People | Mia returns the love

Asenaca Tusaqa and her loving grandfather, Ratu Draunibaka. Picture: SUPPLIED

MAKING her grandfather happy had always lingered persistently in Asenaca Tusaqa’s heart.

So when she won some money after competing in a recent music competition, there was only person on her mind — her loving grandfather.

The 20-year-old, known to many as Mia, was able to purchase an outboard engine for her grandfather after she won the Fiji Music Comp 2023.

The young woman felt a bit hesitant when her cousins and friends pushed her to submit her entry.

But that feeling subsided one afternoon when her grandfather, brother, and her uncle Louis, completed building her grandfather a boat.

“My grandfather turned around and said the only thing left an outboard engine,” she said.

“My grandfather’s retirement dream was to sail out and go fishing. So when he told us about the engine, I thought to myself ‘why not try out the competition. If I win, I could help my grandad.”

The Naduri, Macuata lass with maternal links to Lasakau, Bau said she was proud to come from a musical family.

“Growing up, whenever my family would get together for a kava session, they would bring out their guitars and ukulele and sing along.

“And because of that I’ve always known from a young age that I wanted to pursue music as a career.”

When Mia was announced as the winner of Fiji Music Comp 2023, she was over the moon.

“I felt like jumping for joy and the funny thing was, the second runner up, Josese, somehow knew the win was mine so as the host started to announce the winner’s name, he turned to me and said, ‘you know it, you know it Mia, the win is yours’. He was hyping me up.”

Mia spent her prize-money of $5000 on an outboard motor to show her love for her favourite family member.

“The engine came in last Saturday thanks to my mum and dad.”

She said apart from fishing and sailing around Fiji, her grandad wanted to use the boat to pass down his fishing knowledge and skills to younger members of the family.

“He also intends to teach us the use of sail which can counter the ever increasing fuel costs, reduce dependency and increase productivity.”

In a world where many do not have the support of their family, Mia said she was grateful to have one where members cared for each other.

“My whole family has been there for me but I’d have to say my grandfather has been my greatest supporter.”

She thanked the organisers of Fiji Music Comp 2023 for giving her the opportunity to hone her skills as a performing artist.

“Being able to win this competition to buy my grandfather an engine so he can live out his retirement dream has been my greatest achievement.”

Her message to other young people was “pursue your talent, make it a career and go for it.’

“If you fail don’t give up, instead get up and try again, learn from your mistakes, look back and see what you did wrong, what you can change and see what areas you can improve on.

“It may be a long run but when you reach the finish line, your sacrifice will be worth it all.”

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