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DECEMBER 2013 ISSUE 79

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48

‘MY NEW LEASE ON LIFE’

40

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DECEMBER 2013

64

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COUNTRY

RATU FILIMONE, THE CHIEF WITH A ‘HEALING TOUCH’

ECONOMY

A ROSIE STORY

KANA

CREST CHICKEN RECIPES

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Life Is Orange Published by Cover Story Ltd ISSN: 1995-8633 PUBLISHER

D

NAZIAH ALI

on’t you just love birthdays? Great, because I don’t. I loathe them. You’re surrounded with too much attention that one man can’t handle. You get a visit, if you’re lucky, from those outof-town relatives who you don’t really like. Your aunties will sloppy kiss you and then pull out those cringe-worthy photos of you when you were in primary school gushing on how tall you’ve grown and how much you’ve changed. “Aunt, I was 10 years old then. I’m 25 now. A lot changes in 15 years,” I’d say but no one listens. No one ever does in my family. So you just go through with the motions and hope to high heaven that it will be over soon. This month I celebrated my birthday (cue the unenthusiastic applause) and I was thankful that it wasn’t a grand one. Also this month, maiLife celebrated the second year that the magazine’s publisher, Naziah Ali, had acquired the magazine. Following the acquisition, the team continues to strive each month to bring you enlightening and engaging stories. That is what maiLife is all about. In this issue, we’ll introduce you to a number of remarkable individuals – Mereia Tuiloma and Luke Nayasa – people like you and me who were dealt with a blow but rose above those trying circumstances in their attempts to make their lives better. They are a testament to the strength of the human spirit that when one falls, you get back up again, an opt message as we end this year and look forward to a new beginning. Profiled in this issue is the man tagged as Fiji’s biggest private investor as well as

the founder of Fiji Water, David Gilmour. In his story, you’ll see a fascinating side of the billionaire that you probably didn’t know about. You could read it on page 18! We also take a closer look at a geothermal venture in Vanua Levu that is managed by former Fiji Rugby boss Tim Daniel, formerly Timoci Tavanavanua. The daring project promises to eliminate Fiji’s dependence on fuel imports, detailed in maiLife Insight on page 26. Plus, two lads from Cakaudrove are taking Fiji’s music scene by storm after the release of their popular ‘Ono Vitu Ciwa’ video followed by their freshman album. I’ve been listening to the 13-track compilation and I couldn’t get enough. Read about them on page 60. And if you’re planning a grand dinner this Christmas, then we’ve got you covered. Inside this issue, you’ll see four delicious ways to cook your Crest Chicken this Christmas. (I’m going to try out the Mango & Lemon Roast Crest Chicken – sounds mouth-watering!) And with that, we sign off 2013. From the maiLife team to you and your family, merry Christmas and may 2014 be your best year yet!

publisher@mailife.com.fj

WRITER

PAULINI CURUSARA paulinicurusara@mailife. com.fj

CREATIVE CONSULTANT BOSEPA DESIGN bosepadesign@gmail.com

Marketing Consultant LEBA MATANATABU lebam@mailife.com.fj

PHOTOGRAPHY

FEROZ KHALIL feroz@mailife.com.fj

DISTRIBUTION

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CONTRIBUTORS

EDITORIAL

BERNADETTE ROUNDS-GANILAU RATU KALAVETI TUICAKAU

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20 RATU FILIMONE, THE CHIEF WITH A ‘HEALING TOUCH’ 42 WOMEN ON A MISSION 64 LEON SPINKS, THE UNLIKELY CHAMPION FIJI’S NO.1 MAGAZINE

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MEREIA TUILOMA PHOTO COURTESY fEROZ KhALIL

EXCLUSIVE

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How Mereia Tuiloma overcame the pain and the humiliation regarding her infamous nude photos

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• PRINTED BY QUALITY PRINT, SUVA FIJI • MAILIFE MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY COVER STORY • P.O. BOX 18357, GENERAL POST OFFICE, SUVA • COPYRIGHT MAILIFE MAGAZINE • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED • NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER

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DECEMBER 2013

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EVENTS

what’s on in

December

send your event listings to editor@mailife.com.fj

Regulars Tuesday

• Wednesday, December 4 – 9: CMF International Youth Conference, World Harvest Centre, Kinoya.

Knox Brotherhood and the Sheriffs, 8pm @

Contact Divuki (9211070) for bookings.

Traps lounge, Suva

• Friday, December 6: Opening night for “Moana: Rise of the Sea.” A production by the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies, USP. Venue: Japan ICT Centre, USP.

Every last Tuesday of the month, Victoria Wines offers wine tasting for $20, 6pm at Shenanigans

• Friday, December 6 – 8: The Melanesian Cup hosted by the Fiji Surfing Association at Cloudbreak. Surfers from Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Guam, and Fiji will be participating in this tournament.

Wednesday Jazz Legend Tom Mawi, 6pm @ Holiday Inn, Suva

• Saturday, December 7: Finale of the Gospel Quest 2013 at the World Harvest Centre in Kinoya. Contact Divuki (9211070) to book your tickets. The Hot Caribbean Fest’ Carnival 2013 at O’Reilley’s Bar in Suva. $10 admission and tickets are sold in O’Reilleys. • Thursday, December 12

Thursday Blue Monk & Artists, 6pm @ Holiday Inn, Suva. Rako Pasifika @ Mango Café

Westpac Microfinance Night • Thursday, December 12 -13 (7:30pm) Mataqali Drift dance production by Vou at the Suva Civic Centre Auditorium. Tickets for only $5.00 at Village 6, Kahawa, MangoCafe Fiji & at the Door on the night!

Nems & Talei, 10 pm @ Traps Bar Suva. Friday

• Saturday, December 14 – 15: Art exhibition on Leleuvia Island in honour of the late Josie Creek.

Kulture Entertainment, 6pm @ Holiday Inn,

• Wednesday, December 18:

Suva.

The Rainbow Sparkle Show 2013 at the Suva Civic Centre from 7pm to 9pm.

Laisa Vulakoro and friends @ Mango Café

Bula FM 2014 Calender Sale at Jacks of Fiji Sigatoka Branch. Calendars are sold at $2 each.

Saturday

• Friday, December 21: FBC Christmas at the Park 2013 at My Suva Park from 2pm to 10:30pm. • Tuesday, December 31: Outrigger on the Lagoon New Year’s Eve Celebration. Fiji Annual Street Party hosted by Communications Fiji Limited.

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DECEMBER 2013

Georgina Ledua with Kulture Entertainment, 6pm @ Holiday Inn, Suva Nems & Talei @ Mango Café 7pm - 10pm, 52, Ratu Sukuna Road, Nasese, Suva

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OUTLOOK THIS YEAR: Compiled By PAULINI CURUSARA

A Look Back at 2013

JANUARY

MARCH

JUNE 2013

to building a “smarter Fiji.” The government budget allocated a major spending commitment in the areas of education, housing, water electricity, health, housing, roads and other government services.

Video of alleged torture of prisoners released A 9 minute video posted online showing two prisoners beaten while handcuffed sparked outrage from local and international communities alike. The video footage appeared to show two men being repeatedly beaten with poles as they lie huddled on the ground handcuffed. The perpetrators who were alleged to be prison and police officers were not in uniform thus questioning the authenticity of the footage. Nine months later, investigations are still continuing.

Fiji’s first troops leave for Golan A total of 171 Fijian military personnel left the country for deployment at the Golan Heights in the Middle East. 140 of them being infantry personnel replacing the Austrian infantry contingent who withdrew from peacekeeping duties because of fierce fighting at the border they guarded.

DECEMBER

Media censorship lifted

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama also announced in his New Year’s message that media censorship would be lifted. Political parties to re-register The Bainimarama Government put out a new decree stating that all political parties in Fiji have to re-register. Parties are required to have 5000 financial members, obey a code of conduct and be named in the English language. People’s Champion told to leave Community worker and social advocate, Father Kevin Barr was told to leave the country because of a breach in his work permit.

FEBRUARY 2013

PM to run for elections 2014 Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced he would run for the 2014 general elections and was “confident that I will win... if not I won’t be standing”.

APRIL 2013 Fiji’s youngest suicide case A 10 year old boy of Newtown Settlement committed suicide in February this year. He is believed to be Fiji’s youngest suicide victim. First local human trafficking case heard Fiji’s first domestic human trafficking case was heard in the Suva Magistrates Court. Two Fiji nationals, Inoke Raikadroka, 23 of Suva, and Mohammed Sheefaz Jameer Sagaitu, 24, of Rotuma, were charged with 9 counts of trafficking in children and living on earnings of prostitution. www.mailife.com.fj

SEPTEMBER 2013

Fiji’s fourth constitution was signed into law by President Epeli Nailatikau on September 6. This is the country’s fourth constitution. For the first time ever, the constitution was translated into the iTaukei and contemporary Hindi language. Australia’s Conservative leader Tony Abbott has been sworn in as Australia's new prime minister, bringing an end to six years of Labor Partyled governments. After years of turbulence between Suva and Canberra, the newly appointed Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, told Radio Australia that “we want to normalize our relations with Fiji”.

NOVEMBER

Tui Macuata dies Ratu Aisea Cavunailoa Vasukinamuka Katonivere, the paramount chief of Macuata, died while out on a fishing trip with cousins. The prominent chief and politician played a fundamental role in the development of government’s Northern Development Plan.

2014 National Budget Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, announces the 2014 National Budget to the nation. In his budget announcement address, Bainimarama said the budget is a move by his government

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Nelson Mandela Dies South Africa’s first democratically-elected president, Nelson Mandela has died. He was 95 years old

Former Land Force Commander, Pita Driti, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment with a non-parole of four years for inciting to mutiny in 2010. Leleuvia Island Resort celebrated one of the greatest and most talented artists that Fiji has ever produced. From December 14-15, the resort hosted the Arts Exhibition in honour of the late Jasiliva Navavia Crick commonly known as Josie Crick. Josie Crick passed away in September after a short illness. Ms. Crick found great inspiration for her unique art on the Leleuvia Island. Her son has allowed several of her pieces to be displayed at the exhibition. Paintings as well as great entertainment were showcased on the island. Opening the show was the exuberant VOU Dance Group before the artworks of guest artists were exhibited. These were Jaabi Faari (Tahiti), Craig Marlow, Raini Blyde, Anare Somumu and others. DECEMBER 2013

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LETTERS

Well done Bati boys. You have surely made our country proud and recognized in both the abbreviated sport and also to the world. Back to back semi-final appearances is an icing on the cake regardless of the semi-finals results. Fiji is always behind you and we know that you all will be a force to reckon with come the 2017 World Cup. For now it’s time to rejoice for all the hard work, commitments, sacrifices and dedication you have put towards the team and the country. May God bless you all. Go Bati go! Navneel Nischal Naidu, Suva. Well done! Fiji Bati up there with the big guns, way to go! This is not a minor feat and league is not a minor sport too. Jacqui Thompson, Vanua Levu. The allocation to education is worth applauding. Fiji is on the right track. We all know that education is the key to the success of a nation and the understanding between its peoples. Bravo. Rakesh Swamy, Suva.

Letters to the Editor Schools in Fiji will come up with other excuses to get that extra cent from parents. I have been hearing free education for a long time now and I have given up on it. Seruwaia Naiova, Suva. Like a parent who farewells and welcomes back its child from war with open arms, so do all Fijians to you Fiji Bati Team. We welcome you all home. Congratulations for your achievement. We are proud Fijians today because of your excellent performance. Adriu Furuvoi Iene, Suva. Good to see free education after robbing many teachers of their income by bringing the retirement age down. What is there to pay for anyway? Parents still buy books and uniforms, shoes, etc. What's

free then, is it $20 a term or year fee? There is more money for kava and kati to name a few. How about a true social security system that gives each person how and what they are entitled to in the poverty scheme? Ireen Manual, Suva. What’s the point of upgrading infrastructure when there is not enough staff in public hospitals? I visited the dental clinic at the Lautoka Hospital recently. The clinic was full of patients but there was only one doctor to attend to patients. In addition, the clinic appeared to be under equipped. This is the same story for major hospitals around the country. Sujata Lal, Lautoka. The work that has been done on infrastructure especially the roads looks good. The usage of allocated funds so far is positive. Hence, positive thoughts equal constructive methods. That is positivity for the future. Vanessa Nicol, Suva.

Korbin Sims enjoying last months issue of maiLIFE. www.mailife.com.fj

PHOTOGRAPHS BY NAZIAH ALI

Mai Life at Large

A woman in Sigatoka with a copy of maiLIFE.

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DECEMBER 2013

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HAPPENINGS

TappooCity Lautoka Ground Breaking Ceremony Chief Guest Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama congratulated the group for its investment. The TappooCity Lautoka complex which is expected to create over 250

jobs during the construction phase and over 300 jobs when it is operational will be located beside the entrance of Churchill Park.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY NAZIAH ALI

THE groundbreaking ceremony of the $30 million TappooCity Lautoka shopping complex last month extended the Tappoo Group to the sugar capital.

10

DECEMBER 2013

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HAPPENINGS

PHOTOGRAPHS BY NAZIAH ALI AND RATU KALAVETI TUICAKAU

Students Graduation Around the Country

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COVER

EXCLUSIVE

‘My Story’

How Mereia Tuiloma overcame the pain and the humiliation regarding her infamous nude photos By WAME VALENTINE

M

ereia Tuiloma recently became a household name, not because of her rise to recognition as a beauty contestant, dancer and familiar face on television commercials but because of something far more sinister. Early this year, intimate and personal photos of the Cicia, Lau lass were leaked on the Internet going viral almost immediately. She was immediately labeled and taunted, especially in relation to the use of a bottle in some of the images. Due to legal reasons, Mereia is unable to talk of the alleged perpetrator; however she bravely speaks about her personal story of public embarrassment, exploitation and her ultimate survival to maiLIFE in the hope that young women who have experienced abuse – verbal or physical – can get the courage to stand. The man in question was her then boyfriend. In a display of tremendous insecurity, he would constantly demand to check her phone, forbade any interaction with any man – even her friends – and was physically abusive. Their relationship was one of manipulation and abuse. A dance teacher as well as a performer with Vou Dance Group, Mereia would turn up to dance classes with bruise marks on her body. Concerned, her colleagues confronted her about the bruises

12

DECEMBER 2013

but she evaded their notion of abuse, citing instead her vigorous dance training. A friend of hers – a lawyer – knew about the abuse and advised her to take him to task. She didn’t. She loved him and he always said he would not hurt her again. “Looking back now, I felt so stupid that I didn’t listen. He was manipulative,” Mereia reflects. “I, too, am guilty of willingly participating in this abusive relationship,” she admits. “I am responsible for my part. At the time, I naively thought it was love and was emotionally dependant on trying to constantly seek his approval.” Cyber Crime and women It is an escalating phenomenon during this age of the Internet where women are getting publically shamed and exploited online. There are websites dedicated to shaming ex-girlfriends and ex-wives of scorned husbands or lovers who enjoy the power of objectifying women. In Fiji, there are stereotypes, both cultural and religious, of how a woman is supposed to behave: she is to be conservative, not outspoken and not in touch or expressive of her ideas or femininity. When Mereia’s photos were leaked online, many began ridiculing her. Social media sites were rife with scornful commentary about her.

