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The healing powers at Nadroumai

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Sunday, October 22, 2017

NESTLED among the beauty of nature and the virgin forests of Nadroga is the village of Nadroumai.

The name itself has been known to many people as the healing village, a small village which has been visited and revisited by renowned professional international rugby players and people from all over the country to find out what is ailing them and have their sicknesses healed.

It's the village where broken bones have been healed, broken ribs have been fixed and even torn ligaments mended allowing rugby players to enjoy the game again and even a normal worker to enjoy what he does again even after a serious injury.

A trip to the village helped me unearth the amazing story behind this healing practice which has been a 'mana' for two brothers from Nadroumai for many years.

It was Josateki Vakalagi who I was introduced to after talking with a few elders of the village and he is the eldest of the two brothers who have been traditional healers all these years.

A soft-spoken gentleman he is and someone you can quickly figure out had healing powers because with a slight smile and a brief introduction, he was eager to share the account of his and his brother's life to this newspaper.

You may have heard of Josateki and Isei Naiova in any conversation that may have to do with sema sui (joining broken bones) and these are the brothers from Nadroumai who are indeed the reason many people visit this corner of Nadroga.

"It all started with a dream my father had in his sleep many years ago when I was just a small boy," Josateki said.

"He had dreamt that he was helping people and he was actually using a leaf while helping these people.

"When he woke up the next morning, he did not want to take this dream lightly so he looked around the village for this leaf, which was kawakawa rau and he started massaging people.

"From then on, he knew God had gifted him with these healing powers."

Our conversation grew deeper in the midst of the Nadroumai Day celebrations and I was keen to ask Josateki on how his father had passed these powers to them — the two brothers.

He then paused for a moment and acknowledged their spiritual belief and their faith in God which has allowed them to be of help to thousands of people who have been in pain and have suffered for some time to visit them and allowed them to heal them.

Their late father, Meli Nakubu, was known to many people as Meli Brown.

Apart from being a healer, Nakubu also kept a record of every person who visited needing help with cracked and/or broken bones and and was treated successfully.

Then, Josateki was just an 18-year-old and had no interest whatsoever in what his father was doing. It was that way until their father called both his sons to tell them he would not be around forever and they were to carry on his work of many years.

"I was not too serious about this as I was just a young boy at the time but when dad felt that his life was giving up on him, he decided to pass it on to us.

"For me, it started with my village team, when someone was injured on the field, I would go in and massage the rugby player and he would get well and this was how I knew that I really had some sort of healing power," Jostaeki said.

"It is just me and my brother, Isei Naiova, who have these powers and can help people who want to be healed."

Like their father before them, the brothers do not allow payment from those whom they have helped despite people wanting to give them something as a token of appreciation for curing them of whatever was ailing them.

Some may still doubt what the brothers can do, just as I was when hearing about them, but a visit to Nadroumai helped me to not only unearth the reality of powers these gentlemen have, but also to see their love for the work they have considered their lives for many years.

They have been known to those who have been healed as the men with the magic touch as they have given a new lease of life to so many people who could not be cured medically including those who may have had to spend thousands of dollars on hospital bills.

Their gifts have even caught the attention of international rugby superstars, All Blacks icons such as Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Dagg, both of whom could personally testify to the Nadroumai brothers' healing powers.

The brothers supernatural ability to heal broken bones and return players to the field in a few days instead of weeks as diagnosed and recommended by Western medicine, has many scratching their heads in disbelief.

Unfortunately, they do not keep a records of the many people they have been able to assist as their father did back then. Unfortunately this record book was damaged by Hurricane Bebe which struck Fiji in the 1970s.

These healing powers have even made international headlines when their own nephew and fellow Nadroumai villager and All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo was ruled out of the side for the 2015 Rugby World Cup because of a cracked fibia.

In an article published by this newspaper prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Naholo had said he made a special trip to Fiji and to Nadroumai Village on August 5, 2015, just to get himself healed and ready.

"Growing up here in the village, this was nothing new," he had said at the time.

"I have seen it happen to people and even rugby players who came here and were healed.

"I believed in it as well and I think it will help in my recovery too.

"The movement of my leg is much stronger and after the first treatment, I am walking quite well compared with how I was when I got here.

"If I get the chance to be selected again for the world cup, I will be ready."

It was Isei, the younger brother who had massaged Naholo.

Isei said he had massaged his nephew's leg and applied kawakawa rau to the area around the fibia with the knowledge that it would take days to heal.

"When I first touched his leg I could feel his bones were damaged," said Isei.

"I later applied leaves which were removed after four days and as we took the leaves off, I noticed the injury was gone.

"When I first touched his leg he was in pain but after four days he hardly felt any pain."

Within days, Naholo was ready to head back to New Zealand. He passed all the necessary medical and fitness tests and, against all odds, donned the black jersey.

He missed the first two pool matches at the Rugby World Cup against Argentina and Namibia but played in the third match against Georgia and scored a scintillating try with his first touch of the ball.

He later engraved his name in the annals of rugby union history book by helping the mighty All Blacks win the world cup.

Isei said he has successfully treated some of the world's greatest rugby stars.

As already mentioned, the list includes Sonny Bill Williams, Israel Dagg and Waisake Naholo of the All Blacks. It also has Fijian rugby reps among them the late Seru Rabeni, Sireli Bobo, Osea Kolinisau, Apisai Naikatini, Nemani Nagusa and Jiuta Lutumailagi to name but a few.

For the brothers, the massage process is very simple. They wil first massage the injured area before applying kawakawa rau on the skin around the injured bones.

The leaves are changed after four days and the patient, by then, should begin to feel a return to normal use of the limb.

A random visit to Nadroumai and you would be amazed at the number of people who visit the village daily just to seek traditional healing powers from the brothers.

Josateki said, some people had been sick for a month and would be transported to the village by their relatives "half dead". He said the treatment depended on the seriousness of the sickness presented to them.

All in all, Josateki shared he and Isei felt blessed being able to help the many people who needed their help and had been looking to be healed for a couple of days, weeks or months.

"This magic touch is from God and we feel really blessed to have been able to touch and heal and the lives of many people around the country and visitors who came from abroad as well," Josateki concluded.

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