NATION

Fijians Participate In Tongan Arts Festival Week

Fiji is being represented at the 2014 Mahina Arts Festival here in Kolofo’ou, Tongatapu by the Veilomani Club and Patrick’s Fiji Corner. The week-long festival, which opened on Monday night,
15 Nov 2014 00:11
Fijians Participate In Tongan Arts Festival Week
The Patrick’s Fiji Corner string band of Steevie Maka (left), Iromi Ratu and Tomasi Cama performing at the Mahina Arts Festival in Kolofo’ou, Tongatapu, Tonga on Monday night. Photo: Iliesa Tora

Fiji is being represented at the 2014 Mahina Arts Festival here in Kolofo’ou, Tongatapu by the Veilomani Club and Patrick’s Fiji Corner.

The week-long festival, which opened on Monday night, is the first of such events to be organised for Tongan artists.

On the Spot Art Initiative, a non- government organisation which organises arts programmes here in Nuku’alofa, has put the week-long programme together. They are being backed by Westpac Bank of Tonga.

Co-ordinator Ebony Fifita said the programme was the first – with plans to make it bigger next year.

“We want to give our local artists something that they can call theirs and an avenue where they can showcase their work,” Ms Fifita said.

“There is nothing like that here so this is something we want to continue into the future. Next year, hopefully, we can bring in some artists from Fiji who can be part of the programme.”

On Monday night, the Fijian presence was prominent. A group calling itself The Patrick’s Fiji Corner String Band entertained the group with Fijian numbers.

Patrick’s Fiji Corner is a small curry shop operated by the Veilomani Club – which is made up of some Fijians working and living here in Tonga.

Group member Asinate Tora said they were happy to be flying Fiji’s flag at the week-long event.

“We are here flying the Fiji flag and we have our group also participating and helping in entertaining guests,” she said.

“Next year we will work with On the Spot to bring in some artists and musicians from Fiji to be part of this art festival.”

Ms Fifita said the support of Westpac Bank of Tonga and friends of the NGO has made the event possible this year.

“And the Fijians who are here supporting us are an important part of the programme,” she added.

The event will close [on Saturday] tonight, with the Fijians already lined up to be singing and entertaining guests every night until then.

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