Aliki Bia Tells Of His Humble Beginnings

Aliki Bia is not ashamed to share the story of his humble beginnings. He hopes It will inspire and motivate youths who might have thought that they have no purpose in life.
09 Oct 2022 10:55
Aliki Bia Tells Of His Humble Beginnings
FijiFirst provisional candidate Aliki Bia

Aliki Bia is not ashamed to share the story of his humble beginnings. He hopes It will inspire and motivate youths who might have thought that they have no purpose in life.

The 33 year-old was one of the 20 provisional candidates announced by the FijiFirst party on Thursday.

The former journalist’s story is one of struggle, tears and also success.

Mr Aliki is a direct descendant of the Solomon Islanders that were brought to Fiji to work in the early 1900s.

However he has been registered under the Vola ni kawa bula (VKB) in Sawaieke village, Gau in the Lomaiviti group.

His story He grew up in an informal settlement in Veiraisi, Nadera before he later moved to Newtown in Nasinu.

“I attended Bishop Kempthorne Memorial School in Newtown from Class 1 to 8. From there I went on to Queen Victoria School from Form 3 to Form 7 (Years 9 to 13).

“My mother and father were both unemployed. All they did was fish and we would accompany them at times as kids.

At times when the weather wasn’t favourable we would camp out at sea and after a few days we would return home.

“Whatever we caught was we would go out and sell them and were able to pay our school fees.

There were four of us. The eldest was a female who is now a teacher and my twin and we have a younger sibling.

‘Life was hard.’

He said at times they wouldn’t have anything for breakfast before going to school and sometimes take nothing for lunch.

“Life was difficult growing up.

When we moved to Newtown, life continued to be a struggle.

“My parents decided to move to Ba to cut sugarcane; it was a moment I will never forget.

“From Class two to six we were schooling at home with my siblings and my mother was the only one teaching us.

“When we were in Class six my parents thought to have us sit for our Intermediate exam, so that happened and we were sent back to Newtown to sit the exam.

“When we sat for the exam, we topped the children of Nasinu that year for Intermediate.”

He said while in primary school, he and his brother would run to a breadfruit tree behind the school to hide because we did not have any food to eat.

“We would then make our way back to the classroom when lunch time was over; it was not always easy for us.”

After passing their Form 7 (Year 13) exams, his father said that he would only be able to send one of them to university as he was getting weak and he wasn’t able to fish like before.

“I told him that I would let my twin go to university and I would look after them. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I made the choice out of a good heart.

At one point I was following the wheelbarrow boys in town from 2009.”

Work in the Media As a wheelbarrow boy, one day he came across a table in the market where he heard a radio announcer calling out for interested persons to audition to become announcers.

“That day, with whatever old clothes, torn pants that I was wearing I walked up to Viti FM and joined the line of those that were auditioning.

“That day a man that saw me in line asked me if I was at the right place because he saw my clothes.

“When I entered the interview room I saw Vijay Narayan and Mala Veisamasama sitting, they asked me a Fijian and English question.

“Afterwards I walked out, Vijay followed me out and asked me why I was wearing what I was wearing, I told him I was a wheelbarrow boy and that I was searching for a better job.

He told me that he would call me on Monday to work with the news.

“The very next week I began my career with CFL; no university; three months it took me to grasp the work of a journalist.

That was my humble beginnings.

“After six months, I was a permanent staff at Viti FM. After a year I was the editor of the iTaukei desk

“No university, but pure talent from God,” he said.

He believed it was his obedience to his parents to let his other brother go through university that enabled him a job in the media industry.

“When I joined FBC I took my first trip overseas to a meeting of all Pacific Island leaders.”

Mr Bia worked for Mai TV before joining the political arena. He has encouraged youths to remain steadfast in the faith and never let anyone think less of you.

“Be honest in the little and big things, never be ashamed of your humble beginnings and stay obedient to your elders.”

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