Bau High Chief, the Turaga Na Vunivalu, Na Tui Kaba, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau has urged traditional leaders to stand tall and stay strong as they continue to lead in their various roles.
Speaking in the i-Taukei language at the Vakaturaga Conference as the Chief Guest, Ratu Epenisa reminded the traditional leaders present, that they should not take their roles lightly or faced down but continuously seek the guidance of God, the people and his or her advisory counsel for the greater benefit of all indigenous people.
Ratu Epenisa highlighted that during his installation as the ‘Vunivalu’ he said that the President of the Methodist Church Rev Dr Ili Vunisuwai told him that ‘Na bilo o ni na gunuva qo, e na bilo tiko ni rarawa’ (The bowl that you drink today, is one that comes with great difficulties).
“As chiefs, our roles and responsibilities are vast. Not an easily undertaking. During your installations as chiefs, you swore an oath before God and your people. This is not an easy undertaking, I urge you to call on God for his directions, love and compassion for the duties that you did not apply for but anointed into.”
“These roles call for all of us to serve and not be served. Your reflections will be seen through your people, If they are prospering, you are prospering, If they do not, you do not. You are nothing without your people. You cannot lead if you have anyone to lead,” the Vunivalu said.
The head of the Kubuna Confederacy also called on the chiefs to be custodians of the people, land and qoliqoli (fishing grounds).
“We should look after our resources for the betterment of our future generation.”
The two-day Vakaturaga Conference will allow for the 14 provinces to deliberate the outcomes of the final report that is to be presented by the GCC Review Committee.
In May, the review committee were informed to come back with a report that would entail the functions and responsibility of a new Bose Levu Vakaturaga, one that worked for the greater good of indigenous Fijians, how it would function in a modern society and its core function of being an advisor to the Government.