Mereia says that the situation has made her a more stronger woman. “This is why I want to talk publicly about this experience and be a voice for women who have gone through this public shaming and exploitation. I want to be a warning for other young women not to get themselves into the same situation. I want to inspire young women who may be going through the same circumstance and tell them that this is not the end. Talk about it, do not suffer alone. Find a creative outlet and let if fuel you.” How she dealt with it For a small country like Fiji, it wasn’t surprising that Mereia’s family was soon dragged into the scandal, along with her friends and colleagues. “It was not easy for me to show my face in town after the release of the photos, but I had to learn to deal with it,” she said, “Even today, when I get called names on the street, I have to take it in my stride and handle it.” “At times I had suicidal thoughts, but surrounding myself with positive people and talking to those close to me that I trusted really got me through this.” Mereia also attributes her passion and profession of dance that guided her through this humiliation. “I put all of my emotions and stress into my body and then

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DECEMBER 2013

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PHOTO: VOU

COVER

Mereia performing in Mataqali Drif, a concert staged by VOU and held at the Suva Civic Centre

released it when I danced. I used my experience to inspire and create my choreography for VOU’s production ‘Mataqali Drift’. I wanted to communicate to the audience what it felt like to go through what I experienced.” Mereia says that she found the artistic outlet through dance so inspiring that she wants to go on to study Dance Therapy, and adds that it is still an ongoing healing process. “At times I think about what happened and feelings of anger, rage, injustice and embarrassment come flooding back. But when it happens, I deal with those destructive emotions and challenge myself to be stronger.” Advice for others Mereia shared some advice for young women who are suffering intimate partner violence or cyber bullying and humiliation. “Don’t be blinded by what you think is ‘love’. If it is abusive, you need to find distance and clarity. It is certainly not love but most probably co-dependence or manipulation. I know it is difficult to see clearly at the time from inside the relationship, but

14

DECEMBER 2013

you need to get out.” She goes on to say, “If you go through something like this, it is good to surround yourself with positive people and talk to those you trust. Look at the positive and learn from the negative. I am not trying to justify myself for the things I have done; I was very stupid to get myself into those situations and trust the wrong people so I want to warn other young women to not be so trusting, even if you think you’re in love.” “When it comes to mental, physical or sexual abuse, always report it, even if you decide not to lay charges at the time. Violence of any kind needs to be reported and you may need this in the future. I was so stupid not to have made police reports of my hospital visits and physical abuses.” Mereia has been a beacon of strength for other women experiencing similar situations. “I still get emails from people I don’t even know, who saw what I went through. They message me and ask for advice on things or simply give me encouragement to continue on in the face of difficulty.”

Today, Mereia understandably battles with trust when it comes to meeting people but she’s not giving up on her dream, to continue dancing and fashion designing. Earlier this month, Mereia danced during a concert staged by VOU – their first production – titled ‘Mataqali Drift’. Held at the Suva Civic Center, Mereia depicted the struggle that she encountered this year through dance. She came on stage, for the first time since the ordeal, bursting with energy with her eyes sparkling with confidence. She was a different woman, a woman radiating with beauty, purpose and creativity. Watching her leap across the stage was like watching a bird being released from a cage, soaring freely to the sky, away from the heartbreak and depression that caged her. The photos still rattle her but instead of cower with humiliation, she takes life on – as well as the taunts from passers-by – focused on her dream. “Sometimes I have down days but I remind myself of my dream knowing that whatever happens, I must keep on.”

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WISH

‘Our ultimate 2013 Christmas Gift’ By WAME VALENTINE DURING the festive season, most of us tend to get pretty busy sorting

Without a doubt, one of the most indomitable businessmen in the country, Tony Whitton has created an empire from the travel company that was founded by his family – Rosie Travel Group. Tony has expanded his success to the ownership of two resorts, Malolo Island Resort and Likuliku Lagoon Resort, which features Fiji’s first and only over-water bure suspended above the lagoon’s reef edge in Mamanuca. So what does this multi-millionaire with maternal links to Navatuyaba, Rewa wants this Christmas? “My wish is to celebrate Christmas with my whole family,” he says. “My daughter, Tia, is coming in from Australia so I’m excited about that. All I want is to have my family together for Christmas: my mother, Rosie; my wife, Bridget and my children. I am truly thankful for the wonderful family that God has blessed me with.”

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DECEMBER 2013

the ultimate Christmas gift for our love ones. Sometimes trying to find the perfect gift could be a headache. MaiLIFE caught up with a handful

As of September this year, Ben Ryan has landed the job as the coach of the country’s national sport, a sport which its players are meticulously analyzed and its coach brutally scrutinized by the Fijian public. The red-head, who coached England to over 250 games, would wish for a time travelling machine under his Christmas tree. He explains, “I’d want a time travelling machine for the Fiji sevens team and myself to cut down on our travel. That would be good! That aside, probably some really nice throws (furniture covers) for our bedroom so we can feel more at home in our new place in Fiji. If you can throw in a never ending tube of suntan lotion then that would be great too. Red isn’t my best colour!” On November 30, the Ryan-coach national side won the Dubai Sevens for the first time in fifteen years. Fiji thrashed New Zealand 44 – 0 in one of the worst losses in sevens history.

of prominent individuals – ranging from a millionaire to a beauty queen – what their dream Christmas gift would be for this year. Check it out!

August this year, Priscilla Reddy was crowned Miss Hibiscus, the fourth Indo-Fijian to win the crown since the first year of the Hibiscus Festival in 1956. Now vying for the Miss South Pacific crown in the Solomon Islands, the 23 year old has a great love for animals and volunteers for the Society for the Prevention against Cruelty to Animals. A health freak, chances are, you probably didn’t know that our Miss Fiji can sing the title song to the adventure film 101 Dalmatians – complete with an animated voice. What does Miss Fiji want for Christmas this year, you ask? “I would like a ticket to take me all over Fiji on a cruise. I have always wanted to see all the outer islands and only got as far as Vanua Levu. I would love to find an opportunity to discover Fiji – the whole of it!”

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Jon Apted is quite the character. Probably most famous as a judge on the television reality singing competition, Vodafone MIC, he is widely known for his witty remarks, usually instigating howls of laughter from homes across the country. The Harvard-grad lawyer could usually be seen in social events taking pictures for his Humans of the Fiji Islands page, a photoblog on Facebook. Jon says, “To tell you the truth I have reached the age and stage where I have all the material things that I want. Christmas for me is about family. The only present that I am looking forward to this Christmas is a visit from my nephew and niece who live in Australia.”

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Nicki Minaj and Elizabeth Arden debut Nicki’s second fragrance, available at Tappoo Duty Free Stores Nicki Minaj Introduces MINAJESTY

Multi-platinum recording artist and fashion, style and beauty trendsetter Nicki Minaj announces the latest addition to her prestige fragrance collection, a bold and brilliant new scent inspired by Nicki’s captivating yet fearless expression of individuality. her debut fragrance, pink friday, ranked as one of the top celebrity launches of 2012, creating a sensational buzz as her doll-like bottle captured attention across the world. Adding new dimension to her innovative fragrance collection, the new brand speaks directly to the sultry and confident side of Nicki’s ever-changing and dynamic personality.

to the forefront as a judge on the US TV singing talent show sensation, “American Idol,” and she was the voice of ‘Steffie’ in “Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” in 2012. A media darling with stylish attraction, Nicki was featured on the cover of 10 magazines in 2012, including W, Elle and Cosmopolitan. She was named Billboard’s Rising Star of 2011 for her quick journey to stardom. Not only was a limited edition Barbie doll of Nicki Minaj created for charity, but her empire of licensing began to blossom as she became highly sought-after as the latest “It Girl.” It’s all part of the Minaj mystique, her engaging persona harnesses the power of social media to connect with her ever-growing legion of fans (lovingly nicknamed “Barbz”). Minaj is very hands-on in every aspect of her burgeoning career. “My nation of Barbz and I have come a mighty long way,” she told Billboard as 2011 was winding down. “Yet we are nowhere close to where God will take us. Sit back and enjoy the ride.” Minaj has over 16 million global Twitter followers and over 30 million fans on facebook.

“MINAJESTY is my newest scent – it is sultry, captivating and powerful. There is a sexy power behind having selfconfidence. I want this fragrance to invite my Barbz to celebrate their glamorous side, live in the moment, and be outrageous knowing that true power comes from within.” - Nicki Minaj

THE INSPIRATION

With her eye-catching style and vivacious personality, Nicki reigns with creativity and captivating femininity. Commanding respect through an implied and majestic brilliance, she rules as the queen of her own outrageous world. Nicki understands reality through her courage and confidence as she breaks boundaries, leads the way, and empowers women all over the globe. her innate sultry appeal shimmers with liveliness, attracting the intrigue of followers. The imperial fragrance embodies the strength of this glamorous empire, enticing women to captivate others through their own fearless and brazenly chic distinctiveness.

THE FRAGRANCE

This sultry floral gourmand scent reigns with luscious fruits and luxurious fresh florals, draped in creamy vanilla and pure musks.

MAJESTIC

The fragrance opens with a magnetic fresh spark of Juicy peach, Red Currant and Lemon Blossom – a sultry, subtle sweetness.

GLAMOUROUS

A rich sophistication of Magnolia and pink frangipani intermingles with a daring splash of Tiger Orchid in the heart.

CONFIDENT

Ending with Tonka and fluffy Vanilla

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NICKI MINAJ FRAGRANCES wrapped in an intoxicating White Musk, a timeless depth finishes the fragrance.

THE PACKAGING

A sultry evolution, this package engages consumers with its outrageous presence and vivacious allure. Crowning her golden face with the most unexpected, glamorously wavy pink wig, the striking bottle is styled with a red hot bustier, adorned by gems with black and gold detail. Showcasing a sexier side of Nicki, this brand makes a bold and confident statement, enticing fans with the absolute next, must-have “doll” in the Nicki Minaj collection of fragrances. fully clad in luxury, the secondary packaging design is a salute to the bottle. Diamonds opulently surround a polished and vibrant carton that is framed in black, glimmering with lavish gold detail and a signature shot of Nicki.

THE COLLECTION

Eau de parfum Spray, 3.4 fl. oz/100ml Eau de parfum Spray, 1.7 fl. oz/50 ml

ABOUT NICKI MINAJ

The evolution of an artist, entertainer and beauty icon Nicki Minaj is one the world’s leading

female artists and most talked-about entertainers, recognized for her groundbreaking music and trend-setting fashion style. Over the past three years, Nicki Minaj has risen from underground hopeful to an industry icon in music, television and beauty.

THE RISE OF NICKI

Originally born in Trinidad, Nicki Minaj spent most of her years growing up in Queens, NY. Minaj launched her debut album pink friday in November 2010, which quickly soared to the top of the charts – most notably on the Top R&B/ hip-hop Albums and Billboard 200. Riding the momentum, Minaj released her sophomore album, pink friday: Roman Reloaded, in April 2012, followed by the November 2012 release of her third album, pink friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up. Minaj’s record-breaking list of accolades include numerous prestigious awards from Billboard, World Music, Teen Choice, BET, MTV and people’s Choice – just to name a few. An established international superstar, Minaj just concluded her N. America and International pink friday world tour, selling out stadiums across the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Nicki’s awareness and popularity continue to rise - her personality came

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Leveraging her recognition as a beauty icon, Minaj launched her highly anticipated debut fragrance, pink friday NICKI MINAJ, during the fall of 2012 in partnership with Elizabeth Arden. Like Minaj herself, the innovative bottle is both unique and vibrant - a relevant collectible bottle that will continue to resonate with fans. from the start, pink friday was received with overwhelming enthusiasm. The fragrance ranked #2 out of all celebrity launches during 2012, was the #1 new launch at Macy’s during the holiday season and was ranked in the top 5 new brand launches for 2012. pink friday continues to soar with success, as it rolls out to additional markets. With great success and much attention, Nicki has set the bar high for fragrance and beauty in the celebrity realm; she is a true global icon who continues to captivate attention through the brilliance of her relentless creative vision.

DECEMBER 2013

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PEOPLE

A 40 year

love affair that knows no bounds By MATILDA SIMMONS

A

n intensely private man, David Gilmour, one of the world’s successful entrepreneurs, stood quietly by his table in his private museum at Wakaya Island, deep in thought. The elegantly dressed billionaire was clad in a striking red pants, and a blue shirt. He was showing me original sketches and maps of Fiji that dated back to the 1700s and 1800s, when I told him the story of a fijian Chief who was taken captive by the infamous American sea captain Wilson (who, if one remembers, caused Ratu Seru Cakobau to cede Fiji to Great Britain). Captain Wilson had taken Ro Dovi, a chief from Rewa, prisoner to stand trial in America for the murder of some Americans in Fiji. Mr Gilmour’s eyes flicked with quiet interest at this. The sad demise of this chief who never got to step foot on the American continent but died along the way seemed to captivate him. Therein I saw a deep appreciation for Fijian history and artifacts. His private museum bore all that. The Fijian chief was later buried on an island off the coast of the United States of America, forgotten but for the name of the island, which was called Vendovi Island in memory of the Rewan Chief. Gilmour must have been privately amused by my fascination for his rare collection. I couldn’t help but cry out with delight at an original sketch by famous explorer Captain James Cook on Fiji in the 1700s. With that love of Fijian paintings and artifacts comes his love of Fiji, an island country he has made his home for the past 40 years. His privately owned island, Wakaya, spans an area of eight square kilometres, about 18 kilometres from Ovalau in the Lomaiviti Group. It holds a special place in the eighty-one-year- old’s heart. We touched on a number of subjects during our hour long interview with the Canadian-born billionaire who began his career selling pots and pans from door to door in Canada. From Fiji’s economic potential to his exclusive private resort on Wakaya and the latest ginger powder venture he is currently undertaking, it’s easy to understand the entrepreneur nature in

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him. “David loves the thrill,” describes close friend and fellow Canadian Peter Munk, to Forbes Magazine in their 2013 March issue. “No one can promote like David,” says Munk. “You listen to him about his ginger from Wakaya, you’d think ginger didn’t exist before.” Being an entrepreneur means that you have to embrace the unknown, a writer once wrote. Taking risks and constantly being challenged, it’s a path of irrationality where only the determined and persistent entrepreneur will succeed. You could class Mr Gilmour in one of those select groups. The man tagged as Fiji’s biggest private investor alone has logged 7 million air and sea miles around the world, founding nearly a dozen companies: a stereo maker, resorts, a gold mine, and the famous bottled water, Fiji Water. Now the elusive billionaire has come out of “retirement” to promote his Wakaya Perfection Ginger Powder, a product he admits using himself for remedies of sickness and its potential to fight nausea, muscle pain, indigestion and skin aging. Maybe that’s why he looked a great deal younger than his eighty years. He has invested millions in cultivating the ginger plant on his 2, 200 acre island after finding out that it grew well on his fertile land. He has his own factory on the island that processes his ginger and directly exports it from the island. “Fiji has a lot of resources and beauty about her. Its friendly people and the immense potential the country has to move forward,” he tells maiLife after a brief pause. “The problem is, the world has compromised a lot in producing services and products. It should be about perfection and quality, that we do not compromise what we have.” Sticking to that mantra is probably why he’s successful on so many fronts. At Wakaya everything is organically grown. They do not buy vegetables from outside and venison is sourced from their organic farm. Even dessert is made on the island such as ginger ice – cream (bet you would want to know what it tastes like!)

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PHOTO: FEROZ KHALIL

PEOPLE

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DECEMBER 2013

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COUNTRY

PHOTO KONRAD THORPE

Ratu Filimone, the chief

Ratu Filimone drinking kava, signifying his installment.

By WAME VALENTINE

S

INCE 1927, the people of the Tikina of Solevu have not witnessed the traditional installment of their chief. However, last month, Ratu Filimone Ramarama Ralogaivau was traditionally installed as the Turaga i Sualevu, heading the Yavusa of Solevu, in the Tikina of Solevu, in Bua. The title has been vacant for over 27 years. The last installation of the title was held in 1927 to Ratu Benedito Ramerumeru who was married to Adi Merewalesi Rawaqavanua, the eldest daughter of Ramasima Vakawaletabua – the Tui Bua who was one of the signatories on the Deed of Cession in 1874.

A government minister with ‘the healing touch’ maiLIFE caught up with Ratu Filimone a week before he was to be installed. He carried himself with dignity and had an air of authority about him, belying his short stature. Before

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he heeded the call of the Tikina of Solevu, Ratu Filimone was the chairman of the Bua Provincial Council in 1971. A year later, he became a member of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) at the age of 30, becoming the youngest member. The GCC has since been de-established in 2012 by the Bainimarama administration. He later won a national seat in Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata under the Labour-NFP coalition led by Dr. TImoci Bavadra. He was appointed Minister of State for Fijian Affairs. During a stirring speech he made in Parliament after his appointment, Ratu Filimone spoke about the real concerns of the Fijian people in the wake of the political transition that was underway. In his speech, he said that ‘confrontation was not needed but the healing touch’. His speech was referred to as ‘thoughtful’ and ‘intelligent’ by then editor of The Fiji Times, Vijendra Kumar. Kumar wrote, “Ratu Filimone has eloquently stated what most

calm and informed observers have been thinking for some time. All the people of Fiji, regardless of race or background, need reassurance that their future is secure, and that their children will grow up as they have, with deep respect and affection for their neighbours.” However, despite his hopes for a united country, his ministerial post was short-lived when Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka deposed the Bavadra administration, carrying out the country’s first coup. Ratu Filimone was Minister of State for Fijian Affairs for only two days. In an interesting turn of events, Rabuka invited Ratu Filimone to join his Council of Ministers, after his release from hostage, as Interim Minister for Education. The invitation was accepted. “The only reason why I accepted the offer, despite the fact that he held me hostage, was to help build and move the country forward,” said Ratu Filimone who hails from Nawaido in Solevu, Bua.

