Can you hear Mangere from there?

Mangere erupts in Tua fever

It doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of the night – not in David Tua’s NZ home town of Mangere, not tonight. Once Shane Cameron hit the mat, somebody set off fireworks (thanks for scaring my dog!) and as soon as the match was over, all of Mangere it seems hit the streets – with or without cars.


Except for me. I was only out cause I had to make an urgent shop run. Honest. And on my innocent way to the 24 hour grocery store, I only once or twice or 20 times tooted in response to the excited honking from all the other cars on the road, and then I only found myself on Robertson Road (where David Tua’s family happens to live) by accident after making a few wrong turns on my way home – I’ve always had such a horrible sense of direction.

Anyway, it took me 20 minutes to get down that street – it usually takes 5 – because several cars were parked on the meridian in front of the Tua home, and on the roof of those cars were several scantily clad, fairly intoxicated Samoan boys waving Samoan flags. Spectators lined the street for blocks each way (did I mention it was after midnight?) and car loads of happy hamos inched past the festivities with loud, jubilant contributions of their own.

At one point a cop car hit its sirens and sped past us to the scene of the party, but they didn’t do anything about stopping it, so we’re gonna go ahead and assume that the cop was Samoan, too.

I’m still not sure what everybody was doing there – waiting for the Tuamanator to arrive home? – but I do know that the celebration is a welcome distraction from the long, devastating week the huge population of Samoans in this community has had.

The term ‘national hero’ comes to mind. It almost wasn’t about the typically Tua knock-out in the first round (cause we all know the second round didn’t need to happen). This was more about a return to form for this son of Samoa… a return to fighting glory, and to being the pride of a whole nation.

Because something about all the horn tooting, the excited yelling out at familiar strangers on our streets, the drumbeats, the singing of songs and the waving of a flag that represents us all, inspires a little hope that we, as Samoa, are going to be ok.

Discuss the Tua / Cameron fight in the village.

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