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From Fiji Sun (20 November 2016)

Never Give Up On Your Dreams Says Sefeti

By Wati Talebula

Hiagi Sefeti

Leaving Rotuma to come to Fiji to fulfill his dream was one of the hardest things Hiagi Sefeti had to do.

The 58-year-old is currently the chief officer for Goundar Shipping Limited is Lomaiviti Princess 5.

It was no surprise Mr Sefeti was focused on being a seafarer ever since his childhood in Rotuma.

His village Sauhata is near Oinafa where the Rotuma wharf is located. He is married with three children.

Growing up in Rotuma, Mr Sefeti had always wanted to become a seafarer and it was more than a blessing when he landed his dream job.

"I left Rotuma after Year 10 at Rotuma High School, attended Lelean Memorial School for my Years 11 and r 12," Mr Sefeti said.

"When I came to Fiji, I lived with my relatives. It was a big thing coming to Fiji because we know there are a lot of opportunities here," he said.

"I did not become a seafarer straight away. I had to go through a lot of challenges to be able to be where I am today.

"One thing I have learned is that no matter what we go through in life we must never give up.

"There is always sunshine after a storm so one must always stand strong no matter what."

He initially worked as a salesman in Lautoka before he finally made his dream come true.

"I now have been a seafarer the past 15 years; through thick and thin I am grateful with what I have achieved today," he said.

"I graduated from the then Fiji Institute of Technology now known as Fiji National University with a Certificate of Able seamen.

"I was determined to be a seafarer, it was something I dreamt about as a young boy.

"As soon as we can see a big vessel coming into the Rotuma harbour we would run to the wharf as our village was the closest.

"There is always this excitement ofseeing seafarers guide the vessel in, their throwing the ropes onto those at the jetty to fasten the vessel.

"The first work 1did as a seafarer was onboard the Wairua vessel. I would always be thankful for that because it was there I got to experience my life as a seafarer.

"Being a seafarer is not an easy job because it needs dedication and commitment with a lot of days out at sea.

"Life at sea is not easy therefore the support of one's family is always the number one motivator for us.

"I am grateful to be given an opportunity to be with Goundar Shipping Limited where we get to become the best of ourselves.

"I have more than 15 years' experience in the maritime industry and this is some of the best years of my life and I will never change it for anything.

"This industry is not easy but it takes a lot of hard work and when someone who really wants to be part of this industry will never give up no matter what."

Mr Sefeti had also worked for:
• The Wairua vesse1;
• navigation tanker;
• Cook Island cargo vesse1 and
• Tldewater.

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