Careers

How Ana Waqatabu’s Struggles Taught Her To Reach Her Goals

The happily married mother of two, who hails from Dakuiloa, Oneata in Lau, graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the Fiji National University.
28 Feb 2020 12:28
How Ana Waqatabu’s Struggles Taught Her To Reach Her Goals
Ana Waqatabu (middle) with her family after being admitted to the Bar by Acting Chief Justice Kamal Kumar on February 27, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Ana Waqatabu is the epitome of perseverance.

The 30-year-old yesterday stood side-by-side with colleagues receiving her official documents to practise law.

The happily married mother of two, who hails from Dakuiloa, Oneata in Lau, graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the Fiji National University.

She completed her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practices from the University of Fiji.

She was one of the six legal practitioners, who were admitted to the bar, by Acting Chief Justice Kamal Kumar yesterday.

But this is a stark contrast to the life she lived back in 2013 to 2015.

She used to work for a soap packing manufacturing company with her husband.

She’s encountered many dreams that she wished she could fulfil and like any other, hurdles came along with them.

Ms Waqatabu lost her parents at the age of 16, which was the devasting part of her journey.

“I wanted to do aircraft engineering but I did not get a scholarship so I joined the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces in 2009,” she said.

“In 2010 I started studying law at the University of the South Pacific but then I dropped out of law school and got married.

“I did not grow up wanting to be a lawyer but I had a cousin sister who influenced and motivated me to get into law school.”

She recalled that after she had her daughter and were renting, then she realised it was financially difficult to manage everything.

“I took up the job at my husband’s workplace and packed soap as a source of income.

“While time went by, I got fed up and thought to myself that it was so boring and I could be better than this.

“Then I went back to law school and started studying law again to pursue a career as a lawyer.”

Ms Waqatabu is also the first lawyer in her family and the first in the family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

She said her brothers had dropped out of high school but she continued her education until she finished Year 13.

“I was really angry that my parents had died and was doing everything in anger.

“Then I thought and realised in life that all this wasn’t going to get me anywhere and I had to change myself and my life around and here I am,” Ms Waqatabu said.

While handing over her certificate, Acting Chief Justice Kumar also shared a part of his struggles to her.

“When I was called to come and work for a company, I was painting a roof in hot weather,” he said.

“I was called to go and give an interview. You and I both went through hard times.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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