Wedding Plans Crash After Man Dies in Alleged Brawl

“It’s hard to believe that he won’t be at my graduation now.”
10 May 2019 13:36
Wedding Plans Crash After Man Dies in Alleged Brawl
From left: Rusila Uluilakeba and Kalesi Marama.

Rusila Uluilakeba had plans to marry her fiance later this year.

But that came crashing down last week when Pauliasi Nanulo Rokowaqa, 26, of Taviya Village, Ovalau, died after an alleged Nadi nightclub brawl last week.

A heartbroken Ms Uluilakeba, 21, who is originally from Vatukuca Village in Cakaudrove and is a Human Resource (HR) and Tourism degree third-year student at the University of the South Pacific (USP), said their dream wedding would remain a dream.

The last two years had been surreal after they met and fell in love instantly, she said.

“It was love at first sight,” Ms Uluilakeba said.

She struggled to find the words to describe her loss. Today, she will make that sentimental journey to where it all started, at the Navuloa Methodist Church in Nakasi, Nasinu.

His funeral service will be conducted there before his burial at the Nasinu Cemetry.

It was at Navuloa Methodist Church where they met for the first time.

She was a chorus singer living at Dravo Village, Tailevu, where she has maternal links.

The late Mr Rokowaqa was also a chorus singer from Navuloa. They were attending a Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) function.

“On the day I first saw him, I was smitten. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship and love affair,” she said.

She said Mr Rokowaqa stood out from all the men at Navuloa Methodist Church that day.

She said she was looking forward for him to support her by being at her graduation in September this year.

“It’s hard to believe that he won’t be at my graduation now.”

Every day for the past two years, Mr Rokowaqa, an attachee with the Fiji Corrections Service, made it a point to call her at 7.45am to say hello and to tell her what he was doing that day.

Last Thursday she said her sweetheart did not call and she thought he would call later.

“I was very curious and nervous when he did not call after 1pm,”

“When I did not receive a call from him later in the afternoon, I called his twin brother Taniela Rokowaqa and he told me that Pauliasi  had died from a brawl in Nadi.

“I just cried and cried and deep in my heart I know I’ll never meet my sweetheart again.”

His mother, 45-year-old Kalesi Marama, said as of yesterday she knew that her son was still working in Lautoka.

She said: “I will only believe that my son is dead when I see him lying in his coffin.”

Ms Marama has eight children and the eldest are the twins – Taniela and Pauliasi.

She said Pauliasi was very disciplined and respected all in the family and his friends.

“I really miss him,” she said.

Ms Marama said they were planning to go to Ms Uuilakeba’s family to traditionally ask for her hand in marriage. If she accepted, the wedding would be in October.

“Now that is not going to happen,” she said. But she refused to accept that he was dead.

Edited by Epineri Vula


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