‘Golden’ sacrifice

FOR Naitasiri lad Ratu Tevita Rarokolutu, achieving two gold medals at the University of the South Pacific’s top honours awards was a hard-earned reward after years of sacrifice.

Mr Rarokolutu said his four-year journey at USP was challenging because his father was the sole breadwinner for his family.

“I am very grateful to my parents. They are the source of my inspiration,” Mr Rarokolutu said.

“My dad is the sole breadwinner of my family who was earning just slightly above the poverty line and I remember he would just come home with $20 and I had to find my own way to the university and back.”

The 25-year-old is now a master’s student with the School of Geography and said the journey had not been easy.

“Four years was never an easy journey. Most of my friends see me smiling in school but behind the smile only I know what it was like,” he said.

He said he hoped his story would inspire all Fijian youths to appreciate their parents and work harder.

Mr Rarokolutu attained two gold medals for the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education prize for the most outstanding graduate with a major in education and history.

“I am so grateful that my parents are here tonight. These awards are dedicated to them and to my dearest colleague and friend Ms Penina Waqatabu. She has been a great mentor and she has been inspirational to my life.”

He added that even with his struggles he hoped that this would inspire all Fijian youths.

“My advice to all the young people, to those who are feeling that their parents are not achieving the best for them, to hold on and to remember that our parents are our greatest gifts from God and it’s our responsibility to work much harder to give them the blessings they deserve

Mr Rarokolutu attained two gold medals for the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education prize for the most outstanding graduate with a major in education and history.