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COUNTRY

PHOTO KONRAD THORPE

with a ‘healing touch’

Ratu Filimone and the village elders.

The installment of the Turaga i Sualevu On November 30, 2013 Ratu Filimone Ralogaivau was traditionally installed as the Turaga i Sualevu. The 75 year old is now the head of the Yavusa of Solevu, in the Tikina of Solevu, in Bua. There are two other districts (or Tikina) which have traditional allegiance to the chiefly title – Nadi and Wainunu. The title holder will now have to relocate from his current residence in Suva to the village of Nawaido in Solevu, the traditional residence of the Turaga i Sualevu. On the day of the installment, the elders of Solevu travelled to Wainunu where Ratu Filimone is originally from, seeking his release, as was tradition, so he may undertake his duties. Elaborately dressed in tapa, Ratu Filimone was then escorted back to Solevu. There he was traditionally farewelled by his paternal clan and welcomed by Solevu, his mother’s clan. The Tikina of Solevu lavishly www.mailife.com.fj

showered mats, kerosene drums, tabua and other gifts to the Tikina of Wainunu as a show of gratitude and appreciation for the care that they have provided to their new chief. As the sun set behind the hills of Bua, the merry-making and the celebration continued well into the night as Solevu’s leadership drought has finally been over. For Solevu, the hereditary succession is through males, usually from father to son. But the then Turaga i Sualevu, Ratu Benedito Ramerumeru, did not have a son. His only child was his daughter, Adi Filomena Lewavukivuki. After the chief’s death, Adi Filomena became the Marama i Sualevu until her death in 1986. Despite the fact that the late Adi Filimone held the title, she was never traditionally installed. Adi Filomena wed Ratu Josefa Ralogaivau, a descendant of the Tui Wainunu clan as well as the Colonial Administrator in the district of Solevu. The chiefly couple produced seven Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

children, six daughters and a son. Ratu Filimone Ralogaivau was their only son. A new day A new day has dawned on Solevu. The people now have their chief and the chief has the respect and the admiration of his people. “I want to be a leader who leaves a legacy of wisdom, knowledge, insight and awareness,” Ratu Filimone, the newly installed Turaga i Sualevu, tells maiLIFE. “I don’t think people understand the importance of these qualities until later in life.” Just as he pleaded for reconciliation and respect to the nation’s decision-makers at Parliament House in 1987, he reiterated the same theme after his installment. Ratu Filimone implored the need for Fijians to unite so that the next generations, in his words, would “secure the true sense of national identity which captures the spirit, the heart and the character of these islands”. DECEMBER 2013

21


2013 Kia Sorento earns 5-Star safety rating

Kia’s top-selling SUV, the redesigned 2013 Sorento has earned the highest possible overall safety rating – five stars – from the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (NhTSA) in the USA. The new Sorento was recognized for its outstanding performance in frontal and side impact crash tests, as well as high marks in rollover testing. “Built on an all-new platform, the redesigned Sorento utilizes Kia’s advanced safety equipment and technologies to provide a high level of occupant protection for drivers and their families as measured by the U.S. government,” said Orth hedrick, executive director, product planning, KIA Motors America. “Already a compelling entry in the SUV category, earning a 5-Star rating from NhTSA makes the Sorento an even stronger contender within its segment while underscoring Kia’s overall commitment to delivering safety and exceptional value to our customers.” In addition to NhTSA’s 5-Star rating, the 2013 Sorento has also been named a Top Safety pick by the Insurance Institute for highway Safety (IIhS). It is built at Kia’s manufacturing facility in West point, Georgia and is available in four trim levels. The 2013 Kia Sorento rides on an all-new platform and suspension system, and offers a new V6 engine and more passenger room as well as a new top-of-the-line trim level known as the Sx Limited. from a styling perspective, redesigned front and rear fascias incorporate new lighting elements and the alloy wheels have been redesigned. Inside the 2013 Kia Sorento, the centre rack, gear shift, instrument clusters, and other soft-touch surfaces have all been featured with a redesigned look. Other available features now include cooling and heating front seats with driver set memory, touch screen audio, and more, in addition to the feature rich safety

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DECEMBER 2013

features. Kia’s multi award winner, the safe to drive new 2013 Kia Sorento is available from Kia Motors fiji Showrooms, located at the corner of Grantham Road and Carpenter Street, Garden City, Raiwai Suva, and on the Main Street in Nadi town. Kia Motors fiji Service Centers are located on Carpenter Street in Raiwai Suva, and on the Khan Jan Drive, Wekamu Sub-division in Nadi, opposite the Nadi Temple. All brand new Kia vehicles are backed by a 3year/100,000km warranty in fiji. Source: Kia Motors

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Insight FIJI'S CURRENT AFFAIRS REPORT

Photo : SUPPLIED

PACIFIC SUN CHANGES TO 'FIJI LINK' IN 2014

Geologists examine rock fractures above the geothermal reservoir at Savusavu

A ROSIE STORY THE BUILDERS OF FIJI'S ECONOMY UNITED APPAREL: THE NATION’S TAILOR

Geothermal Power

Is it Fiji’s clean and inexpensive alternative to our $100m annual fuel import bill? www.mailife.com.fj

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DECEMBER 2013

23


BB Q5

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

999

$

429

$

Blackberry 10 OS 8 GB Internal Memory 2 GB RAM Primary Camera: 5 MP, LED Flash Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) 4 GB Internal Memory 1 GB RAM Primary Camera: 5 MP, LED Flash Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

Sony Xperia Z

1299

$

Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) 16 GB Internal Memory 2 GB RAM Primary Camera: 13.1 MP, LED Flash Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Waterproof (Up to 1 meter for 30 mins)

Samsung S4

1499

$

Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) 16 GB Internal Memory 2 GB RAM Primary Camera: 13 MP, LED flash Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

ZTE K5008-Z 4G Flashnet

199

$

Nokia Lumia 925

1599

$

Microsoft Windows Phone 8 16 GB Internal Memory 1 GB RAM Primary Camera: 8 MP, LED Flash Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

4G devices now on sale from as low as $199 www.vodafone.com.fj

Vodafone Power to you 24

DECEMBER 2013

Conditions Apply. Prices may vary. For more information call customer care on 123 (charged), www.mailife.com.fj Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine 124 (prepay) and 125 (PostPay) or visit www.vodafone.com.fj


UPDATES

PACIFIC SUN

changes to ‘Fiji Link’ in 2014

FIJI Airways has announced its subsidiary airline, Pacific Sun, will be rebranded to ‘Fiji Link’ in 2014. The announcement was made recently at the unveiling of the carrier’s new livery. Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO, Stefan Pichler, said the move was a long overdue one for their regional carrier since the rebranding of Fiji Airways. “As we’ve stated previously, Pacific Sun hasn’t had a brand alignment with its commercial since its inception. Following the rebranding of Fiji Airways, we made it a priority to create new identity for our regional carrier.” He said ‘Fiji Link’ would continue to fulfil its role as an extension of the Fiji

Airways network with all the Fijian hospitality and warmth customers expect when visiting the Pacific region. The new airline brand will have a distinct, yet part-of-thefamily look with its parent Fiji Airways. Fiji Airways earthly colour palette has been retained on the soon-to-be-adopted livery of ‘Fiji Link’ aircraft. The ‘Fiji Link’ word-mark reflects its connection with Fiji Airways as does the use of the ‘teteva’ and the ‘makare’ motifs on the tail, which are a prominent feature of the national carrier. Pichler revealed ‘Fiji Link’ worked on a design and aspirational brand level saying the brand name emerged after a survey was carried out by Fiji Airways. The survey

included over 500 people inside and outside the company. Pacific Sun’s General Manager, Shaenaz Voss, said once reinventing was complete, customers should expect a new level of service from the airline. “We are reinventing ourselves with this rebrand and once completed, our customers and the people of Fiji will expect a new level of service from ‘Fiji Link’”. Pacific Sun, Fiji’s main domestic and regional airline, is wholly owned by Fiji Airways. The re-branding of the airline is the next step in the on-going restructure of the domestic airline group. Source: FIJI AIRWAYS

The Who's Who Cecille Sanchez, Fiji Airways

Ms Sanchez is the new General Counsel of Fiji Airways. Of Filipino extraction, Sanchez joins the airline from Suva-based law firm R Patel Lawyers where she was involved in commercial, civil and corporate law. She holds a Bachelor of Laws & Professional Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of the South Pacific and has also taught in Fijian schools around the country. Sanchez also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of the Philippines. As General Counsel, she is expected to provide legal advice and counsel on all matters related to the airline’s operations and management

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including negotiation of critical contracts. She is also the company’s Corporate Secretary. with a MBA specialising in Human Resources from Central Queensland University in Australia.

Alumeci Tuisawau Ministry of Education

Ms Tuisawau is the new Director for the Curriculum Advisory Services/ Technical Vocational Educational (CAS/ TVET) division in the Ministry of Education. Tuisawau started her career in the Ministry of Agriculture and later moved to the Ministry of Education. She has taught in various schools around the country since 1987. She obtained a BA in Agriculture from the USP. She also holds a

Master’s of Science from Tokyo University

John McKee Fiji Rugby Union

The Fiji Rugby Union has appointed former Australia U20 Assistant Forwards Coach, John McKee, as the High Performance Unit’s General Manager. McKee brings with him a wealth of experience associated with the code. He was Australian U20 assistant coach in this year’s junior Rugby World Cup. He spent six seasons as coach in the Northern Hemisphere from 2000 to 2006. He returned to Australia in 2007 and coached various clubs around Australia. In 2008, McKee travelled with the Pacific Islanders on their European Tour. He also held

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posts as technical advisor with the Tonga High Performance Unit. Most recently, McKee had been working as a Programs Coach at the Australian Rugby Union’s High Performance Unit where he was involved in developing and delivering rugby programs for 18-22 year olds.

Ajay Singh Public Service Commission

Mr Singh has been appointed as Director for the Training and Scholarships Division at the Public Service Commission. Mr Singh brings with him 16 years of experience in the administration and middle management level. He holds a BA and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management and Public Administration from the University of the South Pacific.

DECEMBER 2013

25


INSIGHT

Geothermal Power: Is it Fiji’s clean and inexpensive alternative to our $100m annual fuel import bill? By WAME VALENTINE A startup run by former Fiji Rugby House chief, Tim Daniel, called Geothermal Electric Limited has possibly delivered a solution for the Fijian economy’s dependence on fossil fuels at a site in Savusavu, Vanua Levu. From running Fiji’s governing body for rugby union to managing a geothermal venture was quite a shift for Tim Daniel. Timoci Tavanavanua, as he was known then, was the CEO of Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) from 2005 to early 2009. maiLIFE Insight asked Daniel what it was like, during his tenure as FRU’s chief, to be the man people loved to hate. “Well, it comes with the job. With any public office one holds, he must expect criticism. During my four year stint with FRU I’ve developed thick skin.” “I’ve received nasty emails and phone calls from individuals of all walks of life but I’ve learnt not to take things too personally.” Daniel had inherited the top job from Pio Bosco Tikoisuva and led Fiji rugby to a successful world cup in 2007 where Fiji upset Wales but lost out to eventual world cup winners South Africa in the quarter finals. In 2009, Daniel announced to the country that he was undergoing a name change. Born Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua to one of Fiji’s paramount chiefly families, he relinquished his chiefly name and embraced the name Timothy Daniel. “I made the change because of my spiritual convictions. The change didn’t come over-night,” said Daniel, the younger brother to former Vice President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi. “It took me eight months for me to go through with it as I was aware of the implications that it would cause, coming from the family background that I come from.” So what is geothermal? Geothermal mining involves drilling hundreds of meters deep into hot rocks to produce hot water that

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DECEMBER 2013

A 6.3 MW geothermal power station in New Zealand which would produce sufficient electricity to meet Labasa's demand.

powers the turbines which, in turn, produces electricity. Today, most individuals don’t consider establishing a business that deals with geothermal power because it can be a costly affair which requires wideranging permits and environmental reports. But Tim Daniel has risen to the challenge. With his appointment as CEO of Geothermal Electric Limited (GEL), the mission is to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock. It is Daniel’s hope that geothermal power would be a significant alternative to fossil fuels. “Geothermal electricity

generation could put $170 million every year back in the pockets of the Fijian people and remove the burden of high electricity prices,” Daniel told this magazine. “Geothermal electricity could allow hundreds of millions of dollars in investments to go ahead that are currently stopped by lack of power or its cost.” Burning fuel to produce electricity is extremely expensive. It is also subject to global oil price fluctuations over which Fiji has no control. In 2006 and 2007, the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) spent $98 million and $60 million respectively on

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INSIGHT

PHOTO SUPPLIED

diesel. In October 2006, water shortages at Monasavu coincided with high diesel prices, forcing the FEA to increase its electricity tariffs

and introduce a fuel surcharge of up to 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour. This significantly increased the cost of electricity to residences and businesses. Ten years ago, the cost of Fiji’s fuel imports (including fuel required to produce electricity) was less than 40 percent of the nation’s domestic export earnings. Last year, however, it was more than 80 percent, a major limiting factor in the economic development of the country. Clearly, it is in Fiji’s best interests to reduce our diesel burn.

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A costly affair This venture, as promising as it is, comes with a hefty price tag. A single drill is estimated at a mind-numbing $18 million. So how does GEL finance its projects? “Geothermal Electric Limited has the capability, equipment and technical expertise to cut the cost of de-risking so that geothermal power generation is viable at current IPP prices,” said Daniel. “The company also has a corporate structure that cuts out the middle man and delays returns to investors until power is generated. This also helps make the project viable. The investors are focused on selling large amounts of cheap electricity over the long term.” GEL partners with Radial Drilling, owned by Henry Vox, a drilling company based in Lami. Through this partnership, GEL is able to obtain their own drill rig and, thus, significantly reducing the cost of drilling. Most of GEL’s investors, like Henry Vox, are Australian. “We wanted to bring in Fijian participation so we approached Fijian businesses,” said Daniel. “Apparently the idea of geothermal energy producing electricity was a bit far-fetch for them so they didn’t wish to invest.” Some feel that these Fijian businesses have a good reason to be uncertain as geothermal mining involves a lot of luck, something not many investors wish to gamble on. It is true that “hot springs” may be a positive indication that geothermal is available but finding water that has been heated at the right temperature and quantity to power a geothermal plant may not be easy as it seems. But Daniel is confident – very confident. “In the short term we are estimating the production of 5 megawatts. However, we believe we can get up to 80 megawatts in Savusavu alone which is equivalent to what Monasavu currently produces. The long term objective is to generate at least three times the total power consumption for the nation which is about 130 megawatts. We believe this is achievable.”

exploration drilling then plant construction before operation begins. According to Daniel, GEL is at Stage 2: exploration drilling. Daniel estimates that by March of next year, the company should commence drilling. The construction of a power plant should take place eighteen months from March, should the drilling be successful. GEL has been granted a Special Prospecting License, allowing them to explore Savusavu and Labasa. A mining license, which GEL applied for over a year ago, is yet to be approved by the Mineral Resources Department. Daniel has assured the residents of Savusavu and Labasa that GEL’s drilling will not create seismic activity as “the technology we utilize is ‘wet geothermal technology’ and not ‘fracking’ and, as such, the residents should not expect earthquakes”. It is clear that Geothermal Electric Limited is committed to producing cheap geothermal energy for the nation. The prospect of Fiji having her own fuel supply, secure in her borders is exciting. But with most good things, one can suspect that this will take time.

