family in Fagali'i, Samoa and was bestowed the chiefly title of Naeaulumanu'a. She is a netball player and loves to play tennis to maintain her goals in life, to stay beautiful, young, and healthy. Tasha is also one of the very few to be crowned in both Samoas - where upon winning in Apia, she ran and won in American Samoa for the Island Queens and later on for American 7s. Recently, Tasha was invited to be on the Panel of Judges for the Miss Samoa Fa'afafine Association in 2010 that saw the crown go to Miss Barbra Wills of Sydney, Australia. This hot blonde diva is a very outgoing and friendly individual - awaiting Prince Charming to come around for the second time to take her away to Calgon, Hawaii.
This sexy diva took the crown at the turn of the millennium. Lei also known as Leila hails from the village of Fagatogo. A devoted member of the Methodist church in Fagatogo in the youth and choir groups. She is also a former Miss Corona Rugby International. Leila is an enthusiastic entertainer of strutting heels and sexy profile. Ms. Cameron is currently an employee of the Treasury Dep't. via the Disbursing office. Her love for life has led her to always being athletic, a runner and maintains a healthy lifestyle. Leila is also a former Miss. Puataunofo - Avele Rugby Team and a former Miss Samoa Packing Co.
Ms. Christina is another hot blonde diva, originally from Samoa. She is a phenomenal sensation with Brazilian and Chinese looks. Christina took the American 7s title at the turn of the millennium in front of an amazing crowd. Christina as she is known to many is a tough netball and volleyball player on the court and is a quiet humble friendly person of the courts. She is an aspiring supermodel with cheekbones made for the gods. A hot tamale on the stage, she entertained the crowds in last year's pageant to the beats of Shakira's wakawaka song for the World Soccer Cup. Ms. Christina is also a former titleholder from Apia, Samoa - winning Miss Seven Stars in 1995.
This is the first year for the American 7s and in front of a very large and enthusiastic audience at the Pago Bay Restaurant this stunning diva took the title of being the first Miss American 7. Also, a former President of American 7s Association. Shevon is no stranger to the world of fa'afafine entertainment in American Samoa. A talented Samoan dancer and a lover for symphony and opera music. Shevon was one of the leaders and teachers for the famous Taupou Manaia dance group that took championship with the Teuila Festival - Best Samoan Siva for Group. She is a dedicated choir conductor and is another devoted member of the Fagatogo Methodist Church. An educator by profession - Shevon also joins the ranks of others in the education realm having been a Teacher of the Year winner and a very inspiring English teacher winning Speech Festival titles for Faga'itua and Samoana High School. She joins a few others for having won both titles Miss Island Queens and Miss American 7s. She is an alumni of Samoana High School, American Samoa Community College and Hawaii Pacific University where she received her undergrad and graduate degrees in English as Second Language. Shevon is one of the popular entertainers on the stage having performed live songs, and perhaps is most popular with the first to dance to the beats of the Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba. Shevon also commits her time volunteering for the local Red Cross Chapter and organizing events. Additionally, Shevon has sponsored and worked marvelous signature designs for former Miss American Samoa contestants like Sieni Skelton, Charity Apineru, and Urshla Letuli to name a few. This aspiring diva has one too many achievements and successes to name, but overall she is a loving and caring individual that lives to inspire others.
Isabella Lorda Valentino is no stranger to pageant fans in both Samoa and American Samoa where she has astounded audiences with her in-your-face performances. Popular for her campy yet sometimes risque renditions of pop songs she is best known for an almost R-rated rendering of Billy Ocean’s “Getta outta of my Dreams, Get into my Car” laced with tounge-in-cheek innuendo’s and circus like acts including back-flipping from actual wheel-barrow, Isabella never fails to amaze or shock an audience. Originally from Apia, Isabella has lived in Samoa, American Samoa and New Zealand, after winning Miss Island Queen in 1998 Isabella has continued her career in the pageant scene well into the new millennium. In 2008 she moved back to American Samoa and is currently employed at Milovale // KS Mart - supermarket.
Miss Tiffany Diaz or Tiff as she is known to friends and family is often referred to as the Lady Tiffany or Royal Tiffany because of her great admiration for regal things and supreme royalty, Tiffany’s ideal lifestyle is fit only for a Queen. Hailing from downtown Fagatogo Tiffany has been a dedicated member of the fa’afafine community for many years, she is also a former Miss Mademoiselle of ASCC and Miss Puataunofo o Samoa (Avele Rugby Club). Tiffany is also well-known around the territory for her secret baking recipes passed down to her from her late mother, some of her best work has been featured at local weddings and social functions.Tiffany earned her Associate’s degree from ASCC in 1997 and was a teacher at both Coleman and Matafao Elementary for a span of 11 years. She is currently taking a break from her hectic schedule to be a mom for her wonderful kids and catering to lucky husband # 7.
