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Mum Tells What Makes Jale Tick

Mum Tells What  Makes Jale Tick
Family members of the Vatubua family farewell Jale Vatubua and Ben Volavola at the Grand Pacific Hotel. From left, Margaret Ulacake, Timothy Ulacake, BenVolavola, Maureen Vatubua, son JAle Vatubua, sister Tanya Vatubua and daughter Mere Nova Ulacake. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga
July 03
11:00 2017


Losing his dad, Viliame Vatubua, at the age of eight to heart attack, Vodafone Flying Fijians centre Jale Vatubua has pushed himself to become the best possible person he can be today.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old departed the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva with the team for Nadi before they fly out tomorrow to Nuku’alofa for the Pacific Nations Cup and World Cup qualifier match against Tonga on Saturday.

If there is anyone who has seen and knows the struggles that Jale has been through, it would be his mum, Maureen.

The turning point of Jale’s life was the death of his dad.  Not having a fatherly figure growing up, Jale sought the guidance of his brothers and pushed himself to find what he was good at.

“I think the biggest challenge was losing his dad when he was only eight years old,” Maureen said.

“He is probably always looking for a father figure and he has three older brothers so he was fortunate that they provided that area for him.

“They were there to be the father that he didn’t have, we have a very big and strong family and we give him whatever we can.

“He is resilient, he makes use of what he has and he uses it to the best of his abilities. I am rugby mad and so has Jale’s dad, if he was here today he would be beaming with pride.

“The death of my husband not only motivated Jale but all my children to do well in life because that is what he would have wanted.

“They had to stand and be independent and go forward, no matter if they had one parent or two, they still had to make it and they did.

“God has a plan. He never leaves us alone so all my children grew up to understand that they need to be resilient and they need to work hard because nothing comes easy.”

Being the youngest of eight siblings, it is not always easy to let the baby of the family leave home but to go out and live his dream, Maureen could not be more proud of him.

“I’ve eight children and he is the youngest, five are living overseas and three girls living here but Jale being my baby,” she said.

“It was hard at first to let him go when he left home. When he had reached that age but at the same time as a parent we have to release them when the time is right.

“You have to let them go and let them live their life and let them find their niche and playing rugby is obviously his niche.

“Jale has been working at this for a long time now since he was in high school and I know this is a dream come true for him.

“I am so proud of him that he is representing his country and we give thanks to God for all he has done in his life.

“It has not been easy for Jale, when he left home around 18, he did everything on his own, he went to New Zealand and then to Australia and now in France.

“We have never had sponsors or anything backing him up it was always family support and God has been good for him.

“It was difficult for him when he went to France, being in a country with a language barrier it is never easy. If you don’t know the language you cannot play but he has picked up the language quite well and doing really good.”

Living away from home, Maureen said communication is very important and when her kids are not with her she usually prays to God to look after them for her.

“I am a Christian woman by faith, when my children are not with me I cover them with prayer, that’s what I do every day.

“I thank God that he has given me that gift because I may not be there with them but the Lord is able to be there and look after them.” Maureen added.

The Vodafone Flying Fijians will play Tonga on Saturday at Teufaiva Stadium, Nuku’alofa.

Edited by Osea Bola



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