Where to now? In broad terms, geothermal projects involve four stages. The first being surface exploration, followed by Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

DECEMBER 2013

27


COUNTRY

The Vodafone & Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards 2013 was held on November 16 at the Shangri-la’s Fijian Resort in Sigatoka. This prestigious event – one of the largest in the South Pacific – has been in existence for twenty-one years. Organized by Investment Fiji, the event acknowledges the achievements of Fiji’s exporters and appreciates their contribution to enhancing the Fijian economy. This year, Fiji went on an ambitious campaign in widening its markets and continues to brand Fiji in the global trade market. The theme for this year rightly sums up their efforts of “Expanding beyond the horizons of Fiji”. Below are this year’s winners: Main Award 2013 Vodafone & Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award Rosie Travel Group

Sector Based Award Categories 2013 Reserve Bank of Fiji Agriculture Exporter of the Year Award – Ben’s Trading Limited

General Award Categories 2013 Bank of Baroda Small Exporter of the Year Award - Neelesh Kamal Company

Hangton Pacific Company Ltd Fisheries Exporter of the Year Award - Walt Smith International (Fiji) Ltd

2013 Life Insurance Corporation of India Medium Exporter of the Year Award - Ram Sami & Sons (Fiji) Ltd 2013 Home Finance Company Large Exporter of the Year Award – Biscuit Company of Fiji Ltd

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DECEMBER 2013

Golden Manufacturers Ltd Manufacturing Exporter of the Year Award - Douglas Pharmaceuticals (Fiji) Tropik Wood Industries Ltd Forestry Exporter of the Year Award - Dayals Sawmillers Limited

Special Award Categories Technix Pacific Ltd Emerging Exporter of the Year Award - Manasa Export Bank South Pacific (BSP) Import Substitution Award - P.A. Lal Coachwork Ltd RECOGNITION AWARD For their outstanding contribution towards Fiji’s economy: 1. Pure Fiji Export Limited 2. United Apparel (Fiji) Ltd 3. Standard Concrete Industries 4. Sustainable Mahogany Industries Ltd

Telecom (Fiji) Ltd Information Communications Technology (ICT) Services Award - ANZ Pacific Operations Limited

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ECONOMY

A Rosie Story The Fijian-owned business that is committed to exporting the ‘bula’ dream to the world PHOTO SUPPLIED

By WAME VALENTINE

R

OSIE Travel Group has done it again. Last month, the country’s largest inbound tour operator scooped the 2013 Vodafone and Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award, marking the third time the company has been given the top award. Other accolades in the company’s trophy cabinet include AON 2012 Fiji Tourism Ground Operator of the Year, Conference and Incentive DMC of the Year, Global Markets of the Year as well as Front liner of the Year Award just to name a few. In February this year, the Rosie Travel Group (Rosie Holidays, Likuliku Lagoon & Malolo Island Resort) secured 6 awards, the largest scoop by any one company in AON’s history. Established four decades ago by Roy and Rose “Rosie” Whitton, the Nadi-based company now employs more than 500 people. Rose, the lady behind the success, is now 78 years old and from time to time would continue to do what she has done from the beginning – ensuring that the business upholds its core values. Tony Whitton, the couple’s son, now seats in the driver’s seat of Rosie Travel Group, ensuring that his parents’ legacy continues to blossom like the flower on the company’s logo. “We need to understand that tourism is a vital export industry,” Tony told maiLIFE Insight. The country’s tourism industry is regarded as the largest provider of jobs and the greatest earner of foreign exchange employing over 50,000 people, contributing over 30% of the country’s GDP. “What’s unique about my industry is that we are in the business of exporting dreams to a world that is tired, rushed and, in many cases,

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Roy & Rosie Whitton

unhappy,” said Tony. Being consistent with Rosie Holiday’s tagline ‘Bula lives here’, the company delivers everything that epitomizes the word bula.

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A heartfelt Fijian greeting, bula is everything from a warm greeting to a blessing of health, long life and happiness. This is the precise image that Rosie

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Travel Group projects to its clients and the world. With a lounge situated at Nadi International Airport, Rosie Travel offers 24-hour services to visitors disembarking from all international flights. The friendly staff assists the clients’ onward services as well as any other general information. The award-winning inbound tour operator also owns Thrifty Car Rentals, with a modern fleet of more than forty self-driving vehicles that could be rented to explore Fiji’s best. Rosie Travel has thrived from its humble beginnings at the lobby of the Dominion International Hotel (now the Mercure) which opened in 1973, to a business that now services over 90,000 visitors annually. The family also owns Ahura

PHOTO: NAZIAH ALI

INSIGHT

Tony Whitton (third from left) flanked by staff of RosieTravel Group.

Resorts which owns the five star Likuliku Lagoon Resort, featuring Fiji’s first and only over-water bure hovering above the lagoon’s reef edge in Mamanuca. The bures are

ROSIE TRAVEL GROUP 2013 INVESTMENT FIJI PRIME MINISTERS’ EXPORTER OF THE YEAR AWARD.

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elaborately designed with traditional architecture intertwined with modern elements. Likuliku means ‘calm lagoon’ and the resort looks like a prehistoric Fijian village floating on the sea. Legend has it that the ancestral god, Lutunasobasoba, lost the chest of Mana in the lagoon between Likuliku and Mana island, thus causing the lagoon to be calm. In many ways, the ‘calmness’ that the name Likuliku implies is a reflection of the experience one would get once he is immersed in Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Malolo Island Resort is also owned by Rosie Travel Group. Unlike Likuliku, the resort’s architecture celebrates Fiji’s colonial history and caters for families. The resort features 45 bures with panoramic views of the ocean and is set amongst lush tropical gardens making it the perfect get-away for either a couple or a family. Both resorts were voted best Luxury and Deluxe Resorts at the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism Awards. With maternal links to Rewa, Tony is extremely proud of his Fijian heritage. Unlike most of his competitors in the tourism industry, the Whitton business is a fully Fijian-owned company. Despite the stressful operation that Tony runs, he would make certain to have lunch with Rose Whitton, his mother, every Sunday. “We get counsel and guidance from her,” Tony tells this magazine. “She makes sure that we are centered, not on profit but on the three-fold ethos that she has always instilled in us: integrity, treating staff like family and ensuring that everyone prospers from the tourism industry.”

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ECONOMY

‘My business is not about the dalo, it’s about the people’ By WAME VALENTINE THOSE were the sentiments of Peni Moi, the Managing Director of Fiji’s largest root-crop exporter, Ben’s Trading Limited. Other than Mere Samisoni’s Hot Bread Kitchen enterprise, Peni’s business is one of the largest i-Taukei owned business in the country. This year alone, the company’s value of exports reached almost ten million dollars. The 43-year-old has come a long way from his first farm in Marekaba, located in Buca Bay, in Cakaudrove. He started out farming and selling his root crops at the young age of seventeen before he saved enough money to move to Suva. In 2002, Peni started Ben’s Trading where he began exporting root crops to Australia after which he incorporated his business under the Companies Act Fiji. The rest, as they say, was history. Peni and his wife with their spoils This year, Ben’s Trading Ltd took the top award in the agriculture secand lazy. They’ve gotten used to tor at the Vodafone and Westpac hand-outs and depending on the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year government for their economic wellAwards. being. They do not wish to change When queried by a journalist as to their way of thinking so that they whether he’s pleased at the honor, his could depend on themselves and response was unexpected. utilize the abundant resources that’s Peni replied, “Au sega ni marauavailable to them,” say the native taka na noqu tauri cocovi nikua. of Naivuruvuru in Verata, Tailevu. Baleta niu rai yani vaqo, e sega ni Peni tells me that he doesn’t want dua na iTaukei e tokoni yau.” (I am the iTaukei community to be content not too pleased with my award because as I look at the crowd, I realize that I’m the only iTaukei in the room who has been acknowledged for running a business.) It’s clear that the lack of participation of indigenous Fijians in corporate business saddens Peni. The figures show that indigenous Fijians own less than five percent of all corporations in the country. Most large companies are Indo-Fijian-, Caucasian- or Chinese-owned. Farmers from remote areas further up the Monasavu range where proper roads had to come by horses. “I believe that the iTaukei have become complacent www.mailife.com.fj

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with where they are. “If you planted five dalo today, be determined to plant six tomorrow. Keep on moving up and challenge yourself to be better because you can achieve it.” “Last year, my business managed to export four hundred containers of root crops. I was happy because we achieved the target and in doing so, made eight million dollars. But I told myself, ‘Peni, this year, aim for five hundred containers’. Why, well because I want to challenge myself. I am not satisfied at where I am.” The All Nations Christian Fellowship pastor went on to give a strong statement to the iTaukei. “E levu e dau gusugusu lotu. Io na lotu e lako vata kei na cakacaka. Ke sega ni o cakacaka, e sega ni yaga na nomu lotu. Tamata e dau vucesa na cakacaka na tamata e there is no sega ni lotu dina.”

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ECONOMY

United Apparel: The Nation’s Tailor By WAME VALENTINE

E

STABLISHED twenty four years ago, United Apparel now boasts the country’s largest and most modern manufacturing facility in the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry. With their core products ranging from suits, jackets, trousers, shorts, skirts, blouses and shirts, the manufacturing company has exported their line to Australia, New Zealand as well as the United Kingdom. In view of their immense input to the Fijian economy, United Apparel was recognized at the 2013 Vodafone and Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards held in Sigatoka last month. United Apparel has always been reputed for its quality, an attribute that was instilled by Ramesh Solanki when he founded the business in 1989. A man known for possessing a fine eye for detail, Solanki was notoriously quality conscious. Judging by this year’s win at the Investment Fiji-organized awards ceremony, it seems that those traits have been inherited by the Managing Director, Kaushik Kumar. “We’re honored that United Apparel’s accomplishments has been recognized,” said Kumar, a Marist Brothers High School old boy. It isn’t the first time that the twenty-four year old business has scooped top honors at the prestigious event. United Apparel won the Prime Ministers Exporter of the Year Award in 1996, 1997 as well as in 2000. However, after their last win, the company went on a thirteen year hiatus only re-emerging this year. “Last month, I told my

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team that we looking at exportneed to get back ing to Papua New into the awards. Guinea, Samoa, the I’m glad we have Solomons, Vanuatu because now we and New Caledonia could add the and we will get a bit 2013 Recognition more aggressive in Award on our the coming year,” Kaushik Kumar. packaging!” laughs said Kumar. Kumar, who has spent over two decades with the Challengers company, ten of which as United Apparel’s exports Managing Director. are mainly to Australia and “A lot of things have New Zealand, with Australia changed since the politibeing their biggest marcal situation in 2000. The ket but have experienced event scared a lot of our hindrances with the South buyers and we did lose a lot Pacific Regional Trade and of business,” Kumar told maiLIFE Insight. “Then we were hit by the Global Financial Crisis a couple of years later.” Affected by this double whammy, the company down-sized, shifted their strategies and began searching for new markets. Traditionally, they have been known as a men’s suit manufacturer but due to the shifting sands of national and global events, United Apparel began producing women’s pants, skirts, jackets, shirts and blouses. They also found their niche in being able to handle small orders.

Economic Co-operation Agreement, otherwise known as SPARTECA. This agreement, which came into effect in 1981, offers duty-free and unrestricted access to the TCF industries of developing island member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) with Fiji being one. United Apparel and the TCF industry majorly benefited from the SPARTECA agreement through the preferential access to Australian and New Zealand markets. In 1997 the TCF industry

Bright Future United Apparel has steadily grown in the last six months which would probably explain why an additional one hundred workers were employed. With exciting developments in the pipeline, the business is working with new clients in the area of defense clothing which is expected to come online in the coming year. A supplier to Virgin Airlines, United Apparel also supplies corporate uniforms to the local market, arguably the leading player. “Our focus is now expanding to the region. United Apparel is now Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

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ECONOMY

Gibson Freight Director, Kamal Reddy (left) with United Apparel's Managing Director, Kaushik Kumar.

accounted for 26% of Fiji’s total domestic exports; it contributed to some 3.5% of GDP and provided employment for about 18,000 Fijians that account for 16% of those in total paid employment. But since the introduction of SPARTECA in the early 80s, there hasn’t been a review of the conditions. Because of the rising cost of raw materials, an extension of SPARTECA TCF Scheme was established a few

years ago and reduced the total cost of product from 50 to 35 per cent. However, wool and wool brand products were excluded from this new scheme. “Our company is a suit manufacturer so wool fabrics were the biggest part of our raw materials consumption. Due to that, we lost a significant amount of business as we simply could not comply with their rules,” said Kumar. Kumar is calling for a

better market access into Australia and New Zealand. “Our garments should be able to enter the Australia and New Zealand markets duty-free without this local content requirement. This has been done to other countries and I believe Fiji should be granted the same access. The way the global situation is today, most countries are entering into free-trade agreements. Fiji needs to ensure that she isn’t left out.”

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GIBSON FREIGHT 125AFL CARGO BLDG, NADI AIRPORT PH: 6720333 FAX: 6720306

15 JETS COURT, MELBOURNE AIRPORT VIC 3045 TULLAMARINE, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA PH: (61) 393352100 FAX: (61) 393303386 118 FREIGHT STREET, LYTTON QLD 4178 WYNNUM, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA PH: (61) 733482242 FAX: (61) 733482094

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ECONOMY

Vodafone & Westpac Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year Awards Cocktail

PHOTOGRAPHS BY NAZIAH ALI

Held at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort on November 16, 2013

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ECONOMY

The Builders of Fiji’s Economy By WAME VALENTINE 

W

HEN building your dream home, purchasing affordable yet quality timber for construction is rare. It’s splendid to have a home-plan but without the best materials, your home might not be standing after 50 years. This is where Dayals Sawmillers Limited comes in. The company specializes in selling mahogany, a high-value timber product. Due to the high quality timber that they produce to local and international markets, Dayals Sawmillers was recognized for their contribution to the Fijian economy at the 2013 Vodafone and Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards last month. “We are thankful to Investment Fiji for acknowledging our efforts in promoting Fijian products in various countries abroad,” Jay Dayal, the Managing Director, told maiLIFE Insight.

Situated in Ba, the business was established in 1994 to cater to the timber demand locally and internationally. Employing 135 highly-trained personnel, the business uses high quality band saws, a 4-knee fully automatic log carriage with sophisticated set-works producing the quality cut of any merchantable size. Engineer approved, their products are exported to Japan as well as to Puerto Rico and everywhere else in between. The largest hardwoods sawmill and exporter in the west boasts having the highest recovery with the best yield of grades in the industry. Ensuring that the company takes good care of the environment, Dayals Sawmillers utilizes a high-tech fully automatic Italian kiln drying plant for drying timber. The driers use wood waste only as fuel. This cutting edge technology is environmentally friendly giving you peace of mind in the knowledge that the timber you purchased wasn’t processed in ways that could be detrimental to the

environment. The owners of Dayal Sawmillers have now diversified into the bottled water business launching the Island Chill Natural Artesian Water in 2005. Island Chill went on to receive the World’s Best Tasting Crystal Award in Belgium in 2013 after winning Superior Taste Award from 2007 to 2013. “The timber industry, in particular, the mahogany industry will be a strong foreign exchange earner for Fiji very soon,” said Dayal. “We envisage that our production and turnover will significantly increase in 2014 after we have had a full year of mahogany log supply. The Mahogany license came into effect only in May 2013 and we have since worked very hard to implement continuous improvement and a learning culture in our business so we can stand par with world standards.” Dayal Sawmillers now export their products to the United States as well as to Israel.

