Koroidua: I can’t keep still

Maciu Koroidua, 61, beside his outboard boat engine in the village. Picture: UNAISI RATUBALAVU

As the saying goes, ‘hard work leads to success’ and this rings true for fisherman Maciu Koroidua, a 61-year-old grandfather of Narocake Village in Noco, Rewa who is still very much active with farming and fishing all on his own.

Just last week he celebrated his 61st birthday with his wife and two grandchildren and doesn’t have plans to retire soon.

“If I don’t go out fishing, I will be planting cassava or other root crops and attending to my piggery. I just can’t keep still, I’m used to this way of life in the village,” he said.

Koroidua said this had been his program for many years and he is still physically and mentally fit to carry his obligations to make ends meet for his family. All his children are married and are looking after their own families.

He lives with his wife, Tokasa and two grandchildren. “For the past 20 years I have been constant at the farm and fishing, it’s a routine that’s become a habit. Every Saturday I take my catch to sell at the Nausori Municipal Market.

“If I am lucky enough I can earn around $200 from selling fish alone,” he added. Koroidua said his program begin at dawn, in the cold he prepares his fibrelass boat for the trip.

By sunrise, Koroidua is long gone, most of the time travelling alone with his net and other times with company.

He says he leaves when the tide is high and checks his usual spots. It was important to catch the right size for the market.

He said he understands the importance of not exploiting his fishing grounds — plus letting the smaller fish go means keeping those fishing grounds healthy.

Koroidua said staying in the village was a blessing but one had to work hard in order to survive and look after their family. “There is no excuse, if you want to succeed, work hard,” he said.

Koroidua said he started from scratch and did his fair share of hard work to acquire his 15 horsepower outboard boat engine.

I went to the Rewa Provincial Office in Nausori to see if they could help me purchase my boat engine and I was told I could be assisted. First I had to raise $1300 and the government would pay two thirds of the cost of my boat engine.

“Luckily I had two calves, which I sold and managed to get the money I needed. After a few weeks I got my new outboard boat engine.

“It is good to have your own boat engine if you are a fisherman and don’t rely on other people for their resources,” he said.

Even though Koroidua did not complete school he lives by what he believes in. “My advice for young people is to work hard with the resources God has blessed you with.

Always save for a rainy day and have a plan of what you want to do, targeting the coming week or month and work towards it,” he said.

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