NATION

Grandmother Emotional About Early Days At University

Unaisi Talolo Sitaba, 66, was emotion­al as she related her story of strug­gle and experiences during her early days at the University of the South Pacific three years after it
03 Jun 2018 11:04
Grandmother Emotional About Early Days At University
Unaisi Talolo Sitaba during the official launch of USP 50th Anniversary on Friday night in Labasa. Photo: WATI TALEBULA

Unaisi Talolo Sitaba, 66, was emotion­al as she related her story of strug­gle and experiences during her early days at the University of the South Pacific three years after it opened its doors.

Speaking at the celebrations in Labasa to mark the USP’s 50th anniversary, the moth­er-of-six who is originally from Keteira Vil­lage in Moala, Lau, said her late father mo­tivated her to study at USP when it opened its doors in 1968.

“I was coming from Keteira with my fa­ther, Mosese Sitaba, in January 1968 and was waiting for my Form Four results. I was sleeping when my father woke me up and said I had passed. My father told me something that I have never forgotten and it was that he wanted me to be one of the first iTaukei girls to attend USP,” Ms Sitaba said.

“I was closer to my father than my moth­er because I was an only child. My father taught me everything a guy should do and I was always getting a growling from my mother to learn how to weave mats, cook and wash clothes.

“My father died the same year and I never forgot what he told me. It was 1971 that I started at USP to fulfil my father’s dream. It wasn’t easy, especially when I failed the first year.

“I went and did Home Economics at USP and was growled at because I was left hand­ed. I wanted to pick up on what my mother wanted to teach me because I was always going to the farm with my father. Whenever I sew I had to remove the thread again and my teacher used to tell me, ‘Unaisi your stitches are like a drunk man on a Satur­day night’. My mother did everything for me since I was an only child so when I did Home Economics I had to do laundry, cook­ing and sewing,” she said.

“Whenever I went to the kitchen things would fall and my teacher used to tell me, ‘Unaisi you’re like a bull in a china shop’. I graduated in 1975 with a Diploma in Educa­tion. In 1988, I graduated BA in Language, Literature & Geography”

“In 2007, I graduated with a Postgrad Di­ploma in Management and Public Adminis­tration. In 2008, I graduate with a Masters in Commerce, Public Administration and Management.”

Ms Sitaba plans to pursue her PHD in Po­etry.

The last time Ms Sitaba went to Keteira was in 1987.

She has 14 grandchildren and lives with her husband at Wailevu, outside Labasa town.

She encourages youths to do their best and to study hard to make their parents proud.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



Five Squares 4th Birthday


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF App
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper