NATION

Vakalala’s Five-Year Sacrifice Pays Off

It took Luke Vakalala five long years of study away from his family in Nasoso, Nadi to achieve his dreams. Graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from
27 Sep 2016 11:30
Vakalala’s Five-Year Sacrifice Pays Off
From left: Mother, Sereima Vakalala, Dr Jone Vakalala and father, Joseva Vakalala in Nasoso, Nadi yesterday. Photo: Litia Tikomailepanoni

It took Luke Vakalala five long years of study away from his family in Nasoso, Nadi to achieve his dreams.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morroco in the Northeastern tip of Africa was beyond his wildest dreams.

And it was the Government he owed thanks to, says the 28-year-old.

The eager beaver yesterday finally arrived home in Nasoso where his parents received him with a grand welcome.

Dr Vakalala is now a specialist in Human Anatomy.

His life was changed in 2011 when he was offered the then labelled Public Service Commission Scholarship.

“My parents and I will forever be grateful to the Fijian Government for giving me the opportunity beyond my dreams,” Dr Vakalala said.

“It was a tough life before this, but things were sure to get better after this. In those five years I struggled as I didn’t make any visits in that time.”

He is the fourth child of eight siblings and said the challenges that he faced made him even more determined to finish his education.

“It was difficult because of the language barrier and being away from my family.

“The country is different with their main languages being French and Arabic. English is the fifth in the pecking order of vernacular.

“Also the climate. They had the real four seasons: summer, spring, autumn and winter. It was really hard during winter but all this challenged me not to give up as I thought of my humble beginning,” he said.

“My family motivated me when I thought back of our humble beginnings.

“My dad having to leave the village for casual work as a security and trying to make ends meet.

“My mum was a cleaner at Fiji National University and after a while studied and is in a better working environment now.

“I was thinking about my siblings who were younger than me. They really motivated me and made me work hard.”

Dr Vakalala was amongst the three of the eleven students in the batch of 2011 who stayed back to complete their studies.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  litia.tikomailepanoni@fijisun.com.fj

 

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