NATION

Corogaki Comes A Long Way From Humble Beginnings

Miliakere Corogaki left her village of Nacavanadi on Gau Island at the age of nine, not knowing what the future held for her. She left with her mother on an
04 Dec 2016 11:03
Corogaki  Comes A Long Way From Humble Beginnings
From left: Essence of Fiji and Senikai Spas managing director and director of Spa Academy Fiji Debra Sadranu, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji Margaret Twomey, and Senikai Spa in Nadi operations manager Miliakere Corogaki during the Spa Academy Fiji graduation at Tanoa International in Nadi. Photo: Jessie Stenborg

Miliakere Corogaki left her village of Nacavanadi on Gau Island at the age of nine, not knowing what the future held for her.

She left with her mother on an uncle’s request from Vatukoula to go over and look after his children.

With a small bag of clothes, they set sail for Viti Levu and onto the gold mining settlement.

Now 50, she holds the position of operations manager and looks after Senikai Spa in Nadi, the company that shaped her into one of Fiji’s leading pioneers in spa and beauty therapy.

On Saturday night, Ms Corogaki, was especially recognised during the Spa Academy Fiji’s graduation at Tanoa International in Nadi.

Thirty-seven students whom she helped trained, graduated with ‘Certificate in Beauty and Spa Therapy Level 4’.

Twenty-five of them have benefitted from scholarships to the South Pacific Academy of Beauty and Therapy provided by the Australian government through the Pacific Women programme.

This is a programme that has gone through its second year, with confirmation of continued sponsorship for 2017.

At the awards, Ms Corogaki was emotional as her husband, Epeli Kolitagane, was not there to witness the event.

Mr Kolitagane had passed away this year and was there every year during graduation to see the young completing their training and moving on into the tourism industry.

Ms Corogaki’s story growing up was having no texts books while at school at Tavua Andhra Sangam Primary and Tavua College.

She met families like the Handysides and Prakashs who took her into their home on weekends so that she could use their children’s books.

She had passed form five examinations but had to leave school because her mother could not afford it any more.

Ms Corogaki then approached the managing director of Essence of Fiji and Senikai Spas, Debra Sadranu. Ms Sadranu offered to take her in.  Ms Corogaki had to sell homemade buns, kava and doormats to pay for her fees which was $2800 in 1997.

However, Ms Corogaki was grateful that she went through the struggles she endured because it has made her what she had become.

(More on graduation and list in tomorrow’s edition).

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: