Apr 11, 2021 Last Updated 4:12 AM, Apr 8, 2021

A leader’s LEGACY

  • Jan 06, 2016
  • By  IVA TORA
A farmer in Seaqaqa, Macuata about to clear his land. Nayacakalou returned  to Fiji at the request of former president Ratu Penaia Ganilau and took up the role of general manager at the then Native Lands Trust Board. . Inset: A book authored by Nayacakalou. A farmer in Seaqaqa, Macuata about to clear his land. Nayacakalou returned to Fiji at the request of former president Ratu Penaia Ganilau and took up the role of general manager at the then Native Lands Trust Board. . Inset: A book authored by Nayacakalou. Photos: Supplied
Published in 2016 January
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THERE is a rousing story that still now, inspires me. As with many other Fijians of my generation and older, the narrative of Rusiate Nayacakalou – the first indigenous Fijian to obtain a doctoral degree or Phd – is perhaps the closest thing to a contemporary legend. The story about Nayacakalou’s rise from simple village boy to academia in one of the world’s most prestigious universities is nothing short of brilliant.

It is so unbelievable that it sounds like something out of the realm of fiction. It dazzles in its brutal undiluted truth. Traditionally from Draubuta Village, Tailevu province in Fiji’s east, Rusiate Nayacakalou was not born into chiefly status or ties. As a young boy, he was sent to Suva to stay with relatives who paid his school fees until it simply reached a point where they could no longer afford to continue paying his fees.

Nayacakalou, however, was so keen – or, obsessed, more like it – with obtaining an education that what he did next was astounding. He would wake up well before dawn – to go and clean buses along Edinburgh Drive in the city. The money he earned from cleaning buses went towards his school fees. The young lad basically paid his way through school from cleaning buses. Imagine that. A boy so fiercely determined and so disciplined about his passion for learning that this was the grinding slog he was willing to subject himself to. Slots Capital Casino 

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