Monday, March 24, 2008


Spending years in the city being a barrow boy is not easy but that's what Akapusi Tumate Junior, 18, does for a living.
Akapusi is originally from Yadrana, Lakeba, Lau.
"I attended Uluiqalau Primary School and spent my secondary school years attending Ratu Finau Secondary School," he said last week.
Akapusi dropped out of school when in Form Five and aged 16.
He said he found school boring compared to staying at home with friends.
"Life was good staying in the village, especially having friends of the same age," he said.
"I found that going to school was no use since it was more fun being with my friends and I didn't have to do homework."
He said while in school he wanted to become a primary school teacher to help his parents and his three younger brothers.
When he left school, he helped his father planting cassava, taro, yaqona and vegetables.
As the eldest child in the family, his parents had great plans for him.
"When I approached my parents, telling them I no longer wanted to be in school, they said no.
"They told me to continue going to school.
"But peer pressure was so strong that I continued to stay out of school and started livng away from home
"I came to Suva without letting my parents know about it.
"They somehow found out that I was staying in Suva with one of my father's brother."
Akapusi said the idea of being a barrow boy came from his uncle who encouraged him to do something useful during the day instead of staying at home.
He said if the job went well he got $60 a day.
The money he earns, helps him set food on the table to feed the 10 people he's staying with in Delainavesi.
But earning cent is a competition with other like-minded young people.
"There are times when I go through difficulties but they allow me to discover new things in life," he said.
"Without patience and perseverance nothing can be achieved.
They are the two keys in life that keep me going. To my brothers and sisters out there, try and finish your school and achieve your goals in order to be successful in life.
"There is nothing easy in this world, it requires a lot of sacrifices to be able to sail in a calm sea.
"Listen to your parents for their instructions are the best teachings in the world today."

Adapted from Fijitimes Online