Stranded woman vows to start sewing business in Tonga after earning certificate during lockdown in Auckland

A Tongan woman who used her time while she was locked down in New Zealand to complete a six-month sewing course said she planned to run her own sewing business when she returned to Ha’apai.

(L-R) ‘Ōlive Ramanlal Vulabh, Director of Tuitui Fashion Academy Tuitui Folauhola and Suitaisa Fine Tonga’onevai. Photo/Kalino Lātū (Kaniva Tonga News)

Siutaisa Fine Tonga’onevai said she was over the moon after she was awarded her certificate.

She has sent a sewing machine to Ha’apai.

“This will help my family,” she said.

As Kaniva News reported earlier this week Tonga’onevai was one of the nine Tongan women at the Tuitui Fashion Academy who received their Level One Achievement Certificates after completing six months’ training at the Three Kings’ school.

The successful women completed a number of modules, including skills such as Measurement, Academic, sewing of Women and Men’s wear Normal Dress, Pacific Wear, Off the shoulder, Suit Jacket, Evening Gowns, Shirt and Suit and Russian Collar.

Tonga’onevai was in New Zealand on a one month visiting visa and was supposed to return to Tonga in April, but the country went into lockdown and flights between New Zealand and Tonga were suspended.

Tonga’onevai, who heard about the Tuitui Fashion training from a friend, has described the opportunity she has received as “extraordinary.”

She said she may have missed the opportunity if the flights had not been suspended.

She said she could sew before she enrolled with Tuitui Fashion, but did not have the proper skills.

“After the course I learned how to measure and sew different types of clothes.”

Another woman who completed the course while she was in lockdown was Olive Ramanal Vulabh.

She is a well-known businesswoman in Tonga.

In presenting the closing speech during the award ceremony in Auckland last week, Vulabh said she was elated after she completed the course.

She said she could now sew various beautiful styles of garments for her family using inexpensive cloth.

She showed the green dress she was wearing during the award ceremony to the guests and told them it looked expensive but the tutor, Tuitui Folauhola helped her buy the material from a store at Otara, South Auckland for only $3 per metre.

She applauded the course and said she was happy to learn about budgeting.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.


Latest news

Related news