The bu boss

How the bu changed one man’s life

WHEN the entrepreneurial bug bit Inia Komaicawalevu in 2000, he didn’t realise he was to be more than his own boss. He quit his job of 10 years at the Public Works Department to try his hand as a road side peddler selling bu (young coconut) juice at Jittu Estate, Raiwasa, in what was then Suva’s suburban mushrooming informal settlement.

Now 55, he sits back and reflects on how that life-changing decision has resulted in a service that has become a first for Suva. “I was tired of being ordered around. I had worked for PWD, and I was tired of working for others. In my heart, I knew I was born to be a farmer,” he candidly points out as we shelter in the shade of his humble home at Jittu.

Mr Komaicawalevu, who hails from Vatulele in the Lomaiviti Island group, became phenomenal through his initiative to not only create work for himself, but to do the same for the growing number of unemployed young men of his community.

As it turned out, he not only became his own boss, but, as he claims, the first person to sell bu juice in Suva. “I found time working for others was difficult. I chose bu because it’s the healthiest natural, God-made drink on earth. People need bu.” And bu is in endless supply, he says.

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