Girl: Who Will be My Cheerleader?

Young athlete Alitia Naiobahali was looking forward to see her mother cheer her to the finishing line next week. But her wish was shattered yesterday after Mereoni Kalini was found
19 Oct 2016 11:15
Girl: Who Will be My Cheerleader?
Victim Mereoni Kalini with son Peceli Nasinibokola, Miriama Ratubuli(pink top)Dad Vinayara Ratubuli and Alitia Naiobahali Ratubuli. Photo:Litia Tikomailepanoni

Young athlete Alitia Naiobahali was looking forward to see her mother cheer her to the finishing line next week.

But her wish was shattered yesterday after Mereoni Kalini was found dead on the Queens Road highway yesterday morning.

Tearful Naiobahali, 12, asked: “Who is going to be standing at the finishing line to cheer me on?

“I will miss her coming to see me run next week when I will be competing against other students,” she said at their family home in Voua Village in Nadroga.

Family members who had arrived to console and comfort her and her siblings cried with her as she asked the questions.

Mystery surrounds Ms Kalini’s death.

Ms Kalini was found lying on the road near Volivoli village in Sigatoka.

The 30-year-old mother of four was originally from Vatusekiyasawa in Ra. She was a handicraft business owner at Fiji Hideaway Resort and Spa. Her husband, Vinayara Ratubuli, 36, is a Tattooist at Paco’s Tattoo in Sigatoka Town.

Her four children are Alitia Ratubuli in class 7 (12years old), Miriama Ratubuli in class 3 (8 years old), Peceli Ratubuli in class 1 (6 years old) and 1-year-old Isei Nayaravoro.

According to the victim’s sister-in-law Ilisapeci Haniesivo, Ms Kalini was a kind woman and had a beautiful soul.

“When it comes to her children she made sure they never feel lonely although she was a working mother. She never misses any of her daughter’s game, she made it a point to be present at every event,” she said.

“Like any mother she would be cheering her lungs out and made sure she cheered the loudest when her daughter had the ball or was about to run.”

Ms Haniesivo said during last week’s Sigatoka zone competition, she met her sister-in-law (victim). She said Ms Kalini who was sitting at the pavilion, ran down to the finishing line and was cheering on her daughter who came first in the event.

Naiobahali will be taking part in next week’s Nadroga Central meet where she will be running in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4×100 metres relay event.

“She was friendly and very welcoming, this you can notice in the number of relatives that live with them and friends that know her at the resort and at home.”

Ms Hanniesivo said her last conversation with her sister-in-law was through a phone call at around 10pm on Monday where she was asking to be picked up from where she was.

However, the family woke up to an unexpected knock on the door at 4am (Tuesday morning) from the Police who broke the tragic news.

A villager in Volivoli who wished to remain anonymous said drivers who were travelling early in the morning found the victim lying on the road and reported the matter to Police.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said: “The body of the 30-year-old woman was found lying on the road near Volivoli Village on Tuesday morning at 2am.

“It is alleged she may have been a victim of a road accident. However, Police are trying to establish this and a post mortem examination will determine the victim’s cause of death.

“The victim is believed to have been wearing a black and red t-shirt with jeans and was last seen around the service station near the Sigatoka Roundabout at around midnight with friends.”

She said anyone with information is requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919 or the Sigatoka Police Station on 990-5993.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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