Flying High

Fijian goes from garbage collecting to flying in world's best- Qatar Airways
08 Nov 2022 12:20
Flying High
Fereti Toribau.

A Fijian is living the mile-high dream on the world’s best, multi award-winning airline, Qatar Airways.

Fereti Toribau, became a flight attendant for the airline a few months ago. But it’s a stark contrast from what the now 25-year0old used to live.

In 2016, he went to New Zealand to further his education. To sustain himself, he got a job as a rubbish collector in the busy streets of Auckland City.

He also worked other part-time jobs cleaning and washing clothes at a nursing home.

“I remember a few times I used to be soaked wet in the rain hanging at the back of a rubbish truck and feeling inadequate,” he said.

“I knew I had potential. It was brewing inside,” he said.


A Yearning For More

Something within him told him that this wasn’t the life for him and that a much brighter life awaited him in another country.

Three years went by and all was still the same until he received a reawakening at church conference one day.

“You’re not supposed to be here, God has something better for you and he’s already shown you what to do,” he recalled the encouragement from a pastor at the conference.

“You have to do it in order to reach God’s purpose, you need to step out in faith and trust him.”

He realised life was not in New Zealand. And so he decided to come back to Fiji.

The next two years were faced with greater challenges after being rejected from job interviews.

Then an opening to be part of the Fiji Police Force opened and it so happened that he got in.


New Beginning

While the Bau, Tailevu, man enjoyed law enforcement he yearned for more.

Until the recruitment at Qatar Airways presented itself and there he thought to try out a new field.

“I kept it a secret from everyone and I first told my parents after everything was done,” the third of four siblings said.

In order to finance himself to get to Dohar, he said: “I used to sell curry packs, cakes, pies for my money to buy extra stuff and business attire for my Qatar Airways training.”

Today, living in one of the high-income economies of the world, Mr Toribau said: “My message to young people would be that life is all about perspective and running your own race.”

“We’re fortunate enough to have been founded on God, on beliefs, on tradition.”

“These all add up to make us who we are. With all that you have, be your own number one supporter. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to hustle.”

Today, Mr Toribau is able to support his family after his father retired.

Around 50 Fijians are said to be working for Qatar Airways.



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