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Courageous To The End

Courageous To The End
Eta Tikitawale , mother of 12-year-old Josefa Tumura at Naiserelagi Village, Ra yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar
February 23
11:19 2016

Twelve-year-old Josefa Tumura’s request was for his family was to get to safety.

Cyclone Winston claimed his life during its fury last Saturday night.

Josefa was the deputy headboy of Madhurani Sangam Primary School in Naselagi Village in Ra.

His last words to his mother were: “You can leave me behind. Try and save your own lives.”

His mother, Eta Tikitawale said: “It was about 5.30pm on Saturday when it happened. Four of us were in the house.

“My son was asleep with his best friend the vunivaivai tree fell on our house. We were lying on the floor with no roof.”

Ms Tikitawale said the first thing she did was call out.

“I called his best friend’s name out ‘Teti’, he responded and then called my son three times. When he finally responded he said: “Na au sa mavoa (Mum, I’m hurt).”

She said her family fought for their lives that night.

“I was hurt too. My head was bleeding and we had to move from one house to the next seeking shelter with our injured son experiencing it all.”

The family had to run about 100 metres into the main village.

“We were finally able to find shelter at the village bus shelter where I left him with my husband so I could go and seek help in the village.”

“But it was all in vain, he had lost a lot of blood.”

Ms Tikatawale described her experience last Saturday night as a ‘heart breaking and terrifying’ one.

“Josefa was the loveliest part  of my life. I took him in (adopted) when he was only three years old and I believe that he has gone to a better place. I will miss him.”

Josefa was buried on Sunday afternoon at the village cemetery.




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