The power of love

Nanise Koroimasi at the Outrigger with her handicraft. Picture ELIKI NUKUTABU

SHE sits silently and calmly and greets everyone who walks past her.

For decades, Nanise Koroimasi, 63, has sustained her family from selling necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and other handicraft works.

Her radiant smile cannot be missed and speaks volume of a woman of grace and humility.

Quite strangely though, she grew up not knowing anything about handicraft, except the fact she was taught the basic life such as every village girl of how to weave, cook and do other household chores.

Handicraft was really not on her mind as she remembers growing up in her village at Nawamagi — located about an hour’s drive from Sigatoka Town via Laselase and Naroro village on the banks of the Sigatoka River.

After completing Year 12 at the Assemblies of God High School, she returned to the village to help her parents.

While she was still learning her roles and responsibilities as a young woman in the village and still being prepared and groomed for marriage life, love struck and she was whisked away further down the road to Naraiyawa Village.

At that time she was happy and was not sure whether she had made the right decision, but overtime she found out it was the perfect choice.

Ms Koroimasi was blessed to be betrothed to a loving husband and a supportive family, and it was through her mother-in-law who taught her that women play a vital role in the family welfare.

“I had no skills whatsoever but I was a fast learner, so my mother-in-law taught me how to make pottery. I was mentored by the best and learnt a lot from start to finish.

“And through this and sales of the pottery I was able to put my six children to school, while my husband focused on the farm and I am now the proud grandmother of 16 grandchildren,” she said with a smile.

When the Outrigger Resort opened about two decades ago they were looking for local handicraft sellers, with the money she had been saving from the sale of pottery, Ms Koroimasi used it as her start-up capital for her new venture.

Eighteen years on and she still enjoys the work that she does.

“Some of the stuff here I make myself while some are bought. After 40 years of marriage I must admit I made the best decision and I just want to thank God for being there for me and my family,” she said.

So if you ever get to travel to Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, make sure to keep a look-out for the mother of six and her beautiful handicrafts.