THE strength of woman is exemplified by Vilisite Qera who opened the doors of her brand new $140,000 wine and dine restaurant in Sigatoka Town yesterday.
From humble beginnings when she opened Viliste's Restaurant at Korolevu in 1987 to rebuilding twice after fire destroyed her business in 2007 and 2008, the 59-year-old has grown from strength to strength.
The Sigatoka entrepreneur said nothing deterred her from pursuing a dream of establishing her name in the business arena.
Yesterday Mrs Qera's commitment and determination were rewarded with the opening of the new restaurant.
Mrs Qera said she regarded the challenge as an inspiration to her daily struggles.
"I have come a long way and I am fortunate to have survived the test of time and to see another milestone achievement through the opening of this new restaurant," she said.
"I never looked at the problems as a challenge but I mainly focused on the solutions which I believe has enabled me to reach this far.
"I thank all those who have contributed and supported me throughout my struggles."
Sigatoka special administrator Jay Whyte commended Mrs Qera for her achievements and dedication.
He said the council supported investment in the area because this was the way forward to boost the economy.
"I congratulate Mrs Qera for setting a benchmark for local businesswoman and I wish her all the best in her business," he said.