Youngest Chief Looks After Pejei

The Young Chief Was Given The Role Three Years Ago. Gagaj Means Chief.
06 Sep 2022 07:00
Youngest Chief Looks After Pejei
Gagaj Suakamaas (right), gives a thumbs up as his villagers were given Government-sponsored solar energy forms on September 2, 2022. Photo: Josefa Babitu

Gagaj Suakamaas is the youngest chief on the island of Rotuma.

He leads the district of Pepjei that has a population of more than 150 people.

The young chief was given the role three years ago.


“I was in Lautoka in Fiji when I got the call to come and lead the district,” he said.

“We have three clans here in the district and it was time for my clan to lead.”

“It was our turn but all my uncles could not make it because they have moved on to greener pastures.


“That was when I was told to come and lead.”

Gagaj Suakamaas said it was humbling to have seen his elders listen when he instructed something for the village.

Gagaj is a title used for all the chiefs on the island. He is married with two children.


Adjusting Lifestyle

“I had to adjust to the life here in the village when I first came because it was really different,” he recalled.

“In Lautoka, I was just like other people who were trying to fend for themselves. I had to adjust to the village lifestyle because I was no longer in Fiji. The other thing was that I settled in as a chief.”


He did his primary and most secondary education on the island before moving to Viti Levu to complete his education at then Laucala Bay Secondary School in 2014.

“If you’re chosen for a role, do not look at age or anything that will make you doubt yourself,” he said.

“Build on your capability and do your best in everything.”



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