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New Start: Ex-Inmate Graduates With FNU Honours

“The years I was in there I was always thinking of what my future will look like so I started to make plans that would be meaningful when I get out,” he said.
30 Sep 2022 13:00
New Start: Ex-Inmate Graduates With FNU Honours
Waisea Makulau, with his diploma from the Fiji National University. Photo: Josefa Babitu

A former inmate has graduated from the Fiji National University after realising that life behind bars was a waste of time and his freedom.

Waisea Makulau committed a crime more than three years ago while working for a telecommunication company in Labasa.

He was found guilty by the court and was sentenced to prison for three years and six months.

“The years I was in there I was always thinking of what my future will look like so I started to make plans that would be meaningful when I get out,” he said.

 

“Being imprisoned was a waste of time for me because I know my capabilities.”

“I have been through many obstacles and that has led me to move on. It was not the end of it – my life.”

When the 30-year-old was released from prison, he enrolled himself at the university to make sure he drew a smile on faces that played a huge role in his life.

“I owe a lot to many people and this achievement is for them because I’m their end product,” he said.

 

Mr Makulau’s education was paid by the Fijian Government through the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS).

The Vanua Levu native initially started his tertiary education at the University of the South Pacific studying law before he went to prison.

However, life took a turn and made him a graduate in Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management. He holds a Higher Education Diploma in this field.

“It was a dream for me to be here today. Life has never been easy but I always make sure that I remain proactive, which led to today,” he said.

“My TELS was on probation but I passed the test and they allowed me to get back to school and that led to here.”

 

“This achievement is also for my disabled mother who continued to believe in me.”

He is on work attachment at the university.

“Thing is not the end of it, there are many more chances ahead,” he said.

“Life is all about being disciplined and self-motivated.”

 

Story by: josefa.babitu@fijisun.com.fj



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