Editorial comment – Centre stage for charity

2018 Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus queen contestants pose for a photo shoot at Thurston Gardens. Picture: RAMA/FILE

IT is good to see the Hibiscus Festival queen contestants showing confidence on stage as the annual event reached Day 5 yesterday in Nasinu.
Surely there can be no doubts about the impact of the event, and its place on the minds of thousands of Fijians around the world.
You’ve got to admit the Hibiscus Festival has long been an event that has captured the imagination of Fijians.
It falls on the first week of the second term school holidays annually and continues to captivate the masses, especially the young.
Contestants would have been told what to expect once they became public figures.
They would have been told about negative comments, and the fact that they would be quite visible because of focused media attention.
The Hibiscus Festival is where all imaginary divides are thrown out and the venue turns into a cauldron brimming with people of different races and religions.
Consider it the glue that holds people together in a fun-filled environment.
There are a lot of things to do and see, and for the children, there are fun rides, games and food and drinks at this year’s home of the festival at the Valelevu grounds.
Lest we forget, this is a charity event, raising much needed funds for a number of worthy causes around the city.
For the contestants, this is a challenging moment in their young lives.
They will share moments of pride, joy and mixed emotions.
The high level of exposure will build on their self-confidence and offer them an opportunity to live their dreams.
It is never easy to step up and speak in front of thousands of people.
But there are confident young women and men who have accepted this challenge to speak on issues they feel strongly about.
The festival offers them a platform to speak to the masses and make a difference.
They need our support to help them have the confidence to make an impact on the lives of Fijians on a platform that is quite visible.
There are lessons for us all in such events. We can embrace the charitable aspect where giving for a worthy cause is paramount, or we can be motivated by messages of hope, accepting change and making a difference in our personal lives.
For youngsters out there, keen yet hesitant to take that leap of faith so to speak, perhaps you will be inspired to be a catalyst for change among your peers, in your community and within your family and group of friends.
Wherever you are today, we hope you will be motivated to live life to the brim.

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