Alipate Naqasima after his graduation from the Fiji National University in Namaka today. Photo: LUKE NACEI
By LUKE NACEI
He was only 14 years old when his father left him and his family.
Not knowing of what a real fathers support and love for his family is like, the Nawamagi, Nadroga native felt there was a shoe needed to be filled in his family.
This was a father’s role, the role of being dad in a child’s life.
Meet Alipate Naqasima the sole breadwinner in his family.
Naqasima was amongst the Fiji National University National Training and Productivity Centre, Department of Hospitality and Tourism students from both Nadi and Sigatoka and graduated with a Certificate in Front Office and Customer Relations.
He said it was indeed a blessing for him to at least graduate from a prominent university like the Fiji National University.
Reminiscing his challenging journey, Naqasima recalled the tough hurdles he had gone through.
He said it was back in 2006 where he first found a job at the Sigatoka Town that helped him cater for his family.
For 10 solid years Naqasima kept his job. His FNPF was deducted and he had saved some money for his education, the one dream that he had always wanted to achieve.
With tears in his eyes, Naqasima proudly said that he has been given a good life and that his prayers have been answered.
This is the first tertiary institution that the 29-year-old has ever been in after dropping out from high school only in Form 4.
“I have been going through a lot and now I have been given a good life because I was worried all along that nobody was going to support my education and at the end of the semester I have managed to complete it and I thank the Lord that I have achieved a wonderful goal,” he said.
“Nobody is there to support my education and pay my fees but I am thankful that I am strong enough to stand on my two feet and support my own self.
Now that he has a certificate, Naqasima wishes to join one of the renowned hotels in Sigatoka.
“The doors have open for me to go to any tourism industry that I am going to apply for which has been my dream ever since. I am hopeful that I join one of the resorts along the coral coast,” he said.
He dedicates his achievement to his late father and his mother who had always supported him.