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ECONOMY

FMF, Celebrating 40 Years By PAULINI CURUSARA Origins The year was 1969, a 33-year-old Hari Punja of Sigatoka caught a bus, clad in a pair of short pants, shirt and flip flops envisioning a new business that would make Fiji less reliant on overseas food products. In what should have been his young adult life, Mr Punja, the founder of Flour Mills of Fiji Limited (FMF) proved himself as an industrial pioneer. With help from the Fiji government, he revolutionized the Fijian manufacturing industry with the birth of FMF. The company was part of a movement that began in the 1950s that aimed at making Fiji selfsufficient in products which are vital to its economy. Flour was one such commodity that was seen relevant for multiple uses in the staple diet of a significant percentage of Fiji’s population. At that time, Fiji was annually importing 40,000 tons of flour from overseas markets, spending considerable amount on foreign exchange. Stepping into the threshold of postindependence years, Fiji’s economy had to be independent. A new sense of direction for Fiji was to be fostered. Having our very own flour mill would be a big help because not only would it reduce the outflow of valuable foreign exchange, it would also ensure consumers had the best flour quality at a cheaper cost than imported flour whose presentation could never match this due to the time frame taken to get this commodity across to Fiji. Grinding it out Flour Mills of Fiji initially christened as Suva Flour Mills Company Limited began operations in 1973. The mill - Fiji’s first - was set up with an initial cost of $1.2 million. It had a capacity to produce 50,000 tons of flour annually, a much better offer than what Fiji was trading at during that time. Like any other business, there had to be sound business knowledge

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before good investment was to take place. The initial capital was brought in by Wallace Flour Mills Company Limited which was owned by the Vissanji family of Mumbai (then Bombay). This family were business moguls and a brand name in the industry. They had firmly established themselves in the business and controlled the largest number of flour mills in India. Because the mill was in its infant stages, the promoter group managed the entire funding of the business suite including borrowing for the project. Wallace Group also brought in technical expertise from India as the young company was in dire need of this. The major labour component was provided by the local community. Challenges Like all other pioneering businesses, there were challenges faced in the process of starting the company. Obviously the real challenge faced by the company was the availability of technically skilled people. Consequently, the company had to hire expatriates to fill in these areas. Despite this initiative, the company felt it was treading on egg shells. Finding trained workers to hire were a rarity as the local manufacturing industry then was relatively small. An entire workforce comprising of locals had to be trained in all areas of operations starting from discharging ships that brought in wheat for milling to the final presentation of the product. The second challenge was familiarising the taste of freshly milled flour with the local market. For too long people were used to imported flour and found it hard to adapt to the taste of fresh flour. The third challenge was marketing flour to the iTaukei population who were new to making roti. These daunting tasks weren’t easy because they were all new skills for Fiji. The company management slowly started to make an energetic and successful push to make FMF a global presence through its marketing strategies. Throughout the company’s spectacular growth, the

management maintained a delicate balancing act, imposing rigorous system-wide standards while encouraging entrepreneurial spirit that welcomed ideas from all levels in the company. Many of these ideas contributed to the company’s astonishing success. The fast pace in which the company was growing saw FMF listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange within six years of establishment. This meant stability for the company and shareholding was more broadbased. FMF had set the platform that the Fijian economy needed. By the 1980’s, FMF had changed the manufacturing industry in Fiji. The company had seen a rapid expansion, fuelled at low costs. Punja had created one of the most compelling brands of all time in Fiji – Flour Mills of Fiji Limited. In amassing a million dollar fortune, Hari Punja had forged an industry that is to be among the Pacific’s greatest manufacturers and exporters. Nature of Business Today, FMF is one of Fiji’s biggest manufactures and exporters. It has a global presence felt in 20 countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada – a testimony of its true international quality. They have also stamped its mark in other domains ike providing support for education, health, senior citizens and rural communities. It produces flour, rice, peas, biscuits, noodles, chips (potato, dalo & cassava), coconut oil, baked ingredients, crushed wheat and a few others. In addition, it has embarked on producing cartons for packaging across the local manufacturing industries including all the other companies in the FMF group. The robust business practices and management system in the company invests in its peoples and facilities. The company has grown steadily over 40 years and is gaining market shares in most of its products because it ensures that every FMF product is priced at a cost that every single Fijian can afford.

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ECONOMY

The Icing on the Cake for FMF’s Biscuit Company By PAULINI CURUSARA

F

MF’s Biscuit Company of Fiji Ltd proved the best yet again by winning the Prime Minister’s Large Exporter of the Year Award 2013 which was held at the Coral Coast’s Shangri-La Hotel last month. But it hasn’t been easy sailing for the company in achieving excellent results. It all began in a small bakery in one oven within the mills building producing Fiji’s famous Breakfast Crackers. Within two years, the crackers had become so popular that they were being exported with a line of cabin bread. By 1996, everyone in Fiji had a favourite. There was a variety of biscuits produced in FMF that was fascinating and vast. There was wheat germ, coconut, peanut, choc chip or cherry with kid’s cookies for the young ones. Local and export increasing demands compelled the FMF Biscuit Company to start a

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production facility of its own. The Biscuit Company of Fiji has made its product a national icon and major success of the FMF as well. There are more than 200 employees of the company that work two shifts 7 days a week. This is a true reflection of the popularity and demand the Biscuit Company has acquired over the years.

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Today, the Biscuit Company of (Fiji) Limited manufactures a wide variety of biscuits such as breakfast crackers, cookies, chocolate biscuits, cream biscuits and many more. Biscuits made are being shipped to more than 20 countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Tahiti, Samoa and other Pacific islands.

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ART

Kudru II is about evolution By TORIKA BOLATAGICI LECTURER, SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION AND CREATIVE ARTS, DEAKIN UNIVERSITY

K

udru's evolution is of a growing contemporary art scene in Fiji and a maturation of expectations around what contemporary Fijian art can look like. The Kudru (a Fijian word to describe grumbling, grunting and groaning) is a title mobilized to express discontent. Since its first iteration in 2011, the artists of Kudru have faced criticism that the paintings are ‘too dark’ that the themes are ‘too strong’ and as Irami Buli explains ‘the work pushes people out of their comfort zone’. In the face of such criticism, curator Larry Thomas and the five artists in the exhibition, have bravely presented a thoughtful and inspiring show that extends the themes visited in the original Kudru exhibition. Artist Anare Somumu explains that the issues addressed in the exhibition are ‘things that are normally taken for granted and because it’s constantly in the newspapers, it become the norm’. Kudru II is a powerful wake-up-call challenging viewers to confront their apathy towards certain societal issues. In the exhibition catalogue Thomas writes, “Gone are the days of motifs and images signifying myths and legends, of old gods and new ones. A ‘new’ identity is beginning to emerge, one that is based on the present and not tied with the past.” But these artists do not dismiss the past. To the contrary, they speak from a third space and reflect on the challenges that Fijians face as they navigate the place between contemporary and traditional culture. This tension is most evident in the work of Irami Buli who employs a symbolic representation of the ibe (Fijian mat) which he magnifies to expose hidden stories. Sometimes the weave of the ibe is tight and easily recognisble and at other times it is loose and chaotic – but as a metaphorical symbol of the Fijian life cycle, the ibe is constant and always present. Work like Buli’s represents a growing conceptual awareness in contemporary Fijian art – an awareness that has been there for some time – but has existed in tension with the commercial demands of the tourist-led art economy. Mason Lee says that Kudru creates the kind of atmosphere to shift a person’s

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mind to another level, but he adds that in Fiji, it will take time. Kudru II is another step in the right direction to highlight the value and importance of artists in our community to speak to different audiences in a visual language that is more complex than mere aesthetic value. As artist Pita Waqanui states, ‘it’s about using art as a tool to talk about issues’. Somumu agrees saying, “I hope that they realize that we can make art about more meaningful things rather than just patterns.” For much of his career, Somumu has resisted community expectation to make work that includes traditional motifs and symbols, and recalls that as a realist painter, he felt alienated by the Red Wave collective at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture, at the University of the South Pacific. Somumu’s stunning portraits in Kudru II demonstrate why he is a well-loved painter and illustrator. His work leaves me wanting to see him develop more work in the vein of The Stained Provider and Burdens of Love. Much of the work in Kudru II looks outward. The overwhelming themes are concerned with matters of poverty, gender inequality, domestic abuse, intellectual and political freedom, environmental responsibility, mental health and wellbeing and the commercialization of indigenous knowledge. Mason Lee has shifted significantly from his recognizable abstract style to one that is more figurative. There is a sense that he is still getting comfortable in this new territory, but the sincerity and tenderness with which he addresses poverty, HIV and teenage pregnancy is palpable. More than merely exploring new themes in their work, it is refreshing to see Waqa Vuidreketi experimenting with smoked canvases and blending natural and synthetic materials such as mangrove sap and masi with acrylic paint and glue. Vuidreketi’s work addresses the tactility of material culture and merging traditional practices with contemporary materials. His practice is heavily influenced by his bubu’s (grandmother) weaving and his observation of firing claypots that are made in his village in Rewa. As a newcomer to the Kudru group of artists, I look forward to seeing Vuidreketi’s work develop, especially his interest in site-specific installation. Another newcomer, Pita Waqanui, Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

moves comfortably between different approaches and it is evident that he is still establishing his style. With collectable works like Survival and Cold Love, it is clear that he has a bright future. The original Kudru group - Buli, Somumu and Lee - remind us why they are highly regarded painters with a national and international profile. However, a couple of these original artists have presented work that moves away from their established style and to varying levels of success. Leading up to the exhibition, Thomas had facilitated group discussions to ask the artists to reflect on what is going on around them, and to bring these concerns into their work. For some of the artists, this approach has come naturally, and for others, it has been more challenging. There is a tendency towards didacticism and storytelling through clichés in some of the work and I hope that this just represents a moment of divergence for some of the artists, as they navigate their way through new techniques and approaches. What is certain, is that the artists are serious about dialogue, evolution as practictioners and perfecting their craft. The standout works, where concept, execution and mastery of materials synthesize beautifully are The Battle of Good and Evil, Silence III, Cold Love, The Stained Provider and Kross Road. While Thomas’s vision as a curator to engage local and international critique demonstrates his global focus and commitment to the importance of critical reflection, my sincere hope is that the Kudru project evolves to include female visual artists in the future. Thomas has lamented the absence of a female voice in Kudru II and while women are the subject of many of the artworks, their real agency is not presented. Only when there is a real gender balance will we see the true revolutionary potential of Kudru. Somumu concludes, “I took part in this exhibition knowing that I can’t change the world, but if my paintings can hold the viewer there for one second, then that’s an achievement.” The curator and artists should feel proud knowing that they have achieved much through the presentation of these new works, and the impact of this historic exhibition series will continue to reverberate across the Pacific.

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STORY

‘My New Lease on Life’ How Luke Nayasa overcame HIV/AIDS’ death sentence

By LUKE NAYASA

I

WAS born into a broken family. A Form Five student, my mother fell pregnant and gave birth to me when she was 17. She couldn’t raise me and so her brother, my uncle, took me under his wings and brought me up. It was he who made sure that I had a good education and for that, I will be eternally grateful. Originally from Logani in Tailevu, I had never met my biological father. My search for him continues today despite the fact that I’m 40 years old. Growing up, I would listen to my friends’ aspirations for their future. One wanted to be a pilot, another a doctor. My dream wasn’t fancy; I’ve never experienced life with my complete family and so I would dream, as a little boy, of having one. I never did. As I grew, I excelled in sports and did well in school. But in my twenties, I partied a lot and enjoyed the freedom of youth. I also had casual encounters with different women. During a late night out, I met the woman I was going to marry and decided to settle down with her. Almost a year later, our son was born. I remember looking at my son and feeling hopeful for the future. I was determined to be the best father to him – the father I never had. But three months after the birth of our son, things began to go terribly wrong. He began to cough severely and that led to him being infected by more serious illnesses. Befuddled, the doctors decided to conduct a HIV test which came back positive. My son had HIV. I couldn’t speak and I didn’t know what to do. I thought, ‘Is it possible that my wife and I are HIV positive too?’ I went numb. Sure enough, after the doctors took our blood test, we

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Luke Nayasa with his family at their home in Labasa

realized that we had the virus. My wife, my son and I now carry a deadly disease that has no known cure. The year was 2002. I thought back to my twenties and recalled a tryst I had with a woman who, I was informed later, was flamboyantly promiscuous. Could she have knowingly passed the virus to me? If so then I had contracted the virus in 1999, ten years after the first HIV-reported case in Fiji and three years before my marriage. All my life I never gave a second thought to this disease that has claimed millions of lives around the world. I’ve always assumed that it was a Western issue, not a Fijian one. I was completely lost and I couldn’t believe that I was infected. For a time there, I was in denial. I felt healthy and I looked well, how could I possibly be dying? Because my child was frequently admitted to the hospital, I had to abandon my job to take care of him. A year

later, our son passed away from HIV. He was one year and six months old. The pain of his loss broke my heart. A parent should never have to bury their child but I did and I wasn’t the same again. My son was gone. I was never going to hear him laugh, never going to cradle him to sleep every night or kiss him in the morning. In the midst of my utter sadness, in came good news -- my wife was with child. Nine months later, our daughter was born. Because of my wife’s HIV status, it was advised that she receive the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT), a treatment given to HIV pregnant mothers to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother-to-child. Our daughter was one of the first children in Fiji who went through PMTCT – and she survived. Today, she is a class five student and full of life. Unfortunately, three years after her birth, my wife succumbed to HIV. The pain I felt when I lost my son

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STORY

Photographs courtesy of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Response Fund Committee, with the support of the Pacific Islands HIV and STI Response Fund.The Response Fund supports people living with HIV in the Pacific through organisations such as Fiji Network Plus (FJN+).

Age Group 0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Unknown Total No. 11 14 232 137 41 13 2 30 GENDER

Women 232

Ethnic Total Group No. Total No.

Men 243 iTaukei 388

Indo Fijian 57

Unknown 7 Others

Unknown (Incomplete Form)

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Source : Fiji Network Plus

and then my wife was indescribable. I felt so beat down. I didn’t know what to do. After my wife’s death in 2006 I began to take treatment for this virus. I am on treatment now and I have lived now for 14 years with this virus. This treatment has kept me going; I found a new lease in life. I met Lora and fell in love. Despite the fact that I was living with HIV for ten years, I never told anyone about it but through Lora’s acceptance, I decided to make it public. Even though I’ve told her my HIV status, she refused to see me as a man with HIV. Instead, she saw the man that she loved. Her love and acceptance was life-changing. I no longer saw myself in an unfavorable light and didn’t give a second thought to the hurtful remarks that ignorant people made about me. I have moved past my HIV status and I am a happier man now, despite what our relatives think about us. They have their own views about us but we have other plans which they could not comprehend. Today, we also have a three year old son named Liofa Mailoqi and both my wife and my son are HIV-free. My wife’s acceptance and support has enabled me to reach to greater heights as a person living with HIV. www.mailife.com.fj

Luke Nayasa with his wife (right) and his two children outside his home in Labasa n

For treatment, individuals can go to the Hub Centres which are located Suva, Lautoka and Labasa. It is best that they spend some time with the Doctor who will guide them on all clinical aspects of the treatment and the importance of adherence. For someone who has been tested, it is important that they discuss or ask the doctor anything they want to know their new health status. The doctors will and should explain all medical issues and probably some social issues that one might want to clarify. At FJN+, we have people living with HIV (or HIV positive) and those who are negative working here and anyone who has been diagnosed with HIV is welcome to come and seek information in regards to the virus. The important

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thing is to know that this is no longer a deadly virus as treatment is available to address the virus while prolonging peoples’ lives and ensure a quality one. The Fiji Network Plus is an advocacy organisation of and for people living with HIV. We do community education programmes, we do a little bit of media through radio and to some extent TV to get people to understand HIV and hope to dispel myths that perpetuate stigma and discrimination. We open five days a week (Monday – Friday) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the office is situated within the Old Government Pharmacy complex (next to Bayly Clinic) on Rodwell Road here in Suva. People can contact us on phone 3310 958 DECEMBER 2013

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BUSINESS

Women on a Mission BY PAULINI CURUSARA & RATU KALAVETI TUICAKAU

A

LTHOUGH Fiji has made commendable progress in creating a legislative framework for women that supports women’s rights, there hasn’t been much improvement in promoting commercial participation in Fiji’s economy. Since its inception in 1998, Women in Business (WIB) have grown from strength to strength. Through its commitment, the organization works towards creating an environment that would enable more women to go into commercial enterprising. The organisation aims to encourage and support existing businesswomen in Fiji in terms of sustainable growth and development. For the women entrepreneurs in WIB, it is an organization that they hold with the highest regards. To empower women in the business sector, WIB has set a platform for women executives and entrepreneurs by organising an annual awards event for the two main divisions in Fiji: the central and western division. It aims to celebrate the commercial and business of women in Fiji. Similar to last year’s awards, the 2014 awards has three categories: Business Woman of the Year, Executive Woman of the Year and Aspiring Entrepreneur of the Year. According to WIB, the categories will reflect the various roles taken up by women in the business sector or leadership role. The awards were designed with the one objective which is to recognise the commercial contribution of Fijian women to the socio-economic development of Fiji. The awards will applaud and recognise businesswomen and managers. WIB believes with such a drive, Fiji would be able to achieve the requisite level of women in commerce in making it a norm rather than being inconsistent. The small but dedicated group also believes