As a young queen growing up in Pago Pago, Miss Ericha Thompson was truly the most beautiful fa’afafine I had ever seen; from the gentle sway of her walk, the silky mellowness of her half-breed skin, to the elegant way she clutches her wheel as she drove her car to work each morning or how alluring she stood on her balcony during evenings atop her home at the Nina’s store building in Pago; as if wishing on pennies towards the Pago Harbor she greeted passer-byers with a slight but graceful wave; a genuinely feminine beauty everything about Ericha was absolutely breath-taking. While many of us today are merely part of the new breed of generation, Ericha belonged to the golden age of Island Queens alongside many pioneers to the society we live to uphold. She competed for the crown several times before winning in 1996 thus bringing an end to her legendary dramatic fainting moments every-time she didn’t win. During her regin Ericha help give countless contributions for the community including a charity for LBJ hospital and was invited by the government with the rest of the association as the Taualuga for the closing ceremony of the 1996 South Pacific Mini Games hosted in American Samoa. An acclaimed educator by profession with a BA degree and was a teacher at Samoana High School within the 1990‘s where she was praised by then Principal Elia Savali and he quoted ‘one of the most dedicated and professional fa’afafine’s I have ever worked with.’ Yet underneath the extravagant lifestyle she led, Ericha’s personal life was troubled scarred by a much publicized emotional turmoil, after regaining strength she opted a change of scenery when she moved to the mainland. In 2005, Ericha became one of the co-founders of Pacific Island Pride a GLBT organization in viva Las Vegas and worked alongside Vegas Empress Galaxina Tago La Femme and several members producing many of their successful events including the coveted Miss Las Vegas Island Goddess which they host yearly. It was here at her dream home nursed and loved by a wonderful group of sisters that news of Ericha’s untimely passing in early 2010 shocked us all... From the words of the sisters who lived with her, she carried the pride of her win eloquently and will open an album filled with memories and tales to all who came her way. Ericha’s presence is embedded in our history immortalized for all our future fa’afafine generation to witness. Though she is greatly missed, Ericha has found everlasting love in god’s arms, one she has waited for all her life.
Petite Rachel grew up in Apia learning numbers in a family owned business passed down through generation from a Chinese grandfather. In less than a month after moving to American Samoa, Rachel was Crowned Miss Island Queen 1995 becoming the first ever winner from our sister country of Samoa. Rachel lived in American Samoa over 10 years where she was a dedicated member of both Island Queens and American 7‘s before moving back to Samoa in 2005 where is currently employed as customer service representative for Apia Car Rentals. In 2011 Rachel made a cameo appearance in the sequel for the popular Samoan film “Tautoga Gaosia” playing herself.
Miss Hazel was the first of 3 Island Queen winners (see Princess Auva’a & Didi Afuafi) from the tiny village of Malaeloa, known for her Tina Turner ‘Proud Mary’ rendition she is also one of the territory’s best known Volleyball players, and homegurl sure could really hit a mean ball. Hazel helped donate charities to both LBJ hospital and Mapu-o-Fagalele home in Apia during her reign. In 1999 Hazel moved to the aloha islands of Hawaii for advance medical care to her ailing mother, who sadly passed away in her arms in 2009. Hazel is also a former Miss Tausala Hawaii and is currently employed for Hawaii’s government while also being a full-time mom to her 5 children and a loving husband.
