Tour Operator Brings Hope To Former Tourism Workers

10-member band plans to hold first concert when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
11 Jun 2021 16:09
Tour Operator Brings Hope To Former Tourism Workers
One of the directors for the Vodre Drokadroka Ni Vanuwata band, Sitiveni Nawaqa.

A tour operator has brought hope to some people who lost jobs in the tourism sector, with a $24,000 investment in musical instruments and a new album, soon to be released.

Sitiveni Nawaqa, one of the directors of the recently-formed band, Vodre Drokadroka Ni Vanuwata (VDV) has helped put together a 10-member band into an opportunity that would benefit them and their families in the long run.

Mr Nawaqa, a father of four children, is one of the directors for the Nadroga-based company, Mick’s Fiji Tours and Transfers.

The company was not spared by the impacts of the global pandemic and had to improvise to support themselves financially.

He said the band owners were from two villages in Nadroga, – Tau and Sanasana.

“We formed this band when the pandemic started and our company couldn’t handle what COVID-19 had done to us in terms of job loss for our workers and revenue loss for the company. So, our staff had another idea of generating income,” he said.

“We have done a song in light of the pandemic, we had done one for Mother’s Day, for the people of Sanasana and some of the songs in the album are written for people based on their requests.

“I never thought that one day I would have a band because I have a tourism background, but this is fun and a learning experience for me.”

The band has done several gigs and were overwhelmed with the support.

“Earlier this year we put together our album, ‘VDV Band Volume 1’ and have, so far, composed 16 original songs,” Mr Nawaqa said.

“At the moment only six songs are out on YouTube. People from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa have been listening to our songs as well.”

The group intends to hold its first concert when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.




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