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the awards will be an incentive for women to work harder in their field as women leaders and work towards their entrepreneurial and career goals. The winners from each category would win, among other prizes, cash and return trips overseas to attend training that would enhance entrepreneurial skills. The prizes ensured that while winners are acknowledged, they assist in improving women in their business roles in future. The elite group of women say the awards and the attention to women's commercial contributions to Fiji's economic growth would achieve not only that, but keep the focus on the need to include women in larger numbers for a more equitable and robust business world. Westpac Fiji has stepped on board as gold sponsors for the award. WIB is calling on women to come out in numbers and participate in the awards. It urges the community to support such women by nominating them for the 2014 awards. WIB could be a success story for many particularly women but like all other success stories, it faces many challenges. One such challenge of course is the largely traditional view of a woman’s place in society, where she is inferior to a man. This cultural norm is a significant barrier for women entrepreneurs and women managers of companies. Another challenge is that women are not taken seriously as businesswomen, CEOs, etc. A third challenge is funding. As a young organisation going into micro-financing, WIB need funds to create and encourage women to actively participate in the commercial sector and remain in business. Fortunately Westpac Fiji has been one of their key financial supporters. However, WIB is pleased that more women now continue to achieve leadership and commercial roles in their organizations, making it a key component for their awards. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY NAZIAH ALI

BUSINESS

The Who's Who in Women in Business BY PAULINI CURUSARA

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Dr Nur Bano Ali

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r Nur Bano Ali graduated with a PhD from the University of Waikato in New Zealand in 1999. With her career spanning almost three decades in business, she has become a strong-minded and forthright person who refuses to be pushed around. A resilient woman, she has built a tenacity that surpasses all negative criticisms. Her fundamental philosophy in life is fairness, accountability with regular self-assessment and open mindedness. Dr Ali is a firm believer in the law of natural justice which states that we will have to account for what we do. She attributes her strength of character to growing up in a strong home with strong-minded women like her mother and grandmother. No stranger to the world of business and commerce, she comes from a family of entrepreneurs; hence, it was almost a natural progression for her to set up her own business. When she started out, she faced denigration and was questioned of her abilities as a young woman to run a business, but she had remained focused, drawing strength from the doubts and criticisms hurled at her. A trendsetter, Dr Ali started an accountancy and business advisory practice twenty-nine years ago, a time when this profession was extremely male-dominated and female business leaders were a rarity. She has been an active proponent of business and commerce through her leadership of the Suva Chamber of Commerce. A sharp investor, Ali is always looking at ways to expand both commercially and personally. She is currently the Managing Partner of AlizPacific. On Women In Business (WIB), Ali believes that women

have natural and multi-functional abilities for managerial and leadership roles but lack the confidence to harness and market themselves due to society’s attitude and systems which was never designed to encourage women to enter the space. A woman who’s passionate about medium and small businesses, Ali challenges finance and regulatory institutions to work with WIB for growth by adopting an “outside the box” approach. According to Ali, women who are in control today are still challenged and questioned by colleagues. A typical day for Dr Ali starts at 6.30am with fitness training at her home-gym where she exercises for at least an hour. She’s usually in her office by 9am and works until 8pm. However, Dr Ali says she doesn’t have an official time to end her working day because she is involved with other networks which requires her to juggle her time. For Ali, her business is virtually a 24-hour job. Having lived through many trying times, she now enjoys working which mostly comprises of business advisory and consulting work. Dr Ali is one who believes in self-motivation saying that it’s entirely one’s choice to be or not to be successful.

Laura Houlihan

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Having joined Women in Business (WIB) in October this year, Laura Houlihan is one of the newest members of this women empowering organization. She completed her Bachelor of Civil Law Degree in Ireland, where she originally hails from. She then moved to Sydney in 2010 to commence work in Rockwell Olivier, one of Australia’s groups of law firms, working as a solicitor for its international team. Houlihan is admitted to the bar in New South Wales and Fiji. Ms Houlihan moved to Fiji with her partner at the beginning of this year to manage Rockwell Olivier’s business in Fiji. Laura was impressed with WIB when she learnt more about their role after attending their awards ceremony in March. She believes WIB is a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge and promote the commercial success of women and encourage them to acquire education and skills to be successful in the workplace. Houlihan applauds WIB during the awards ceremony in March this year saying that the event is a fantastic way to reward women for their hard work and initiative in setting up a business in a market which is male-dominated. Laura believes that women are not encouraged to undertake commercial roles because of the unfavourable perceptions that society has towards women leaders. She reiterates the need for relevant information, like basic book-keeping, to be presented in a more simple system as these are information essentially needed to run a business. While persistence in achieving her goals usually keeps her motivated, the young lawyer says it is also important to know when to call it a day, turn off the computer and relax.

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BUSINESS

Jodi Chang

Born in Montreal in Canada, Jodi is of Italian and Irish heritage. Jodi has three sisters and a tremendously organised mother who, she says, balanced family life with work very gracefully. Jodi’s father was an entrepreneur. She moved to Fiji in 1999 and has lived here since. After years of working in Fiji, she met her husband and now has three beautiful children: Konnor, Acadia and Kabo. Chang first worked at the Fiji Museum as a Canadian volunteer running an NGO called the Pacific Islands Museum Association. She graduated with an MBA from the University of the South Pacific in 2006. Since 2008, Jodi has been working with the Matrix Holdings Group of Companies whose subsidiaries are O'Reilly's, Bad Dog Café, Victoria Wines and the Suva Business Centre. Currently she is the Director of the Matrix Holdings Group and looks after the Operations of the businesses. Mrs Chang cherishes family time the most saying her typical day kicks off with her keeping fit before rushing home to attend to her family chores as a mother. Ensuring that family responsibilities are met was learnt earlier in Jodi’s life. She was inspired by her grandmother who, despite being a widow at the age of 40, continued to work hard. “My parents would tell me, ‘Jodi, never let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything because you’re a girl; tell them that you can do it better!’” she recalls with a smile. She says that women need to support each other and be proud of what they can do. “We need to stand up and take notice of what we can accomplish, with or without a man backing us up. We need to be proud of what we do”. Reiterating what her colleague,

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Dr Ali, had mentioned earlier, Chang believes women have natural abilities to become successful entrepreneurs because they work harder and longer hours daily to support their families. As the Director of Matrix Holdings Group where sixty percent of its managers are women, Jodi’s experience was not so much her gender but she felt that she was stereotyped based on her age and origin.

Fotokalafi Ledua

Fotokalafi, commonly known as Foto, began her working career in radio immediately after graduating from Yat Sen Secondary School in Suva. She began as an on-air personality and station manager for A3V 89.1 FM in Nuku’alofa, Tonga in 1998. A year later, Ledua joined Communications Fiji Limited as an on-air personality before she became the mid-morning show host and promotion coordinator with FM96 from early 2000 to 2003. She was also part of the pioneering team on Legend FM, hosting the mid-morning show till she left in 2005. She later joined Courts Homecentres (as it was known then) as their Marketing Officer where she was later promoted to Advertising and Marketing Manager. Foto left Courts and joined the Fiji Times as their Marketing Coordinator. In 2008 she was promoted to Marketing Manager and has been holding that position since. Also new to WIB having joined last month, Ms. Ledua was interested in being part of an organisation of strong, intelligent, respected women executives. With WIB, she helps identify, mould and support women who are climbing the corporate ladder or who already have established successful businesses around the country. “It’s great to see that there’s a group whose sole purpose is to assist women to progress in this male-dominated society. As a young woman

who is still building her career, I thought it was a perfect fit,” she says. According to the confident young woman, Ledua says that fear and lack of support are two drawbacks that hinder women from participating in the commercial sphere here in Fiji. She smilingly says that WIB is the platform needed to get women out of their comfort zones. “There’s so much out there, and like everything else, it’s just about identifying what it is you want to achieve and working towards it,” she says. “And it helps if you have a great support system and women that you can draw advice, encouragement and direction from. Just don’t give up.” According to Ms. Ledua, being manager has had negative and positive reactions from both men and women. “From my experience, I’ve had both negative and positive reactions. I’ve been in situations where both men and women have not taken me seriously or paid much attention to my opinions because I’m a woman and I’m young. But I’ve been in situations where senior male executives see past my gender and age and look at my experience and knowledge. So it’s not always the war of the genders; there are some very supportive men out there.” On motivations, Foto jokingly says bills are a great motivating factor but she is quick to admit her great working environment and goals are what keep her motivated.

Jinita Prasad

J i n i t a holds a BA in Accounting and Financial Management from the University of the South Pacific (USP) as well as a graduate diploma from Financial Services Institute of Australasia in Applied Finance and Investment. She has worked in the finance industry for more than a decade and is very passionate about developing the stock market in Fiji and also

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BUSINESS

promoting the culture of saving and investing amongst the people here. Apart from being the CEO for the South Pacific Stock Exchange, Prasad sits on the executive board for Women in Business and the Suva Chamber of Commerce. She is also the president of the Rotary Club of Suva North and co-facilitator for the MBA Finance Class at USP. Prasad represented Fiji in the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue 2010 and Pacific Women’s Dialogue 2011. Prasad believes that her experience as senior executives at an early age is the drive that pushed her to joining WIB. “I believe through WIB, I can contribute to the mentoring of other young women who are making their way up the corporate ladder and provide some guidance to those women who aspire to growing their businesses but fail to do so, mainly because they lack certain technical skills,” she says. She believes financial management to be an important element in running a business and her expertise in that area is how she tries to empower women. Ms. Prasad believes women in Fiji have great potential in the business and commercial sector which is becoming more visible through training and networking given by organisations like WIB. Prasad also believes focusing on progress and achievements is a great motivating factor. On the hindrances of women taking charge in commercial roles, Prasad states through their workshops, WIB found that women tended to be more emotional when running their business which could be detrimental for the overall sustainability of their business. “Many at times, women are not presented with similar opportunities that men get which results from absence of networks, lack of capacity building opportunities, family obligations, maternity requirements and lack of mobility or flexibility available to them as women. In my experience, women also tend to underestimate themselves a lot.” Prasad pointed out that as a growing organisation trying to establish itself, there is a need for baseline data

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on women-owned businesses and women CEO’s in Fiji as it is crucial information in trying to obtain funds from donor agencies. This she believes would contribute to a greater success of WIB as an organisation. The young and steadfast CEO is calling on women to be more assertive, knowledgeable and confident in the commercial sector.

Feriahl Afzal

At 33 years old, Fehriarl Afzal is the youngest of the executives in WIB. She is employed by ANZ and currently is the Sales Manager for Global Market, Fiji. Having spent most of her time in Fiji, Afzal attended Suva Grammar School and started work at Carpenters. She relocated to Australia with her family wand worked at NAB, where she grew a passion for banking. Upon returning to Fiji, she joined ANZ where she has worked for the last 10 years. As ANZ’s Sales Manager for Global Markets Fiji, Afzal’s day-to-day activities involve managing clients’ Financial Risk (FX). This pleasant young woman says she decided to join WIB because she sees it as an organisation that is committed to supporting women’s progress. Feriahl says her experience as a banker will help other inspire and empower other women who doubt their ability to progress in their careers. A typical day for Feriahl begins by going to the gym three days a week where she spends an hour exercising. According to her, this is the way to begin a great day. She is in her office by 8.30am. After dinner and spending time with her small family, Feriahl loves to unwind by watching her favourite TV programme Shortland Street before she retires for the day. She is married and has a 7 month old baby that means the world to her.

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Marlene Dutta

An advocate for women’s issues, it is not surprising that this talented young woman is with WIB. Dutta was vice president of WIB from 20062011. From 2009 to 2011, she was president of Business for HIV and AIDS (BAHA). Marlene was also the first president for Global Transfers Limited, a position she held for 12 years. Dutta’s skills and experience include account management, business transformation, strategic communications, retail, and marketing strategy, new business development, marketing businesses, business processes and training leadership. She is also a member of the Auckland University, Fiji club. Currently Ms. Dutta is Corporate Services Manager for City Pharmacy Limited Group, a listed company on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange and a leading retail and wholesale organisation in PNG. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Management Science and Information Systems, Management Studies and Labour Relations and Marketing from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Nirmala Nambiar

She is currently the Head of Marketing Westpac ( F i j i ) . Nambiar’s experience in the banking industry spansalmost 15 years. She holds a BA from USP and an MBA from CQU, Central Queensland University.

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DECEMBER 2013

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S’PACIFICALLY SPEAKING

Seasons Greetings

S

easons greetings to you all as we come to the end of another year – where has time disappeared to? So much has happened, both good and bad and we keep hoping for better things to come for us all and our beloved Fiji. December is a time when I think of what we all went through and give thanks for simple survival! Whilst some of us faced many challenging issues in one way or another during 2013, we keep moving forward as there is no turning back for any reason. We have children and family and it's for them that we strive forward. Natural disasters, man-made disasters, domestic violence, gender violence, child labour crimes, political upheaval, genocide, sickness, loss of loved ones and many other unfortunate events have been experienced by many but there is always a new day. I pay respect to the ordinary citizens of our country who have just put their heads down and worked to keep family, body and soul together. Non govermental organisations (NGOs) and members of civil society who raised the flag and recorded our issues and concerns and engaged whenever they met to work out strategies of decent survival for our citizens. To the private sector who have economically carried us through another year – thank you to all of you. Many champions work without recognition because they don’t want it or need it – to you all, thank you very much. Just ordinary good people doing ordinary good work. And for our school students, better things are happening with education already – as I mentioned in my column last month we had paid for quite a number of school fees in this last term of 2013 to secure places for our sponsored pupils next year, so we were pleasantly surprised when those very funds were refunded on the last day of school. All will be well then next year and those of us who raise funds to assist families with school fees can see our support extended to more children for their stationary, uniforms and bags only. Some of the children we support from the informal settlements have come through their exams with flying colours and some, with certificates of progress and encouragement for next year. I visit some of these families in their very simple abode and marvel at how one or two

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of their children excel at school when the home environment is far from comfortable – 11 members of a family in a 2 room house or a single parent family of 4 in a rickety lean-to UHS non-compliant construction that is barely 10 feet by 12 feet with only a small multi purpose kitchen table in the house, and yet the children do so well. Bless them, not a iPod or iPhone in sight, no electricity, no fancy ear candy, only the will to live and do well at school, as they were given the opportunity. I salute these children and their families who make a concerted effort to support their little ones who do well scholastically. And of course a big thank you to the teachers and educators for their role in educating our children. There are so many NGOs and organisations to thank and two that ended this year with a bang was the Bula Mai Fiji project and the International Womens’ Association who support the plight and needs of women and children in Fiji. They have come forward again next year to ensure that these ‘special’ little ones continue, without financial worries to their parents, with their education. Having your tuition paid for by government is a tremendous asset but stationary, uniforms, shoes, daily lunches and bus fares also need to be taken care of – the IWA has kindly agreed to support quite a number of school children in Suva and Labasa with these items and the parents are very grateful. A small Christmas party was held for some of the ‘special’ pupils and their siblings earlier this month and the new president of the IWA, Mrs Bubby Mohan baked and decorated dozens of cupcakes and meringues, sandwhiches, savouries, jelly, chips and juice for them with gifts for games and their own Santa sacks of goodies for little girls and boys. Thank you to all the IWA committee members who came and made the morning a truly memorable one for them, and thank you Doreen at Tuckers for the delish ice creams. The IWA members completed the successful children’s party to go to the Women’s Wellness Centre at the CWM to celebrate and thank the many volunteers who helped resurrect that sorry building to the wonderful purple/ mauve (the colour for women) facility for our women. The IWA raised just on $80,000 this year for the renovations

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Mrs BERNADETTE ROUNDS GANILAU is a former radio personality and Member of Parliament. Now retired, she continues with her NGO work and runs her own business.

and interiors for the Centre and women will be able to be examined with dignity and relax in comfort in the small but state of the art facility in Brown Street Suva. Ensuring wellness in Fiji is also the Bula Mai Fiji project’s objective, chaired by Adrian Soffield in Nadi. With a strong committee of amazing members, they raised a huge tent in the Automart grounds adjacent to Port Denarau and raised more than $100,000 to start up the St John Ambulance brigade service in the West and to assist with some of the community health services in our jet set town. An elegant fashion parade of local designers’ collections and an overseas shoe designer was the main programme, and the night included an amazing dinner cooked in the tent itself by some world famous chefs from the ‘homefront’, an auction, fabulous entertainment provided by Talei and Nems and Phillip, as well as by the drummer Taiko of Sydney and our very own ‘Dusk’ – Sandhya Nand who performed an exotic flamenco number on the catwalk. Resorts and retail stores went all out to donate free accommodation and meals for the auction and thank you so much to you all. By the time this magazine went to print the full amount had not been announced but thank you everyone for all the long hours, driving up and down from Suva to Nadi and volunteering to help the community in the West – our main tourist destination area. ‘Tis the season for giving and everyone gave like crazy. Well that’s it for another year – thank you for your tremendous support. Thank you to all at maiLIFE. To all who contribute to making Fiji a better place for all, thank you. Just remember the reason for the season – and that Christmas should be a way of life and not just a feeling of goodwill once a year! A Merry Christmas also to those families and individuals working in Fiji in the foreign missions, international organisations and corporations. Peace, love, health and happiness and have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends and a bigger and better 2014 from my little family to yours. God Bless our beloved Fiji and all who live within her embrace.

