Feature

COVID-19 Fails To Stop Tamanivalu From Completing Year 13 In Sweden

The 19-year-old Naivicula lass, from Wainibuka in Tailevu graduated alongside 250 high school students of ProCivitas Malmo School early this month in Trellebor in Sweden.
20 Jun 2021 14:33
COVID-19 Fails To Stop Tamanivalu From Completing Year 13 In Sweden
Agnes Cecelia Tamanivalu with her Social Science award.

The global pandemic COVID-19 fell short in denying Agnes Cecelia Tamanivalu to complete 13 years of school.

She is now ready to start university this August in Sweden.

The 19-year-old Naivicula lass, from Wainibuka in Tailevu graduated alongside 250 high school students of ProCivitas Malmo School early this month in Trellebor in Sweden.

“Due to the coronavirus schools in Sweden closed from November last year to April this year. We had to school from home, and I am fortunate to have completed my Year 13 with flying colours,” she said.

“I have had to work by myself with restrictions due to COVID-19, I was determined to complete high school.

“Life here is better now that half of the population of Sweden have taken their first vaccine shot. Life is gradually getting back to normal with supermarkets opening and restaurants allowing four people to a table up till 10pm.

“I will be taking my first vaccine before I start university.

“I feel for my relatives and families in Fiji with the coronavirus now reaching Korovou in Tailevu, which is close to my village.”

Future plan

Apart from other notable contributions and achievements, Ms Tamanivalu also picked up the top Social Science award during graduation.

“The white hat I am wearing is a traditional hat that all graduates in Sweden wear when they graduate from high school,” she said.

“I am fortunate to have been accepted into a top Swedish university. It is just about an hour from home but I will be residing on campus.”

It is the first time she is moving out of home leaving her dad, former national rugby rep Tomasi Tamanivalu, mum Viveca and younger sister Sonja behind.

Located in the south, Trellebor has a population of 50,000 people. It is located close to Sweden’s third largest city Malmo, which has about 300,000 residents.

Though born and brought up in Sweden bi-lingual Ms Tamanivalu has no intention of staying there all her life.

She is determined to complete her degree in Social Science by the end of the next three years.

She shares her aspiration in working with the United Nations after she graduates with her degree and come to the Pacific to work.

“During Year 12 I was a UN model at school where I was awarded the best delegate prize. There was about 10 students and we had to go through three processes.

“The pinnacle was the three days of debates and the topics included food consumption, safety in school, nuclear weapons, international trade and vaccination distribution.”

Ms Tamanivalu picked up the best delegate award. In her final year in school, she assisted the Year 12 in the UN school programme.

Remebering Fiji

Ms Tamanivalu has been to Fiji twice to visit her nada (father’s late mother). Her last visit was nine years ago.

“My nada passed away last year; I miss our telephone conversations. When I visit Fiji, I visit my nada at the family home in Kinoya, Sigatoka and other places. I have not been to Naivicula yet,” she said.

“My plan and aspiration are to work for the UN after I graduate as I would like to work in Fiji and the Pacific.

“For my degree in my final year I am expected to write a thesis on the Effects of Climate Change of which all expenses for the field trip are paid for and I look forward to coming to the Pacific, especially to Fiji.

“I intend to work on how economy is affected by climate change. I know Fiji is a front liner in global climate change and I intend to come to Fiji for my field trip.

“I am proud of Timoci Naulusala, who is a young global climate change advocate. Not only are we both from Naivivula, but we also belong to the same clan (mataqali Nasekavo).”

Her father is former national rugby rep, who now coaches the Pingvin rugby club. The former Marist Brothers High School student works as a service technician.

He is the younger brother of former Wallaby and Flying Fijian forward, Ilivasi Tabua. Mr Tabua is also a former national rugby coach.

Mr Tabua is tagged with the name ‘Human Skewer’ for his bone crushing tackles.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedbackkaralaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj



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