Founder and Managing Director at Alfazaya Initiative & The Growth AcadeME

Talofa Lava!  My name is Alpha. I was born and raised in Samoa until I left to attend Nelson College in NZ.

I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur with over 20-years experience facilitating potential business exchanges between investors, buyers, and franchises. The sum of my previous work and life experiences in Samoa, NZ, South Korea, Japan and Dubai has led me back home to NZ and establishing my companies Alfazaya Initiative and The Growth AcadeME. More importantly, it put me on a life-changing journey to a plant-based diet and healthy living, to heal my diabetes type 2 and nourish my family.

In January 2021, I weighed 160 kilos, doing physio twice a week and taking the maximum dose of insulin. As a typical islander, I thought the pills would solve all my problems. So then, I started to slowly change the way I ate, not only me but my family also. And that’s when I discovered the Tongan chef, Ana Ma’ilei Savio, of Gia’s Grab & Go, who makes plant-based, allergy-free food.
The first thing we ordered was vegan sapasui (chop suey) and our daughter ate it and loved it, and our son too so that was our motivation to order more.

Ana encouraged me to take the NZ Vegan Society’s, Vegan Pasifika 21 Day Challenge, a month before it launched. By the time I started the Challenge, I was already well versed in plant-based food as I was cooking vege dishes for my own family’s health challenge that we were doing. So after 3 months, I went to measure my blood glucose levels and it was 77 (mmmol/mol) – from 150 to 77. The nurses said, “This is the best your blood has ever been, what did you do?”

No meat. No dairy. Exercise. Self-care.

When we eat well, everything changes. Winning!