Sailing is a big part of Captain Sesoni’s family

Captain Sesoni Komaisoso receives his award for Male Seafarer (Deck) of the Year from CINEC Campus managing director Captain Ajith Peiris during the awards night at the Fiji Maritime Academy in Suva last week. Picture: ATASA MOCEITUBA

CAPTAIN Sesoni Komaisoso had a good upbringing as a child, with his maternal grandparents instilling good values in him as a young boy.

With good values, good guidance plus pushing through challenges, Cpt. Sesoni has become one of the most successful Fijian captains to sail on international waters.

Cpt. Sesoni holds an Australian Master Class 1 License and is a Captain on a Danish Ship sailing in Europe and other parts of the world.

He has been a seafarer since 1985 after leaving Marist Brother’s High School.

“It has always been my intention to go out to sea and to become a captain of a ship,” he said.

“I was brought up on Levuka in Lakeba, Lau and I have paternal links to Matailobau in Naitasiri.

We had a lot of fishermen and traditional sailors from my mother’s family and also my great grandfather from my paternal side was a master mariner and my grandmother’s family side had a lot of well-known sailors in Fiji too.

I guess sailing was always a big part of me and my family.

“I was in form 5 when I applied for a deck cadet or deck apprentice job, but I was told that I was underage and I wasn’t 18 yet and they would consider my job application in the following year.

“I started my career when I was in Lakeba enjoying the school holidays. One of the boats had arrived on the island and I was informed that at 9 o’clock in the morning I was to join the crew onboard and that was my first step forward towards my career and I never looked back.

“I had a good upbringing from my maternal grandparents and they were the driving force behind my amazing journey.

“I always ask myself if all of these was real or if its just a dream. It is always a seafarers dream to become a Captain, but to become a Captain in Europe especially in the North Sea, sailing through the English Channel and through the Dover Strait, which is the busiest shipping spot in the world, to me its a big milestone achievement.

“Looking around and seeing that I’m the only Fijian on board is hard to process at times because it’s just unbelievable.”

He has a 15 member crew on his ship.

“Most of these big vessels don’t have a lot of crew members because everything is semi or fully automated and I’m sailing on a chemical tanker company vessel and we carry all types of chemicals around Europe, West and East Europe, down to the British Isles (UK), to the Mediterranean and to Africa, that is our major area of trade,” he said. He said his two main inspirations were his maternal grandparents.

“These are the ones who instilled everything to me and luckily I met a beautiful and lovely wife who I had known since class 1 (Year 1).

“We have known each other for 50 years and we come from the same village. She has been the backbone of the family and has been very supportive towards my career.

“She was both a father and a mother to our children when I’m out at sea and she had juggled raising our children and her career in the process. “When I need help with certain things I don’t go anywhere else because she is always there to help.”

He considers himself lucky when it comes to his big family.

“I’m a lucky child because my father and mother had me before going their separate ways and they started their own individual families,” he said.

“My mother had five children after the separation and my father had six children and I’m the eldest of all of us. We always come together and it’s a good family get together and my siblings are very supportive towards my career and my family.

“I have five children and four grandchildren, it was not an easy journey as it requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice and I wouldn’t allow my sons to go into the same field of work as I did because the journey was tough and it’s not for everyone.

“When I return home I spend as much time with my family as possible even with extended family members.

Cpt. Sesoni was awarded the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji award for Male Seafarer (Deck) of the Year last week in Suva.

Captain Sesoni Komaisoso (left), Annabelle Ali (board member), Assistant Minister for Transport,Vijay Nath,Acting CEO,Captain Philip Hill and Capt Tomasi Kete during the World Maritime Day celebration at Sukuna Park. Picture: RAMA

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