Age is no barrier to education

HE left school in 1984 and returned 11 years later because he believed education is the key to success.

Navitalai Kavika attended Khemendra Bhartiya School in Savusavu, Vanua Levu in 1976, but in1984, he was forced to stay at home when his father passed away.

So for the next 11 years, the young lad from Savudrodro in Savusavu had to stay at home and help his mum plough the land and make ends meet for his other six siblings.

Mr Kavika recalls how at a young age, while other boys in the village were enjoying their early teen he was out in the farm or going out to sea or collecting firewood for his family.

As the second eldest of the seven children, Mr Kavika did not have a chance to live life as a normal teenager, but he was glad because those experiences had moulded and helped him to succeed in life.

In 1995, 11 years after staying at home, Mr Kavika decided to go back to school.

This was after he was persuaded and later convinced by an uncle, that he needed to return to the classrooms.

He finally made his return to school in 1995 at Dreketi High School — at the age of 20.

However, after a decade away from the classroom, he found it a bit awkward and embarrassing to be attending school at an age when most youngsters were coming out of the education system.

But that did not deter him from attending classes, so in 1996 he moved over to Savusavu Secondary School where he finished off in 1997.

Mr Kavika then went on to the then Fiji National Training Council before completing his course on Automotive Engineering Class 3 at the then Fiji Institute of Technology now the Fiji National University.

In 2005, Mr Kavika was recruited into the Fiji Police Force and was stationed at its Mobile Unit at 8 Miles in Nasinu.

He remained with the force until 2012 when he decided to call it quits.

“I resigned because I wanted to go back to the village,” Mr Kavika said.

“I wanted to farm and be my own boss.”

As the saying goes, it’s hard to put a good man down, Mr Kavika, now married and a father to a 17-year-old son, is helping out with village and youth projects.

His latest project is the setting up of a new singing group from his village.

The Parataisi Vuni kei Delainasuvasuva is made up of youths of Savudrodro.

Mr Kavika, a composer and songwriter, said there were many singing talents that Vanua Levu produced and these youngsters were just one of the many trying to make a living out of singing.

The Parataisi Vuni kei Delainasuvasuva had their first recording launched early this year and today its song “Au Luveni Yali” is number two on radio’s daily hit singles.

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