Family bestow grandfather’s nickname, ‘Hammer of the ‘Utula’āina,’ on Taumālolo

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An uncle of Jason Taumālolo has honoured the rugby star with family and traditional nickname and told how he is connected by blood to some of Tonga’s best-known rugby players. Photo/Anna Tangata'iloa Taufa'ao (Facebook)

An uncle of Jason Taumālolo has honoured the rugby star with family and traditional nickname and told how he is connected by blood to some of Tonga’s best-known rugby players.

Mapa Taumālolo honoured Jason with their late grandfather’s nickname, “Hāmala ‘o e ‘Utula’āina” or Hammer of the ‘Utula’āina.

Mapa said their grandfather Elimeleki Sofele Tafuna Taumālolo was referred to by the nickname because he was a big, brave man revered for his physical courage.

He said everyone in their village of Holonga, Vava’u was euphoric after Jason opted to represent Tonga in the Rugby League World Cup later this month.

“Every Kolohea  in the globe is happy and they wish there was a road from where they live so they could come and support their son”, Mapa told Kaniva News.

He said Jason, Talilotu Ngaluafe who played winger for the ‘Ikale Tahi and former captain and ‘Ikale Tahi coach Fakahau Valu as well as Alisona (Sona) Taumālolo, who played for New Zealand teams including the Chiefs, were Jason’s cousins through their grandfathers.

Mapa said when he heard about Jason’s success in rugby he remembered the sacrifice Jason’s dad made when Jason was young.

“When I was studying in New Zealand, Jason’s father Va’ai came and picked me up on weekends,” Mapa said.

“Jason was very young at the time.

“Every evening we went and took Jason and his elder brother Warner for physical exercises.”

“Today I can see the result of how Va’ai and Tominika had sacrificed to support the talent of Jason and in our heart we are really happy and proud of it.

“We thank God for the talent He has given to our son”, Mapa said.

Mapa said  that Sione Taumālolo, the 11-year-old who was killed in a fatal Christmas Eve bus crash near Gisborne in 2016, was also a cousin of Jason.

Sione’s father is a younger brother of Jason’s father.

The Mate Ma’a Tonga team had been the centre of huge celebrations in the kingdom which ranges from parades, team members visiting hospitals, primary schools and some villages to people vying to take photos with the team players.

Their daily training sessions at Pangai Lahi in front of the Nuku’alofa royal palace have been attended by many and the team had been seen walking and shaking hands with the spectators after their training yesterday morning.

At a press conference in Tonga Taumālolo said it was a privilege to represent Tonga again and to represent his family.

Konrad Hurrell told the conference: “I was born and raised here and it is a privilege to come back.”

Mate Ma’a coach Kristian Woolf said the team had a good mix of what he called experienced campaigners with a lot of potential.

He said the team would have to work really hard in training so they could perform on the field.

The main points

  • An uncle of Jason Taumālolo has honoured the rugby star with family and traditional nickname and told how he is connected by blood to some of Tonga’s best-known rugby players.
  • Mapa Taumālolo honoured Jason with their late grandfather’s nickname, “Hāmala ‘o e ‘Utula’āina” or Hammer of the ‘Utula’āina.
  • Mapa said their grandfather Elimeleki Sofele Tafuna Taumālolo was referred to by the nickname because he was a big, brave man revered for his physical courage.
  • He said everyone in their village of Holonga, Vava’u was euphoric after Jason opted to represent Tonga in the Rugby League World Cup later this month.

For more information 

Mate Ma’a Tonga – National Rugby League Press Conference

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  1. Na’e fakalāngilangi’i’aki ‘e Mapa Taumālolo ‘a Jason ‘a e hingoa fakatenetene ko e “Hāmala ‘o e ‘Utula’āina”.

    Pehē ‘e Mapa, ‘a ia ‘oku tamai’aki ‘e Jason, ko e hingoa ni na’e ui’aki ‘enau kui Elimeleki Sofele Tafuna Taumālolo

    Ko e tangata lahi pea ko e tangata ne ‘i ai hono loto, ko Mapa ia ki he Kaniva.

    Na’a ne pehē ‘oku fiefia e taha kotoa honau kolo, Holonga, Vava’u he fili ‘a Jason ke fakafofonga’i ‘a Tonga ‘i he fe’auhi ki he Ipu ‘a Māmani i he ‘Akapulu Liiki ‘oku ‘amanaki fakahoko ‘i he konga ki mui ‘o e māhina ni.

    Na’a ne pehē ko e kapakau ko Talilotu Ngaluafe, faiako ki mu’a ‘a e ‘Ikale Tahi ko Fakahau Valu pehē kia Alisona (Sona) Taumālolo, ne va’inga he ngaahi timi ‘a Nu’u Sila hangē ko e Chiefs ko e ngaahi kāsini kinautolu ‘o Jason ‘i he’enau ngaahi kui.

    Pehē ‘e Mapa ko ‘ene fanongo pe he ‘asi hake ‘a Jason he mala’e ‘akapulu ne ne manatua leva ‘a e mo’ui feilaulau e tangata’eiki ‘a Jason lolotonga na’e kei si’i ‘a e fetu’uhopo ko ‘eni he liiki.

    Na’a ne pehē foki lolotonga ‘ene kei ako ‘i Nu’u Sila ne fa’a ‘ave ma’u pe ia ‘e he tamai ‘a Jason, Va’ai Taumālolo, he ngaahi faka’osinga uike ke ‘alu ‘o fakamalohisino fakataha pe mo e tokoua lahi ‘o Jason, ‘a Warner.

    Ko e fai ‘eni ia ‘oku kei si’i ‘a Jason, ko e lau ia ‘a Mapa.

    Na’a ne pehē kuo ne sio he ‘aho ni ki he ola ‘o e mo’ui feilaulau ‘a Va’ai mo Tominika pea ‘oku nau laukau ai mo lau koe tāpuaki.