If you are frequent fan of KVZK-TV channel-2‘s ‘Fa’afiafiaga’ (a prime-time special of reruns for local performances) then you would recognize one of its timeless classics a segment featuring some of our pioneer fa’afafine entertainers dancing to the African beats of the musical ‘Serafina’ & Eddie Grant’s apartheid plea in ‘Gimme Hope Joanna'. The main character in this masterpiece a petite young queen with a body of a goddess and an indomitable dynamic stage-presence that is utterly unforgettable, her name the sweetest name ever...Shalimar. Born Saoaumaga Atisone Seiuli to a devout Mormon family in the village of Mesepa; she adopted the name of Shalimar after the popular French fragrance brewing herself to become one of the most fascinating and much-talked about local personalities for years to come. At only 17 years old she was cheerleader captain at Senior year in Leone High School and already making a name for herself performing at high demand in local events, it was no surprise when she decided to enter Miss Island Queen 1993. There was a bit of controversy during this particular pageant; Shalimar’s uncle and veteran drag competitor Sergil was among the contestants and reportedly ordered the organizers to bar Shalimar from competing but they found no wrong doing and the feud between the two rekindled only days before the pageant. For her talent Shalimar proved entertainment to a crowd roaring with excitement as she unleashed into a show-stopping solo routine to Madonna’s mega hit “Express Yourself". At the conclusion of the competition Sergil took 2nd runner-up leaving her niece to claim the coveted crown, making Shalimar one of the youngest winners in history and the only LDS church member to date to win the title. Shalimar’s reign marked an appearance in Apia, Samoa where she assisted the Island Queens with their charitable donations to Mapu-o-Fagalele home for the elderly. During this tenure Island Queens also progressed into adapting new regulations restricting any fa’afafine under the age of 18 to compete avoiding future conflicts. Shalimar left Samoa shortly after her regin to pursue her dreams of fashion designing in Los Angeles, California where she blossomed from an island girl to an almost unrecognizable stunning beauty. In 1997 she made news yet again, this time international news stirring major media headlines when she was involved in a notorious incident with a Hollywood celebrity, it tarnished the star’s personal life for the rest of his career. Fortunately for Shalimar it escalated her own career in other ways of the sort, yet it was both a blessing and a curse for the 21 year old. Less than a year later in April of 1998 Shalimar was killed in an accidental fall from her L.A. apartment building, tragically cutting short a promising star gone too soon. Although she was with us for a while, Shalimar’s extraordinary life and journey will live on forever in the hearts of all who knew her well and to die-hard fans who have come to worship an island goddess.
Ms. Loata Rose Sipili hails from the beautiful of Ili'ili, American Samoa - where the golf course is situated and a few minutes away from the airport. She is the first fa'afafine to return home after completing her studies in professional nursing through the University of Hawaii - School of Nursing at Manoa, Hawaii. Upon returning home in 1991, she became supervisor of the LBJ Intensive Care Unit and later headed the ASCC Nursing Program - where at the time Loata was deemed the most qualified nursing instructor.
In her younger years Loata Rose had great faith in church activities and had great love for her parents whom she cared for until their passing away. Ms. Loata's favorite sport is volleyball and through playing volley - she managed to maintain her figure during her school years in Hawaii and here at home. Currently, Ms. Sipili is the manager for the Diabetes Education Program at the local LBJ Medical Center and is the only Certified Diabetes Educator on the island in the entire South Pacific region. Loata enjoys working with patients and is admired for her kind and loving heart for all human kind.
She was crowned Miss Island Queens in 1992 and is currently serving as an Advisor for SOFIAS! [You can read more about Loata Rose Sipili in the Honorary Members section]
"Cherie" as she is commonly known is no stranger to the world of fa'afafine organizations in the territory. She is a native of Leone village and a dedicated member of her family in Leone and the LMS Church of Leone. She has been an aspiring leader and organizer of our associations since crowned Miss Island Queens 1991. Professionally, Cherie is also a Master degree holder, a popular figure around the American Samoa Community College life and campus; where she has served 30+ years and is currently found upstairs as the Special Assistant to the Dean of Academics Office. This kind and intelligent diva is an aspiring role model to many young fa'afafines and is always happy to give positive advice. A long-time serving President of Island Queens Association, and a key member in the forming of one association in the territory as is with SOFIAS today - Cherie is a lady of standards and with a repertoire!
Le Afioga ia Sina'ita'aga HRPrincess Danielle Mose Talaomana is an educator by profession. Currently she is an Academic Guidance Career Counselor for Faga'itua High School via the American Samoa Department of Education; where she has been an educator-teacher and now a Counselor for the last twenty years and more. This aspiring diva hails from the small village of Atu'u where she has other former beauty queen sisters Ms. Rexine Yandall and the young Ms. Shiki.
Princess Danielle as she is commonly known is a popular star-entertainer around the Pago Bay area. She is a friendly and outgoing diva that can spice up any event with her presence and alluring personality. She is a dedicated member of the LMS Atu'u Church, Choir, Youth, and Sunday School. This hot diva is most popular for her talented voice where in her winning pageant - she sang "We Are Samoa" a popular Samoan melody by the famous Fana'na Jerome Grey. You will most likely catch a glimpse of Princess at our annual SOFIAS Beauty Pageant - where she is always a strong supporter for the young and upcoming fa'afafine generations.
