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Tupu Le Afi- Jako Pupualii


Talofa lava, my name is Jako Pupualii and I was born and raised from the beautiful island of Western Samoa and from the village of  Matautu-Uta. I am the leader of Tupu Le Afi FireKnife dance school (Ailao Afi). Tupu Le Afi means "King of Fire," and is dedicated to my son Tupu Pupualii. 


 I started dancing FireKnife at 5 years old on the beautiful island of Western Samoa. I was blessed to learn under the leadership of my older brother Sakaio Pupualii and my Uncle Maselusi Tasi who is an amazing Fireknife leader of the group "Tasi and Alii," located in Western Samoa and the village of Vailima. I want to give my deepest gratitude to my leaders for sharing their love and knowledge at a young age and raising me to be the leader I am today. 

Moving forward, I was blessed to start competing in professional fireknife competitions at the age of 7 and continued to compete with the best of the best internationally throughout the world. 


I continued to perpetuate my culture throughout my whole life which also turned into a career here in the USA. My career as a FireKnife dancer started with Cirque Polynesia show, Tihati Productions luau events, and Disney World Lion King show. My professional career in Fireknife continued to move upward as I was contacted to do professional Fireknife shows for famous actors Pierce Brosnan, Adam Sandler, and famous singer Alicia Keys.    


My career in Fireknife has given me opportunities to support my growing family with my wife Jess Pupualii and my two beloved son's Tupu Pupualii and Jako Jr. Pupualii. With the help of God's blessings, Tupu Le Afi's legacy will be passed down to my son's and they will be the next generation of Fireknife dancers to help keep our Samoan culture alive.  


I am very honored to share my accomplishments as a professional Fireknife competitor with all my future students, as I envision all my students to have an opportunity to become a International & World Fireknife Champion. 



  • 1st place 2023 International Siva Afi Competition, Western Samoa 

  • 1st place 2023 Legacy The Siva Afi Competition, Oahu

  • 1st place 2019 Master of the Flame Championship, Utah ​

  • 1st place 2014 International Weekend in Polynesia FireKnife Competition, California​

  • 1st place 2013 International Weekend in Polynesia FireKnife Competition, California​

  • 1st place 2004 International Weekend in Polynesia FireKnife Competition,California ​

  • 1st place 2003 (PCC) Polynesian Cultural Center World FireKnife Champion Junior Division, Oahu

  • 1st place 2002 Siva Afi International Competition, Western Samoa ​

  • 1st place 2001 Teuila Festival FireKnife Competition, Western Samoa

  • 2nd place 2015 Fire Knife Competition, Tihati Production, Maui

  • 2nd place 2014 Fire Knife Competition, Tihati Productions, Maui  

  • 2nd place 2003 Siva Afi International Competition, Western Samoa

  • 2nd place 2002 World FireKnife Competition Junior Division, American Samoa

Siva Afi Judge

Jako Pupualii was honored to participate as a Siva Afi Judge at the Legacy- The Siva Afi Competition located in Oahu on October 1, 2022. This competition was produced by Freddie Letuli's family and Malu Productions.   

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