Putting value on culture: the story behind our logo
Our logo features a striking three-tier cake adorned with the timeless Manulua design, taken from one of the oldest patterns used in Tongan bark cloth. The Manulua symbolizes the union of two families or groups and represents the coming together of the founders, Mojito of Rotuman descent and Siu of Tongan descent. After Siu migrated to Fiji in 2014 to build a new life, the duo formed a family with the arrival of their son amidst the pandemic. The three-tier cake in the logo symbolizes their growing family and the blending of their diverse cultural roots.
What’s in a name?
The name Tala kei kapa is part of the Tongan proverb, “Tala kei Kapa na’a´ke tō ki Mala”. This proverb originates from the Vava’u island group in Tonga and talks about the island of Kapa and Mala. Kapa is where Siu’s mother is from and she has very fond memories growing up around her maternal grandmother there. Mala literally means a bad omen. Talakeikapa was Siu’s way of bringing a part of her Tongan identity and home to her new home in Fiji.
Tala kei Kapa na’a´ke tō ki Mala.
The meaning of this proverb is that one should always be prepared when starting out on a new journey. It forewarns challenges and unforeseen events ahead and one must be able to predict or assume the risks, misfortunes, mistakes and challenges which could potentially bring chaos to their life. The proverb stresses the importance of being cautious in everything we do because even when things appear good, sometimes they aren’t.
Growing up, Siu’s grandmother told her and her siblings many Tongan myths and legends, including the story about this proverb. The story is that, there once was a taula tevolo (evil spirit) that lived on the island of Mala which is located a few kilometers east of Kapa. It is said that this taula tevolo would cook food in an open fire on the beach of Mala and whenever boats would sail past, he would wave and call out to them to stop over to rest and eat. Sometimes the pleasing smell of the smoked fish and breadfruit was just too good to pass. Anyone that stopped over, never left the island and was never seen again. As more people disappeared, rumours of what was happening spread. People became more and more aware and soon no one was stopping over to rest and eat in Mala. People began cautioning one another. Before the people of Kapa started their sea journey, they were always warned of the tevolo Mala before they started their journey. Everyone was told to be prepared for the journey – to have something to eat, to be careful not to be easily manipulated or misled, to always look ahead and stay focused on their course.