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September 07, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Emotions flowed freely as 18-year old Maata Matavewa received her dead mother Maria's Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree during the University of the South Pacific's second graduation ceremony this afternoon in Suva.

 Matavewa knew her mother was watching her from up above as she bravely walked up to the main podium to receive her mother's achievement.

Maria Emiliana Matavewa, a former permanent secretary for Lands and Health Ministry  died in July this year from breast cancer. She was 61-years old.

Maata while speaking to FijiLive said despite knowing of her illness last December, her mum did not lose faith and continued to give her best in her studies.

The youngest of the 7 siblings she said her mom was always energetic and smiling though she was on her sickbed and going through pain.

"She always had a positive mental attitude and was a real fighter. She always wanted to go a step ahead in life and was always there for the family."

"She was an inspiration to all of us and I want to follow her footsteps," said Matavewa who is a first year Bachelor of Commerce student at USP.

Her father who is also sick could not attend the graduation ceremony but the Matavewa family will visit their mother’s grave this weekend to congratulate her and put a garland on her monument to celebrate her success.

By Ropate Valemei


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