Business

Let’s Go Local: Levuka is Where I Want to Go

A man who has worked for the then Air Fiji for 11 years as an aircraft engineer has helped his friend realise his $3.5 million project in Vunika, Labasa. Senitieli Tawake and Jitendra Chand, both from Vuo, Labasa have been friends for 21 years. Their rare friendship has captured many people’s attention after the opening of Vuo Supermarket last month.
13 Mar 2022 17:30
Let’s Go Local: Levuka is Where I Want to Go
Heritage site buildings at Levuka Town, Ovalau.

A man who has worked for the then Air Fiji for 11 years as an aircraft engineer has helped his friend realise his $3.5 million project in Vunika, Labasa.

Senitieli Tawake and Jitendra Chand, both from Vuo, Labasa have been friends for 21 years.

Their rare friendship has captured many people’s attention after the opening of Vuo Supermarket last month.

They are working very hard to help the people living in Vunika and the surrounding villages and settlements to experience town life which they have been deprived of for years.

Even at the age of 45, Mr Tawake who has had no business background was sacrificing a lot to get this project completed.

As a project coordinator he is working along with 37 staff.

Senitieli Tawake.

Senitieli Tawake.

The father of five has been working since 2017 getting all the documents and structure done for the Vuo Supermarket while Mr Chand and his partner, Suresh Mani resided in Australia.

Now they are in Labasa working with Mr Tawake on building a service station, two holiday villas and rentals beside the supermarket.

“For me it is about being honest and faithfully working with the people and believing that God will take care of the rest,” Mr Tawake said.

“Integrity is something that is not taught in school and I tell you it supersedes the degree that one holds.”

He said one needs to ask what he or she has done for the company or ministry they work for apart from the job description.

He holds a Trade Certificate in Aircraft Engineering from New

How many places have you visited around Fiji?

I have been to Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. I am left to visit the Lau Group. I heard there is lot of potential there.

What is the one place in Fiji you would take visitors to, and why?

If anyone wants to experience the real Fijian way of living, he or she must visit Vorovoro Island or Mali Island in the Macuata Province.

Many Americans send their children to these islands to learn about the Fijian culture. Even overseas university students spend a few days on these islands.

What is your favourite place for coffee/pie, and why?

I don’t go anywhere for coffee because I love to use Fiji’s local products to make my own coffee.

I am proud to say we get our own Fijian Made sugar, milk and coffee. When I am at work I make coffee

for everyone in the office and they enjoy it. As for pie, I choose to eat homemade pie made by my lovely wife.

What is your favourite backyard spot, and why?

My sugarcane farm at Waiqele, Labasa, which I bought recently. I have lived most of my time in Nadi and I want to experience what it is like to be a farmer.

What is one place in Fiji that remains on your bucket list, and why Levuka?

I really want to know Fiji’s history such as the signing of the Deed of Cession and how the first missionary arrived and worked.



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