NATION

Five-Year Study Hiatus Ends With Great Joy

Ilisoni Turagakula Bokoi dropped out of university just af­ter two years of enrolling in 2009 to study marine science because of peer pressure. From 2011 to 2017 he worked on
21 Sep 2018 11:00
Five-Year Study Hiatus Ends With Great Joy
Proud mother Kinisimere Bokoi, graduate Ilisoni Bokoi with father Akuila Bokoi after the graduation on September 20,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

Ilisoni Turagakula Bokoi dropped out of university just af­ter two years of enrolling in 2009 to study marine science because of peer pressure.

From 2011 to 2017 he worked on his father’s farm as a farm boy because he had no other means of having an income.

He even worked as a graphic artist.

It was then that he realised his true purpose to be a marine scientist because he loved the ocean and he loved to fish.

He harboured that dream until a conversation with his parents in which he gave them an undertaking to complete his university studies if they paid his fees.

Yesterday Mr Bokoi reaped the fruits of his hard work and made his parents proud with his achieve­ment.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science at the University of the South Pacific Lau­cala Campus graduation ceremony at FMF Gymnasium in Suva yester­day.

The 28-year-old from Nagigi Vil­lage, Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu, be­gan his academic journey in 2009.

After studying for two years, Mr Bokoi dropped out and started look­ing work elsewhere.

“I was working for my dad as farm­boy for a few years because I was unemployed and that was the only option,” he said.

“Then my parents encouraged me to go back to school and I made an ultimatum to them if they could only pay my school fees, I would ea­gerly oblige their request.

“In 2017, I came back to Laucala campus and started with my final four units, but I did not sit my final exams.”

Mr Bokoi said peer pressure had taken its toll on his studies and the end result was visible.

“When I was working as graphic artist at BLK, I realised that my pas­sion for the sea was still there,” he said.

“It was my true calling and I took it upon myself to complete my degree.

“I have two older siblings; my older sister had already graduated with a doctorate and my brother is a graph­ic artist, so I was sort of left out.”

Mr Bokoi’s message to all the stu­dents who experience downfalls and difficulties is that there is no age barrier in education.

“You are still young and you can prove yourself and how worthy you are,” he said.

His father, Akuila Bokoi, was a very proud parent yesterday.

“My older two children already graduated. Ilisoni was the only one left and it was my duty to make him qualified,” he said.

“His mother and I have been pres­suring and pushing him, until last year he made up his mind, so he completed his studies.

“I now feel complete and am at peace. Now the only thing he has to do is to look for a job,” he said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj



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