Strong Heart Creates Strong Mind, Says Ex-Drug Addict Now Lawyer

“The main reason we fail is because we do not try, we need to remove ‘quitting’ completely from our minds, its only then we will know that it’s not an option and we have to keep trying all the time until we get what we want. ” Isikeli Ralovo.
23 May 2019 22:19
Strong Heart Creates Strong Mind, Says Ex-Drug Addict Now Lawyer
Isikeli Ralovo… embracing the future with a strong heart and a strong mind.

Drug addiction, peer pressure and hopelessness were part and parcel of Isikeli Ralovo’s life for more than two decades while growing up.

Being labelled a failure and having no dream was a norm for the 35-year-old back then.

However, all these changed when he heard of a mind lecture by the South Korea based International Youth Fellowship (IYF) an organisation that aims to make young people possess the power to solve the world’s toughest problems.

This turned Mr Ralovo’s life for the better.

Today, he is an intern at Reddy and Nandan Law firm as he awaits getting admitted to the bar in December.



“As I grew up, I got into drugs, and it became part of my life at a very young age,” Mr Ralovo said.

“The one thing that I look back now that affected me the most were the things people said about me,” he said

“Once people said I was good for nothing, I accepted it and I expected only the bad things in life.

“Things got worse, I was always actually running from the police being labelled a gonesisi (rebel).”

He said it all began when he failed his Form Six examination Fiji School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in high school at Suva Grammar School.

“After completing Form Six I accepted my life to be what oth­ers labelled me – and that was good for nothing.

“I had no dream, no hope, my plan was to reach Form Six and that was it, there were no plans after that.

“After that I became a drug dealer and addict, I realised I was good at eating drugs and that was what I was going to do for the rest of my life, so I accepted it.

“My own family shied away from me not in a bad way but when my aunties and uncles would meet up and discuss about the progress of their children, I was always the one left out, that was my life.

“When I reached the age of 30, I realised that it was too late, I accepted all those downfalls to be my life.”



All these changed when an IYF mind lecture caught his at­tention.

“I came across this mind lecture and I saw these three letter word International Youth Fellowship; I didn’t know what it meant but it looked funny to me because I saw Koreans.

“I decided to listen to what they were preaching, it was what they had said that day that got deep into me and it was ‘chang­ing a person was all in the mind’.

“They reiterated their message that if you change the mindset of a person automatically his behaviour changes, his family changes, the community changes, the society changes and the world changes as well.

“Then we were told about the story of the man who founded KFC, he was 68, retired from work when he started a business with no money; he had to knock on doors looking for money.

“He was rejected 1008 times until he was finally given the loan to start his business.

“So, I began to change my mindset, I had to think if he was 68 but did not give up until he got what he wanted I can be the same too.



He decided to go back to school.

“My family thought it was a joke.

“All they said was ‘What! a drug addict would want to go back to school and study law?’.

“There was no hope from them because they knew me too well.

“But all that didn’t stop me, I knocked on three doors seeking for scholarship but I was not given any but I kept asking until I got it; giving up was not an option.

“I had to start from foundation studies and you can imagine being inside that foundation class at 30 while the rest were freshman.”

After completing foundation studies he enrolled at Fiji National University’s law school.

“My parents were shocked, never in their wildest dreams did they think I was going to get into law school.

“That is where it all began, I went in to law school at FNU, I founded the law students’ association and became its first president.

“I did my first year then second year; progressed well to the end. My parents realised I was serious with my life and choices.

“I graduated in May 2018 from law school and out of the 60-80 students that we started together only four graduated and the drug addict (me) was one of them.”



Mr Ralovo said: “The main reason we fail is because we do not try, we need to remove ‘quitting’ completely from our minds, its only then we will know that it’s not an option and we have to keep trying all the time until we get what we want.

“When I was studying my dad was hospitalised, I studied at his bedside and I bathed at the ICU bathroom everytime I had to attend classes.

“I was in my third year when he passed on and I was by his bedside, many thought it was going to be an end point for me but quitting was not on my list.

“This was all possible because of my involvement with IYF, attending all their mind lectures that made me realise how bad I was living my life.

“That is where change came in and I acknowledge the work that they continue to do in the country.

He said the organisation was not about giving people money or aid but train individuals find their way up the ladder with a clear and better mindset to be a person of influence.

“Slowly and little by little things changed for me personally.

“First thing that changed was my mindset, I developed a dream, they made me look further than my nose.

“Automatically my mind was aligned, five years ago I was in and out of police stations but five years later I was totally a different person.

“When my life changed, the lives of everyone around me changed and everything changed.

“My parents, my siblings, when I speak everyone listen be­cause my words have value, I realised I had it all in my mind these years but I just didn’t discover it because my mindset was driven by what others say about me.”

Mr Ralovo urges youths not let anyone else write their book, but be authors of their own life story.

“IYF teaches the world of the heart and how everything be­gins and ends in the heart.

“If your heart is strong, no matter who or where you are, you will always prosper.

“A strong heart creates a strong mind.”


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