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CREST ChICKEN SATAY DRUMSTICKS & BURMESE SALAD WHAT YOU NEED

WHAT TO DO

Burmese Salad

Burmese Bean Salad. Cut beans into 4 cm pieces and blanch in boiling water for 1 min. Chop up tomatoes finely and mix with the beans. For the dressing, squeeze one lemon, grate garlic, add sugar, fish sauce and mix in a small bowl then pour into the mixed beans and tomatoes. Finely chop coriander and peanuts and also add to the salad.

6-8 Crest Drumsticks 2 tsp Soy sauce 2 Tbs Peanut Butter 2 tsp turmeric 2 tsp cumin 2 pcs of garlic 1 small slice of ginger 1 ½ cup coconut milk Cooking oil Corriander Green Beans Tomatoes Lemons Fish sauce Ginger Garlic Tbs Sugar

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Satay Crest Chicken Drumsticks Preheat oven to 180Ëšc. Season Crest chicken drumsticks with salt & pepper and sear in a frying pan. While in the pan add sliced onions and sprinkle a tsp of cumin. Once the chicken is seared place in a baking dish. For the satay sauce, in a bowl grate some ginger, some garlic, peanut butter, turmeric, soy sauce and coconut milk and mix to a smooth consistency. Then pour the sauce onto the drumstick in the baking dish and into the preheated oven for 45mins.

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CREST ChICKEN MANGO & LEMON ROAST WHAT YOU NEED

1 Crest Chicken (whole) 3-4 mangoes 1 lemon 4 – 6 Spring Onions Salt Pepper 80 -100g Butter Olive Oil Balsamic Vinegar

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WHAT YOU DO

Preheat oven 180˚c. Place chicken in a baking pan or dish and pat dry with a paper towel. Slide your finger under the skin of the chicken breast to loosen it up and slide in slices of butter. Season with salt & pepper and a generous helping of olive oil and massage in to the chicken. Then rip up the spring onion and slice up mangoes and add to the chicken dish. Cut lemon into quarters and stuff into the chicken’s cavity. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and place in preheated oven for 45mins

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DECEMBER 2013

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KANA

SOUThERN fRIED CREST ChICKEN ThIGhS & COLESLAW WHAT YOU NEED

Crest Chicken Thighs 1 Carton of Milk Mixed Dry Herbs Bread Crumbs Paprika Cooking Oil

Coleslaw

English cabbage Carrots Capsicum Spring Onion Pineapple Mayonnaise

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WHAT TO DO

Marinate crest chicken thighs in milk and refrigerate for overnight or no less than 3 hours. In a bowl add dry herbs and paprika into breadcrumbs and mix. Coat the marinated chicken generously with the breadcrumb mix. Heat oil in pan or use a deep fryer and add crumbed chicken thighs into the hot oil until the chicken is golden brown or cooked. Coleslaw Chop up English cabbage, carrots, capsicum, spring onion and pineapple finely, add mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.

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KANA

CREST ChICKEN ROAST hERB WHAT YOU NEED

1 Crest Chicken (whole) 1 Clove garlic 1 Onion 80-100g Butter 2 - 3 Eggplants 2- 3 Carrots ½ Pumpkin 3-4 Potatoes 3-4 kumalas Handful of fresh Basil Bunch of Spring Onions

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WHAT YOU DO

Preheat oven 180˚c. Place chicken in a baking tray and pat dry with a paper towel. Slide your finger under the skin of the chicken breast to loosen it up and slide in slices of butter. Season with salt & pepper and a generous helping of olive oil and massage in to the chicken. Slice up 1 clove of garlic roughly and stuff some into the cavity of the chicken with the rest on the chicken and baking tray. Slice up an onion and add it to the baking tray. Now cut up eggplant, carrots, potatoes and kumala into big pieces and spread around the chicken. Chop up spring onion roughly and sprinkle all over the chicken. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Finish off vegetables with a generous amount of olive oil place in oven and roast for 45mins – one hour or until cooked.

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DECEMBER 2013

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WEATHER

COP 19 Climate Change Conference: Warsaw Wrap-Up By NADRAKI WEATHER

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his 19th meeting of Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Warsaw, Poland, last month was the midpoint in talks launched two years ago at COP17 in Durban, which will culminate in 2015 in Paris. The COP21 Parties to the Convention will be required to state their “intended nationally determined contributions” to the goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to a level that will ensure future warming of the atmosphere is limited to 2 degrees Celsius in 2100. The lack of any substantial progress towards agreed targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by developed countries at the conference in Warsaw highlights the formidable challenges facing island countries in particular as real impacts of climate change are felt across the Pacific. It is important to set some context for the discussions for the uninitiated, so by way of background it should be noted that at COP17 in Durban, parties set a 2015 deadline for an agreement on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases covering the post-2020 period (beyond the time frame of the Kyoto protocol), in the form of a “protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.” This formulation implied a major turning point in the evolution of the UNFCCC by loosening up the strict differentiation between developed and developing countries reflected in the Kyoto Protocol, which only set legally binding emission targets for developed countries. A key issue debated in Warsaw was the demand by developing countries for increased climate finance, and for a new mechanism to help especially vulnerable nations cope with unavoidable “loss and damage” resulting from climate change. The latter was a particular concern for the Pacific Island Countries. It had been agreed at COP18 last year in Doha that Warsaw would address “loss and damage”, and the issue took on special prominence as the meeting began just a day or two after the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Developed countries, having previously promised at

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Staff and students of the University of the South Pacific with the Nauruan Secretary for Home Affairs, Charmaine Scotty at COP 19 in Warsaw. Image: Andra Whiteside

Copenhagen and Cancun to mobilize a total of $100 billion a year by 2020, steadfastly refused to set a quantified interim goal for ramping up climate finance - a reflection of the impacts of the global financial crisis. In its place, the new “Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts” fell well short of what vulnerable countries wanted and represented a great compromise on behalf of the developing countries. No new action is anticipated here before 2016. Island countries, joined by other particularly vulnerable developing countries, have pressed for greater attention to “loss and damage” resulting from extreme events and slowonset impacts such as sea-level rise since the UNFCCC came into existence. These adverse impacts are now unavoidable no matter what future actions are taken to reduce emissions and engineer solutions to rising sea levels in our region. Overall the lack of progress achieved at the meeting in Warsaw is a concern but not much of a surprise as countries around the world continue to procrastinate, putting off the urgent actions needed to safeguard our shared future. For Pacific island countries the issue is an existential one, with the future of entire nations, cultures and people threatened with complete loss as the cost of the impacts of climate change mounts and environmental degradation worsens. Our President recently challenged our neighbours and developed country partners to find meaningful solutions to the impacts of climate change. The time for this is now, for each passing year means we are less able to secure our future, and the future of the generations of Pacific islanders to come.

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HEALTH

BEFORE

Good things come to those By FEROZ KHALIL

J

ESSICA found out through relentless experimentation that good things come to those who are patient. She tried every plan in the book and perfected her own formula. Born in Wisconsin, a North Central state in the US, Jessica is the third eldest of eight siblings. She comes from a long line of missionaries and travelers, which is why she's in the country, volunteering at the Homes of Hope as a remedial teacher.

What was your Lifestyle Prior To Change? My lifestyle changed a lot in the years leading up to my change. I lived on a campus that served horrible food, so my roommates and I often ate out. I lived on a bus for nine months putting on youth conferences all over the country, which left little to no time for exercise, and then I lived with two roommates who had no interest in eating right or exercising which made it hard to stay on track.

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Full Name: Jessica Mosher Age: 25 Current Town: Wailoku, Fiji Occupation: Volunteer/Teacher Transformation start: September, 2012 Before weight: 90.5kg After weight: 61kg (November 2013) Why did you decide to transform your body? I had been trying to lose weight for more than five years trying this shake and that pill, but then I found a doctor, Dr. Joel Wallach, who designed something called As Slim As Possible (ASAP) and I decided to give it another shot. I was tired of being asked if I was pregnant, tired of shopping for clothes when nothing fit, and I was tired of looking in the mirror at someone I didn't like. Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly

difficult? Carbohydrates. I love carbs. That has been the hardest part. Carbs are my weakness, my downfall. What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation? When I started my weight loss journey, I really hadn't planned on doing any weight training. I had been in a weight lifting class in high school and didn't lift properly so I really damaged my back. It wasn't until my flatmate begged me to go to the gym with her that I started lifting again. And I'm glad I did. Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation? When I started my journey, as I said before, I used ASAP and on this product you are not allowed to exercise for the first few months. But after those few months, exercise is necessary. I found that out by not exercising and gaining back 4.5 of the 9kg I had lost. When I moved

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Photos: KHALIL FEROZ KHALIL PHOTOGRAPHS BY FEROZ

HEALTH

AFTER

e who are patient: Jessica to Fiji early this year, my exercise consisted of walking everywhere and sweating all the time which granted me about 9kg lost. I also started doing workout DVD's with my flatmates at home where no one could see. Finally my flatmate asked me to go to the USP gym with her and that is what has helped take off the last 16kg. Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed: 1) Exercise is necessary in weight loss and in life. 2) Weight training doesn't mean you have to get all big and bulky, you can tone by lifting lighter weights doing more reps. 3) Cardio will help burn that fat faster than anything. What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation? After moving to Fiji and having

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all of these fresh fruits and veggies available I dug in. I really took advantage of everything fresh and ate to my hearts content. I did my best to stay away from oil, (especially anything deep fried -- it's horrible for you!) and sugar. I also love chocolate so that wasn't very easy. I limited my carb intake, not easy, but it had to be done. I also tried my best to cut out white bread. All it is empty carbs that don't fill you up and it turns straight to sugar once it hits your blood. I am also taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Can you provide us with a sample eating plan: I never really followed a meal plan but I always made sure to eat lots of protein, fruit, and veggies. And drink tons of water! Water, water and more water all day long. Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:

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For me personally, I carry most of my weight in my stomach so to get rid of that I have to completely cut out all carbs in the evening. Make sure you're eating enough, and again, drink water. Did you allow yourself cheat meals? Every once in a while yes, but honestly, they make me sick. So, instead of a whole cheat meal, I'll allow myself a bowl of ice cream or some chocolate. What supplements did you use during your transformation? I started out with ASAP but after the first two months I just ate right and exercised. What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation? Take before pictures! I never did because I hated the way I looked but now I wish I had so I could see the transformation myself. Don't give up. It's freaking hard, yes, but it will

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PHOTOGRAPH BY FEROZ KHALIL

HEALTH

Jessica sweating it out at the gym.

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Y

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MY

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be so worth it! Not only will you be more confident, but you'll actually feel better. Get a gym buddy; it's much more fun to go to the gym with a friend to help push and encourage each other. How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track? Before and after pictures! If it's too soon in the game to have them then remember that nothing of any worth comes easy in life, and you have to fight for what you want. If losing weight or getting fit is what you want then fight for it. I stay motivated because I never want to be 'that heavy girl' again. That was such a low point in my life and I never want to go back to those dark days again. I set new goals for myself every week – I love seeing my body change and sculpt into ways I never thought possible. What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation? It's pretty weird. My clothes don't fit. I have more energy. When I don't

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get to the gym as often as I want to, my body starts itching to go. I want to eat healthy because when I don't, I get physically sick. What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself? I still have a long way to go, and what is motivating me is seeing the results I already have as well as the encouragement of my friends and family. Two of my brothers want me to live near them when I go back to the States so they can ''get me in the best shape of my life". I want to prove to myself that there is never an end point in my body transformation. I never want to be satisfied – I will always strive to push myself harder so that I can be healthy for myself.

stories that the magazine publishes will help inspire just one person to change their life today! No matter how hard it gets, never stop fighting for what you want.

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Anything you would like to share? I would like to thank maiLife magazine for allowing me to share my transformation with everyone. It is wonderful that maiLife showcases real life people choosing to make health and fitness a priority. I hope that my transformation along with other people’s success Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

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CMY

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Nothing is better than siting down after a stressful day and enjoying a soothing cup of Royal Masala Tea to relax and unwind. It’s therapy in a cup. But as well as tasting great, Royal Masala Tea is also good for you! As most people know, black tea is high in antioxidants. But did you know that cloves and cinnamon are the top two foods that contain the highest amounts of antioxidants? Many studies have shown that there is a link between free radicals and a number of degenerative diseases. Consuming foods and drinks that are high in antioxidants protects you against free radicals. Royal Masala Tea Helps Protect You Against Cold & Flu The spices found in masala chai tea, like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, are considered warming spices in both ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. Warming foods, herbs and spices protect your body from getting colds by constantly pushing pathogens to the surface through their expectorant function. Relax everyday with a cup of Royal Masala Tea. It’s a difference you can taste, and feel!

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DECEMBER 2013

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ISSUEISSUE

W

D “ B a p w m

Sa SaRauta RautaMada Mada Enough EnoughisisEnough Enough

M “ U f c s b s c o “

What What is is “BULLYING”? “BULLYING”? Verbal Verbal abuse abuse is bullying. is bullying. Physically Physically hurting hurtingsomeone someoneis isbullying. bullying. Making Makingsocial socialthreats threats cancan also also be be bullying. bullying. Bullying Bullyingcan canhappen happentotogroups groups or or individuals. individuals. Now, Now, with with internet internet andand mobile mobile phones, phones, cyber cyber bullying bullyingis isalsoalsohappening. happening.Girls, Girls,boys, boys,teachers, teachers,parents, parents, SoSo wewe say, say, “Sa “Sa Rauta Rauta everyone everyone cancan be be a bully a bully andand a victim. a victim. Mada.” Mada.”Enough Enoughis isenough. enough. If we If we work work together, together, wewe cancan stop stop school school based based violence. violence. WeWe cancan make make schools schools the the fun fun andand amazing amazing places places there there cancan be be to learn to learn andand develop develop our ourminds. minds.WeWe asked asked a few a few of of ourour friends friends to to talk talkabout about school-based school-based violence violence so so wewe cancan all all start start to to understand understand the the issue issue because because understanding understanding is the is the first first step step toto solving solving the the problem. problem.

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R “ s s a o w e w C t s t c b t t c

A “ “ s a h g g

A “ h p w a

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S “ i w m p m t w i


What is school-based violence?

helped me take a more positive mind-set and it has helped me move forward.”

Duggy, F, 19 says: “When I think about school based violence, I think about bullying. Bullying is what happens when someone is being intentionally aggressive. It can have short term and long term effects on the person being bullied. I think it’s about power imbalance. In other words, it is when one person with more social status uses that to make the other person miserable, over and over again.”

L.S., M, 20, told us, “My parents separated when I was ten years old. My mom raised me and my four siblings up as a single parent. I think that’s when the bullying started at school. In school, I was taunted, bullied, and harassed. Other kids would call me names and call me “weak,” and “gay.” The teachers did not do anything about the situation either. And then when I moved to a boarding school, the bullying got worse. During toilet duty, I was forced to clean the toilets all by myself, when four other students should have been helping out.

