Mother’s Final Words Drove Musuvanua to Achieve
The words of his late mother were what drove Eparama Musuvanua to several jobs, culminating with being admitted to the bar by Chief Justice Anthony Gates last Friday at the High Court in Suva.
Mr Musuvanua recalled the words of his mother, the late Adi Elenoa Vavana, who said: “Study hard and remember you have a sister there who is younger than you.
“I assure you that you can make it for the family and to look after your younger sister. I want you to become a priest.”
Mr Musuvanua recalled those parting words while he was leaving to go on a trip to Taveuni as a teenager, and those words stayed with him even after the death of his mother.
He had thought about becoming a priest, but decided otherwise, as he ventured for a higher paying vocation.
After his mother’s passing at 16, and his father Sakiusa Saukalou, in 2015, Mr Musuvanua promised himself that he would work hard to give his siblings a better life.
“After my mother’s death, life became a challenge because I had to learn to stand on my own two feet and work hard and be independent,” he said.
After his mother’s passing, his father remarried and so he and his siblings were separated.
He has three brothers and two sisters, he is the second youngest in the family.
His mother is from Natewa Village in Cakaudrove from the mataqali Valenisau, while his father is from Nasekula Village in Labasa, Macuata.
He had to live with his father’s family, the Tui Labasa family, Ratu Qomate Ritova.
He said they supported his education and shouldered his expenses until he finished secondary school and moved to Suva where his father’s eldest brother continued supporting him.
Mr Musuvanua said he pushed himself to work hard because his family were not well educated and life was hard.
“I wanted to struggle in life so I can be the one to support my family,” he said.
At first, he came to Suva with the intention of joining nursing school, and at that time, under the Public Service Commission Scholarship, he had to shoulder half of his school fees.
“For me, I could not do it because my father could not afford it and so did other relatives. So I had to pull out of nursing school,” he said.
He said he was encouraged by an uncle to go to catering school because he loved cooking.
He did achieve a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism, majoring in Cooking and Pastry at the Fiji National University.
He worked on an attachment at the Musket Cove Island Resort, Suilven Shipping then Laucala Island Resort as pastry chef during the initial construction of the island.
He then thought to himself about looking for another career and decided to become a teacher.
He applied to be a teacher in the Language Education and Literature, iTaukei but, instead, received an acceptance letter from the University of Fiji Law School in 2011 and graduated in 2016.
He completed his post graduate known as Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and worked as an attaché at MRV Legal Consultancy, his aunty, Mereseini Vuniwaqa’s law firm, then as a legal practitioner at the Legal Aid Commission.
He said there were five lawyers in his family. They are: Mereseini Vuniwaqa, first cousin of his mother; Raijeli Tuivaga; Rakuita Vakalalabure; Kimo Vakalalabure and John Rabuka.
The bachelor also promised himself that he would work hard to achieve his goal of becoming successful, before settling down to have a family. Edited by Rusiate Mataika