Julie, a teine Leloaloa where she is a dedicated member of their Catholic Church, won her only title with Miss Island Queen in 1989. The night of Julie’s win caused a huge stir when her 70 year old father got into a brawl with one of the audience members after she called out rude remarks to Julie during her crowning, it came to an end when both opponents fell into the Rainmaker hotel swimming pool; this became one of the most unexpected but memorable moments ever and is oftenly reminisced for years to come. After relinquishing her crown, Julie never returned and is no longer an active member of the fa’afafine community. She has been employed with Star-Kist Incorporation as a clerk for well over 20 years before leaving office work to become a full-time wife to her long-time husband.
Exotic supermodel beauty Stacie Titiali’i is a native of the sandy village of Alofau and is truly one of our most remarkable former queens; she is the only fa’afafine to have ever been crowned Homecoming Queen during her senior year in Fagaitua High School. Stacie moved to the US mainland a year after her reign and resided in the rainy city of Seattle for many years before returning back home to the island shores in 2010. She is currently employed at the Social Service Dep't., American Samoa Gov't.
You can read more about Ms. Tasha Le Atio'o during her tenure as Miss American 7s in 2001.
You can read more about Ms. Shevon Matai during her tenure as Miss American 7s in 1999.
This out-going lady hails from the lovely village of Atu’u, she is one of the two local queens (see Tasha Atio’o) to have held fa’afafine titles from both Samoa (Miss Samoa Drag Queen 1986) and American Samoa (Miss Island Queen 1984). A curator for the territory’s only museum, some of Rexene’s unique creations are on display at the historic naval building in Fagatogo, where you can witness daily Monday to Friday at visitation hours. The official SOFIAS tapa sash was made and donated by Rexene in 2010.
A proud native of Vailoatai village, Tanya’s active spirit is present not only at village gatherings but also at her LMS church where she is an esteemed spiritual leader. Tanya earned her master’s degree and returned to the territory in 2005 where she is currently employed as a Tax Officer with the Treasury Department. Tanya twice made a special appearance as a former Miss Island Queen in 2008 and 2009 pageants respectively.
Marsha as she is commonly known hails from the villages of Futiga and Pago Pago. This diva was a member of many affiliations and lgbti groups and in her early days - was one of the very young and few to capture the title of beauty queen pageants at an early age while still in Samoana High School. She is an educator by profession and is currently the lead Counselor for the Student Services Department of the American Samoa Community College. Marsha or Mark as she is also commonly known holds a Masters in Criminal Justice from Chaminade University. A former member of the popular UTOPIA in San Francisco Bay, former President of the Student Government Association of ASCC, and a member of many other groups including those of the International Honor Society for Two Year Colleges - Phi Theta Kappa. Marsha is also a talented volleyball player and is often seen in volleyball tournaments showing of her athletic side. Marsha is outgoing and likes to play Bingo a lot, you will usually find this aspiring diva in the bay of leone with her usual crowd entertaining the masses.
Nancy a bonafide town-girl from the village of Fagatogo is the inaugural winner of very first fa’afafine pageant on Samoan soil. A songbird of classic Samoan songs, Nancy has delighted audiences with her voice at the very get-go of fa’afafine beauty pageants and is well know for her touching rendition of “Le Taualaga o Solomona”. Through-out the later part of her life Nancy converted to Christianity and is a devoted member of Divine Mercy part of national prayer group for her catholic religion in Fagatogo. Nancy is now happily retired after a lengthy career service at the American Samoa Telecomunications Authority.
Cindy Filo was 3rd runner up in 1987’s Miss Island Queen; she became “Cindy of Samoa” a major tourist attraction for her drag revues in Apia, she toured her fa’afafine shows across the South Pacific and the United States. Cindy was the main profile of Heather Croall’s 1999 documentary Paradise Bent: Boys Will Be Girls in Samoa. In 2008 Cindy was a finalist on the New Zealand reality show Stars in Their Eyes performing her iconic Tina Turner Proud Mary routine.
Michelle Eneliko a prolific and respected local educator was 1st runner-up in 1990. Eneliko was a fatality victim of the Samoa tsunami that devastated the Samoan islands on September 29, 2009.
Miss Island Queen 1993, Shalimar (Atisone Seiuli) became publicized Hollywood media attention in 1997 when she was arrested in the car of Eddie Murphy. She died a year later in a fall from her Los Angeles apartment. In 2003 the scandalous encounter was ranked #61 on E! TV's "The Greatest Shocking Moments in Entertainment History".