Jack ‘born for good’

Jeke Biaukula likes to call himself Jack Born for Good. Picture: MATILDA SIMMONS

HE walked up to me with a big smile and introduced himself — “bula, my name is Jeke Biaukula or ‘Jack Born for Good'”.

At 71, his personality is infectious, he walks with a spring to his step and likes to be described as a “young man”.

“I gave myself the nickname ‘born for good’ because I believe I was born into this world to do good,” he said smiling.

Mr Biaukula was passing by The Fiji Times office when I met him. After hearing his interesting story, I knew I just had to share it.

“I came from a family that was looked down upon,” he said quietly.

“We were so poor, that at times, we survived on just boiled cassava. I reached up to Class Five before I dropped out.

“My parents couldn’t afford my education and then to make it worse, my mother passed away when I was just a child, so it was a tough life growing up.”

The Wainunu, Bua native decided he wasn’t going to let those circumstances pull him down and decided to work his way out of poverty.

He started out doing odd jobs as a young man before he joined the Department of Water and Sewerage. He worked his way up the ranks and became a supervisor.

“I enjoyed my work,” he shared.

“I met my wife in 1969 and then we settled down. We later had seven children.

“When I retired from the work force — I took out my pension fund which amounted to $50,000 — built my home and invested on my farm.

“I decided to go back to Wainunu, Bua and plant yaqona (kava). Today, I have a 100 acre farm consisting of yaqona, dalo, pineapple and vegetables.

“My yaqona farm is now worth $70,000, I’m just waiting to harvest,” he said proudly.

His advice to young people out there?

“Use your time wisely.”

“Today young people are so absorbed with mobile phones and television which is good in a way, but nothing is more precious than time. It never comes back — so use it — develop your talents and make a life for yourself.”

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