Overcoming challenges

Onisimo Votea as a steward on board the Lomaiviti Princess 1. Picture: SUPPLIED

TO describe Onisimo Votea 23, in a single word one would straightforwardly use the word witty. Witty in the sense that anyone who meets him would likely become a friend instantly and of course laughter being the key ingredient associated with this budding friendship. Apart from his witty personality, there is so much more to Onisimo than meets the eye. Onnie, as his known to close friends and colleagues, just happens to be a triplet who was raised by a single mother.

With a soft smile on his face he shares about being raised in a broken family and how his mum was determined to overcome life challenges to make her children successful in their individual lives.

Onisimo a steward on board the Goundar Shipping Ltd Lomaiviti Princess I (LP I) appreciates what he does daily and his supportive colleagues are an additional bonus to his new career.

“This is my fourth week on board the LP I and my work includes serving passengers on board the vessel and looking after their needs during the duration of their trip with us,” he said.

“We make sure that passengers’ are taken care of during emergencies and we look after their requirements at the information desk.

“As a steward I have travelled to the outer islands of Fiji. Places that I didn’t get to see while growing up in Viti Levu, particularly in mum’s village Nakaile in Tailevu. “I’ve had the chance to visit the Lomaiviti Islands, Kadavu and Savusavu which is a wonderful experience.”

He said his mum was supportive towards her three children, even after she got separated from their father.

“She played the role of father and mother to us extremely well that she even made us behave accordingly like a father would. She had that strong sense of humility mixed with tough love so we would turn out good in the long run,” he said.

“She made sure that she offered us everything we needed and she worked twice as hard to provide us with an education and with good opportunities.

“I loved the opportunities I had growing up under her care and seeing how strong she had stood to overcome things that often drag people down after a separation and she finds that stronghold with her relationship with God.

“She made sure we attended church every Sunday, saying it’s the only way we could become successful, with hard work going hand in hand with God’s blessings.”

He said his mum supported him with his career when he completed his Certificate III on Hospitality Operations at the ServicePro International Tourism Hospitality Institute.

“Mum currently works and resides in England and my two sisters live in Australia while I live in Fiji, but we all stay in touch regularly,” he said.

“It’s not about the type of family you’re raised in, it’s the love that makes it all worthwhile and I would like to thank all single parents for their tremendous efforts in looking after their children even with the many hardship they face.”

He often visits his sisters in Australia and hopes to visit his mum soon in England.