Emotion overwhelms student as Stutton wins school competition during Tongan Language Week

A student who was about to make a speech in Tongan during the  Auckland Primary school speech competitions could not make her speech because she was overwhelmed with emotion.

‘Ofa Leha of Oranga school came to the microphone in front of about 100 people at the Stutton Park School hall on Thursday before she broke down in tears.

Attempts to relieve the year five girl were unsuccessful and the organisers of the competition had to lead her back to her seat.

Students from Stutton Park School won the competition for Year 5 and Year 6 held as part of Tongan Language Week.

‘Ofa Leha broke down in tears. Photo/Kalino Lātū

Stutton students ‘Ilaisaane Fainga won the Year 6 speech competition and ‘Ōkusi Kātoa, also from Stutton, won the Year 5 competition.

The first and second runners up in year 5 were Manako Lutui of Otahuhu Primary School and Anthony Mauala from Sutton Park School.

The first and second runners up in the 6 Year students were Lesieli Afimeimo’unga from Flatbush Primary School, and Matekitonga ‘Aloua from Papatoetoe West School.

The winning competitors were awarded with trophies.

All competitors were awarded a silver medal.

Parents, supporters and teachers were seen smiling while taking photos with the winning competitors.

Uaniva Havea, who travelled from Sydney to be one of the three judges, applauded the students’ Tongan speech skills. Havea joined Kaniva Tonga editor Kalino Latu and Mangere College teacher ‘Alisi Tatafu on the judging panel.

Havea told the audience she was surprised at the fluency and clarity of the pronunciation of the students when they spoke.

Havea also said she was emotional when she saw the Tongan attires worn by the children.

The speakers spoke on the topic of the Tongan Language Week which was “’ “’Oku Fakakoloa ‘e he Tonga’ ‘a ‘Aotealoa ‘aki ‘a e ‘Ofa Fonua.”

The students were judged on how they introduced their speech in the Tongan way of fakatapu, their opinions and what they could give as an advice for their listeners about the topic.

Tongan Language Week started on Sunday 2 and will feature a number of closing events tonight, including the Miss Tau’olunga Faka-Tonga 2018, which is sponsored by Henderson Cars at the Ellerslie Event Centre.

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