Have you ever met someone in your childhood, who had such a huge positive impact on your life, that you felt they were placed in your path at the right time to reveal your destiny to you?
I felt that this happened to me!
My dear aunt, who was my father’s cousin/sister, had such a profound impact on my young life that meeting her set in motion a series of events that has led me to where I am today. Salote Rakavosa Nakala nee Uqeuqe was affectionately known to our family as Nei (Aunty) Vosa.
When my family and I emigrated from Fiji to Melbourne, Victoria, on 14 November 1987, Aunty Vosa came with us to help us settle into our new home country.
Apart from helping my brothers and I get ready for school, she assisted my parents with managing our home whilst mum and dad went to work each day.
In 1990 at the age of 14, my aunt gave me two books that profoundly impacted my destiny. The first book was The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, which is all about positive thinking and making big dreams come true. This precious gift opened my mind to the endless possibilities of success in business and life, and I still refer to it to this day.
The second book my aunt gave me was a Bible.
Being a devout follower of Jesus, Aunty Vosa would load my siblings and I in her car and take us to Sunday school at Westside Christian Centre in Maribyrnong, Victoria. Since that first encounter with the church at age 14 until now, I have remained steadfast with my faith and decided to be a follower of Jesus after witnessing my beautiful aunt’s peaceful life.
After relocating back to Fiji in 1992, Aunty Vosa met the love of her life, got married and had 3 wonderful children. She worked at Mana Island resort and established herself back in our village of Rukuruku, Tavua.
Unfortunately, many years later, she fell ill and never fully recovered from her sickness. My dear aunt was called to rest on the 11th of October 2019 at the local hospital in Tavua. Hundreds of relatives, family and friends came far and wide to pay their respects for she was a kind, loving and virtuous person who touched every person’s life that she met.
As a tribute, I could only make a YouTube video compiling special moments in our lives – from her time with us in Melbourne when we were a young family in the late 1980s right to the end of her life some 32 years later.
If it wasn’t for this very special aunt of mine, I believe I wouldn’t be where I am today professionally and spiritually. She probably saw something in me at the tender age of 14 that led her to give me a book that started my business journey. Plus, she cared about me enough to give me a Bible for my spiritual foundation.
It was a blessing to be back home in Fiji at the time she was slipping away; to have one last moment and massage her feet, say thank you and bid her a tearful goodbye. I really do thank God that I personally encountered my dearest Aunty Vosa in my childhood.
“Rest in eternal peace Nei Vosa. I love you forever and will always celebrate your legacy. I truly thank God for you – the wind beneath my wings,” your loving niece, Miri xxxx.