JAMIDA Bi Tuinalolo is a classic example of a person who has integrated successfully into a society that is ethnically different from her own.
Despite being a Fijian of Indian descent, she heads the Soqosoqo Vakamarama ni iTaukei in her village in Macuata, perfect in weaving kuta (fresh water reeds) and fluent in the Macuata dialect just like any other iTaukei in the province.
Yesterday, she was part of the International Women's Day celebrations in Labasa where she displayed fine woven mats made from kuta.
Married to the head of the yavusa Tabaraki in the village of Naocobele in the Nadogo District, the 42-year-old mother of four and housewife believes her role as head of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama was a blessing from above.
For her, it means using her talents from a business background to encourage iTaukei women to strive for the best in life, starting from the village with income-generating opportunities.
She earns income to support her family from the handicraft she makes.
Born to a rich business family in the area, Mrs Tuinalolo said she had eloped with the love of her life, Lasiasa Tuinalolo when she was 18 years old.
And at that time, it was an issue that had separated her from her family for a while.