Randy, M, 21 says: “I think about the violence between schools when I think about school-based violence. I have seen violence breaking out between schools on some occasions that began with something as small as accidentally bumping into someone from another school. Instead of apologizing, or accepting that apology, some of the students would tell his friends and they would retaliate and this would eventually develop into massive school brawls. You can see the worst of these school brawls during the inter-school games like the Coca Cola games, where the 100 meter race on the tracks would turn into huge brawls between schools after the games because of some negative remarks that were made in the grandstands during the game. Similar things happen during the inter-school rugby competitions. Obviously, it isn’t about the sport, but rather the common denominator here seems to be the lack of rational thinking and awareness of the potential negative consequences of the people committing the violence.” Matilda, F, 15 says, “I think bullying is a form of school-based violence. Unfortunately, there are so many forms of bullying from verbal bullying like teasing and namecalling, social bullying, which would be things like spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public to physical bullying which would be hurting someone physically or taking someone’s stuff and breaking it. The scary thing is now, there’s also cyber-bullying, which is all these types of bullying but done online or through our mobile phones.” “Let me share my story” Anonymous, F, 14 told us, “I know a girl who used to hang out with what my mom would call “the wrong crowd.” She used to get into a lot of fights. One day, she started spreading rumors about the girlfriend of a boy she had a crush on. I guess it backfired. The girlfriend found out and she and her friends beat up this girl. I guess it is a bit confusing because the girl who got beat up was both the bully and the victim of bullying. I guess there are no winners in school based violence.” Anonymous, F, 14, told us, “There’s this girl in my school who tried to commit suicide. She cut her wrists in the bathroom, and the parents didn’t find out until she passed out on the floor. She had to miss a lot of school before she was strong enough to come to school. I think she was being bullied, and no one knew until it was too late.”

All I can say is that I thank God that I had my small strong group of friends that helped me through those troubling days. Without them, I don’t know if I would be okay today.”

What can we do?

If you are bullied, it can be very tempting to fight back or even bully back. This can quickly get out of control. It’s best to walk away from the situation, hang out with others, and tell an adult you trust. Here are some specific things you can do: Avoid the bully and use the buddy system. Use a different bathroom if a bully is nearby and don’t go to your locker when there is nobody around. Make sure you have someone with you so that you’re not alone with the bully. Buddy up with a friend on the bus, in the hallways, or at recess — wherever the bully is. Offer to do the same for a friend. Hold the anger. It’s natural to get upset by the bully, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice not reacting by crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a useful skill for keeping off of a bully’s radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice “cool down” strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a “poker face” until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully). Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully. Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you’re showing that you don’t care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you. Tell an adult. Teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom personnel at school can all help stop bullying. Talk about it. Talk to someone you trust, such as a guidance counselor, teacher, sibling, or friend. They may offer some helpful suggestions, and even if they can’t fix the situation, it may help you feel a little less alone. And join the campaign to stop school based violence. Let’s make all these stories of school based violence a thing of the based. If we work together, we CAN make a difference.

S.K., F, 21, told us, “Recently, I read the cyber-bullying article in Mailife Magazine, and it dawned on me that I am also a victim of cyber-bullying. When I This article was written by UNICEF Youth Mediactivists and Anti-Schoolwas in high school, there used to be this person who would make based Violence Campaigners, Lagi Seru (20), Silipa Kataiwai (21), Talei me feel so vulnerable and hurt. Whenever I tried to talk to this Kaimacuata (14), Sione Natua (25), Benjamin Cola (19), Siteri “Duggy” person or make a friendly gesture, this person would just ignore Natera (19), Randy Vetaukula (21), and Matilda Kuruwale (15). me or text or email me nasty comments. My friends would tell me You can send questions and comments to to just ignore the person, but I just couldn’t understand why this unicefyouthmediactivist@gmail.com was happening to me. And then, I read the article, and realized that To become a UNICEF Youth Mediactivist, visit us at it was part of a bigger phenomenon. After reading the article,atitwww.facebook.com/mailifemagazine www.mailife.com.fj Follow us on Facebook DECEMBER 2013 59 www.unicefpacific.org


PHOTO: NAZIAH ALI

MUSIC

Eremasi Rova(left) with Steven Vereakula.

Cakaudrove lads launch hip-hop album The duo shot to fame when their music video Ono Vitu Ciwa, the country’s telephone area code in the Fijian language, hit the internet dedicated to the Vodafone Fiji Bati team before their semi-final match at the Rugby League World Cup. By WAME VALENTINE

T

HE Astronomical Kid aka Astro, the young contestant on The X Factor USA, rapped “…when hip-hop died, its last words was my name”. Hip-hop may not be dead, but one may decide to believe its demise when he turns on the radio. Whether it’s The Notorious BIG or Lil’ Wayne, the theme is constant: the desire for materialism (or bling, as they’d rap), violence and the sexualization of women.

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CBM is, however, a welcome breath of fresh air. Here is a hiphop album where you wouldn’t have to constantly hit the mute button to silence the profanities from the innocent ears of children who may be nearby. This thirteen track CD is a collective of Eremasi Rova, whose stage name is E.3 and Steven Vereakula, whose stage name is Cracker. Both lads are from the West and both hail from Taveuni. The album name pays homage to the three provinces that make up Vanua Levua – Cakaudrove,

Bua and Macuata. Eremasi comes from a mixedraced family: his father is from Qeleni and his mother is German. “Being in a family such as mine, you get to see both sides, the Fijian way of living versus the Western way. My dad’s family is, like, full-on traditional. On the other hand, though, you’ve got my mom who’s a real open-thinker. But it balances out well because dad gives us the Fijian values and mum teaches us to expand our perspective and challenge the

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MUSIC

status quo. With that upbringing, it was a great impact to the album.” His pseudonym E.3 refers to three generations of Eremasi: his grandfather, his father and as well as himself. Despite the bold and confident E.3 that the 'Ono Vitu Ciwa' music video portrays (check it out on YouTube!), Eremasi is painfully shy. However, he admits that he is a work in progress, both as an artist and as a man. Track twelve of the album is the song ‘Rest in Peace’ which talks about him striving to be better. Eremasi explains, “The opening line of ‘Rest in Peace’ extremely inspired me. And the line is: ‘I’m trying to be who I am meant to be’. To me, that’s the undertone of the whole song. ‘Rest in Peace’ is saying goodbye to the shyness and whatever else is holding me back. With that song, I’m bidding goodbye to the old me because I’m trying to be who I am meant to be. I am meant to be E.3 – the best in the world.” Eremasi’s music partner, Steven Vereakula, goes by the pseudonym Cracker. Unlike what most thought, his stage name isn’t a derogatory term for poor rural whites of Southern US, but rather was born out of his friends’ admiration of his uncanny ability to romance beautiful women. The details of the story will be spared from this publication due to its risqué nature. We’ll leave it to your imagination to determine as to what ‘Cracker’ could possibly refer to. The eldest of five, Steven is devoted to his family. He smiled when he told me about how his siblings were proud of the album. I asked about what his

Eremasi explains, “The opening line of ‘Rest in Peace’ extremely inspired me. And the line is: ‘I’m trying to be who I am meant to be’. To me, that’s the undertone of the whole song. ‘Rest in Peace’ is saying goodbye to the shyness and whatever else is holding me back. With that song, I’m bidding goodbye to the old me because I’m trying to be who I am meant to be. I am meant to be E.3 – the best in the world.”

parents thought of the album and his face turned solemn. Earlier this year, Steven’s father passed away. A former school teacher, his father would encourage Steven to excel in his studies. Steven, unfortunately, had other plans. He dwindled away his time during his first year at university, never usually attending classes. This made his father tremendously upset as it would to any parent who is paying a tertiary institution thousands of dollars for their child’s education. “He was my inspiration to do this,” Steven tells maiLIFE, trying to hold back his emotions. “I didn’t do well in school and I lied to my parents about my tertiary studies. But I’ll make it up with this album. I want my father to be proud of me and if he was standing right here, he’ll no doubt pat me on the back and tell me how proud he is.”

“After my dad’s death, I told myself that I have to be a man now, time for me to grow up.” Later on, he plans to move back to Australia, where he attended high school, and continue with his music. “I really admire Eremasi’s work ethic, which I think he got from his mother,” laughs the soft-spoken Steven. “He would encourage me to keep at it (producing the album) because I almost gave up on this project. It was tough.” The opening skit to the album talks about that situation. At this point, Steven's mobile phone rings, indicating an incoming message. “It’s my ex-girlfriend,” he revealed. They had planned to meet up for lunch to, hopefully, patch things up. The woman in question was Steven’s first love who was the inspiration to the song 'Sleeping Alone'. The multi-instrumentalist tells me his heart-breaking tale of how she first left him after their whirlwind romance and went on to fall pregnant to another man. Upon hearing the song, she contacted him in the hopes that their relationship could be rekindled. `He was to meet her for the first time since they last parted in 2006 after our interview. “Despite what others may say, I still love her. She’s been my inspiration,” says Steven. “I’m willing to be with her and make it work.” “Eremasi is also my inspiration,” says Steven. “If it wasn’t for his persistence and his faith in me, I don’t think I would have been able to contribute to this album and, thus, making my dream a reality.

WHAT WE THINk OF THE ALBUM There have been some attempts in the past where Fijians have released a rap song or a hip-hop track giving all they’ve got to emulate the genre’s greats but if there ever was one album that was an absolute joy to listen to, CBM would be it. A collective of RnB, hip-hop and rap, the album’s catchy tunes mixed with melodic music makes it an easy-listening album. The genre is undoubtedly American but E.3 and Cracker gives it a truly Fijian feel. Whether you’re from Vanua Levu or not, you can understand the lyrics and the clever word play that E.3 and www.mailife.com.fj

Cracker delivers will make you smile. They both dance around themes of love, heart-break, patriotism, family and identity evoking intense emotion on these subjects. The album also features local artists such as Mr. Grin and Elena Baravilala. A genuinely Fijian album, this 13-track compilation is a must addition to your playlist! The duo’s freshman album is available for $15 at the VOU Dance Studio at 30 Desvouex Road, Suva. Orders could also be made via their E3Fiji Facebook page. CBM is an ideal Christmas gift! Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mailifemagazine

DECEMBER 2013

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ENTERTAINMENT

Ode to Suva

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VOU

We all drifted into this urban centre Even me, even you Suva has its own unique culture; Churches at bus stands, café convos and market wheelbarrows Expanding settlements squat next to mushrooming high rise apartments From food halls in shopping malls To kisses on the sea wall This is the Suva we run to from the rural Then once here yearn to move overseas We are in a constant unsettled state of transit State of drift, Urban drift, Global drift Now is the time to return To water our roots Mataqali Drift

V

OU is premiering their first full-length stage production December 12th and 13th at the Suva Civic Centre titled 'Mataqali Drift'. The concept of 'Mataqali Drift' is to reverse the flow of urban drift, for the Suva “susu madrai” kids to go back to their villages to get in touch with their culture and as the VOU team put it -- “water our roots”. And that is just what they did. In

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April of this year, the VOU Dance Company went on a tour of Vanua Levu, Rabi and Koro Island. Here, they partook in traditional ceremony, reconnected with family and learnt their traditional dances and chants. After returning, the choreographers reflected on the experiences they had. To think about the long journey that it took to get to these remote parts of Fiji, about the amazing and

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inspirational people that they met along the way, and all the awakening things that were seen, learnt and experienced. This is the inspiration of the choreographies that make up the production 'Mataqali Drift' This show is not to be missed and will be the finest showcase of contemporary Fijian dance. Tickets are available from Mango, Kahawa and Village 6 at only $5.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF AJAY BHAI AMRIT

STAR

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STAR

Leon Spinks, the Unlikely Champion By AJAY BHAI AMRIT

L

EON Spinks is one of the most unlikely heavyweight boxing champions in the long line of illustrious holders of this prestige belt. He was born into poverty in the rough and tough streets of St Louis, a city in the Midwestern state of Missouri in the US in July 1953. As a young man Leon and his brother Michael Spinks took up boxing and both of them found they excelled and were fantastic amateur boxers. So much so they both went onto the Summer Olympics in Montreal and struck gold, Leon at light heavyweight and Michael at middleweight. This was the first pair of boxing brothers to win Olympic gold and are also the first pair of brothers to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World: Leon winning in 1978 against Muhammad Ali and Michael in 1985 against Larry Holmes. These was an amazing achievement considering the upbringing and disadvantaged lifestyle they were surrounded by. Reaching the pinnacle of the amateur ranks, Leon turned professional and began his rise towards the heavyweight championship. Eventually the chance of a lifetime came for Spinks to fight Muhammad Ali for the title. Spinks manager took the deal as they could see Ali was now an aging champion and if they planned right, youth could prevail over age and experience. On February 15, 1978 youth did prevail and a new champion was crowned. Leon Spinks was

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the heavyweight champion of the world. This was a short-lived tale as in a return fight with Ali on September 15 of that same year, in front of a huge crowd at the Louisiana Superdome, Ali regained the Championship once more. Leon’s life after this was a mixed bag of success and failure. He challenged Larry Holmes for the Heavyweight Championship in June 1981 and was bombed out in the third round. This basically finished Leon Spinks off as a credible challenger and all the fame, adulation and fortune he had earned started to dwindle. I caught up with Leon Spinks just a little while ago while I was in America and one thing I have

Leon Spinks with Ajay Bhai Amrit.

to say about him is that he is one of the most uncomplicated and relaxed people I have ever met. He is presently in a good place and is very happy with his life. Leon is aware that one can be at the top for only a certain amount of time and that when the chips are down,

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it is then that one's real mettle shows through. Leon’s son Cory Spinks has followed his father’s footsteps into the ring and has won a world title as a light middleweight. Leon told me that his son doesn’t need guidance and he has great people around him. Spinks felt that during his career he also had great people around him, but the lure of money and fame got the better of him and when you are a professional athlete you cannot afford to take short cuts and those short cuts ultimately cost Leon his career in the end. On a parting note when I asked my final question to Leon Spinks, I asked whether he would change anything about his life now. Being as upbeat as ever, he told me, “I don’t require much , but if happiness is all I got I am very content”. Leon Spinks may be the shortlived heavyweight champion but in happiness, he is still the reigning king.

This was the first pair of boxing brothers to win Olympic gold and are also the first pair of brothers to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World: Leon winning in 1978 against Muhammad Ali and Michael in 1985 against Larry Holmes

AJAY BHAI AMRIT OFFICIAL

DECEMBER 2013

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2 BAGS

Happy holidays, taki mada! H

APPY holidays because it’s the biggest one of them all! Schoolbreak and annual leave for some as well as Christmas make December the most important month of all. 2Bags wants to say to everyone not to overspend and remember the reason for the season. Keep it simple and don't overdo the drinks, the taki or chow keeping in mind that NCDs are on the rise. So keep it fresh and local when it comes to food and grog and remember to keep fit. Be sure to do some zumba to burn out the calories from the lovo. 2Bags will end this year and months’

issue with just a few jokes and vakachis. Happy December everyone and thanks for always supporting 2Bags all these taki-ing years. kaila korner 1 A Vanua Levu man was in Suva for the first time to spend Xms with his relatives. Next day, his nephew decided to take him to a restaurant. As they were waiting to be served, the man looks up and sees the ceiling fan. VL Man: Ae, ai lialia! (“The man's mad!” referring to the restaurant owner) Nephew: E cava momo?

Sa dri yani. kaila korner 2 Two Vanua Levu man went to the bank to ask for a loan. As it was the first time for them to be at a bank, they were both surprised by the air-condition. VL Man 1: O va i'la ai? (“Can you feel that?”) VL Man 2: Na cava ai? (“What’s that?”) VL Man 1 (referring to the air-condition): Ai, a Cold Power!

C

M

The Vanua Levu man points to the fan and says: Ai, vocevoce ni waqa e lili tu. (“That’s a boat propeller.”) Kaila! Taki mada, io ni maqa ga mai i Vanua Levu, eh?

Cala tale!

Y

Taki cawiri mada! Until 2014, keep taki-ing, keep laughing, don’t worry and be happy. 2Bags signing off for 2013. Happy Hols!

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

66

DECEMBER 2013

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