Island News

Island girl makes the spotlight

Written By : WAISEA MAKUTU. During her last year at Suva Grammar School the school bus route took them past the Suva Bowling Club and she used to wonder what
22 Jan 2011 12:00

Written By : WAISEA MAKUTU. During her last year at Suva Grammar School the school bus route took them past the Suva Bowling Club and she used to wonder what those people standing on the lawn were doing.
Never did it occur to her that the strange activity would take her places in the international sporting arena later in life.
From a humble and peaceful upbringing by grandparents she still cherishes all that had been experienced at her mum’s village at Lovu, Gau, in the Lomaiviti Group.
Her dad hails from Nacavanadi also in Gau and they separated when she was only two. Her mother moved to Suva to work and she remained on the island with her maternal grandparents.
“All my cousins were boys and whatever they did I was always part of it,” the Fiji Ladies Bowling champion Litia Botei Tikoisuva said.
“I had no other choice but to get involved and be part of the happenings,” she added.
She said that from that tender age she had climbed trees, played marbles, qito icibi (playing with the fruits of the Wa lai or Entadaphaseoloides), veitiqa (to throw a stick horizontally from the tip of a forefinger), spin tops and all the other activities that boys did she enjoyed with them.
The whole duration of her initial educational aspirations from class one to eight was spent at the tikina school at Narocake back at her beautiful home island.
“I was admonished when on the wrong track by my uncle who was the choir master with the village church gospel choir and most importantly the teachers and that paved the way to be an optimist when considering life as a whole.
“Teachers were responsible for our well being and behaviour once we set foot on the school compound and this had instilled discipline which to this day I still maintain.
“It was during those years I also learned the art of plaiting mats, vavakula (adding the wool or coloured fringe), smoking fish to preserve because we did not have electricity and, of course, refrigeration then,” Tikoisuva said.
On weekends she used to accompany her grandfather digging up baits and going out fishing. The catch is to cater for the next or two meals only and can be optional for fish which can be smoked (vesa).
“Food sources were in plenty and eating fresh stuff is something I miss most nowadays.
“My grandmother taught me other things that were useful in everyday life such as washing, cooking and other chores.
“Seafood is always my favourite whether in preparing or having them on my menu especially the Lumi boso, Lumi cevata and Mana.
“I attended Ballantine Memorial School during the third and fourth Forms and had stayed with my aunty before boarding during the second year.
“I moved on to Gospel High School for the New Zealand School Certificate Examination and spent my last academic year at Suva Grammar School for the New Zealand University Entrance qualifier.
“I did not intend to further my studies and joined the corporate services at FINTEL soon after that.
“I also love other sports and have participated in netball and basketball in the business house competition since I joined FINTEL in 1981,” Ms Tikoisuva said.
She joined the Suva Bowling Club as a social member and when the Secretary retired in 1988 and she got the nod for the post but to be an office bearer you have to be a competitive player.
“I was reluctant at first but those words of encouragement in that if you can dance to any type of music then lawn bowls is a walkover and boosted my interest,” she confidently exclaimed.
Ms Tikoisuva is currently ranked eighth in the latest Women’s World Bowls Singles category that was published on December 3, 2010.
She is still single and prefers to stay that way for the time being.


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