Self-belief and hard work – Livai Koroitamana – former wheel barrow boy, now a Line Marking Foreman at Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH), believes in these as a motivation for success.
Koroitamana dropped out of school in class four and took to roaming the streets of Suva as a shoeshine boy, earning a few dollars a day just to keep himself supplied with food and clothing.
But always, he kept reminding himself that the streets should never be the end for him. He was confident he would figure something out, a job that would get him off the streets.
“After a few years working as a shoeshine boy, I met a man named Jeke Pai in Suva, who is a subcontractor for FHH, and who also manages a group consisting of wheel barrow boys. Mr Pai then offered me work as a wheel barrow boy at the Suva Bus Stand.”
Koroitamana then met a waitress at a Suva restaurant, and winning her heart was a personal success. “I knew right then, that if a school dropout could win a girl’s heart, then there is nothing stopping me from becoming someone better in life.
“She was everything to me, she taught me about savings and helped me save enough money to learn to drive and pass the driving license test at the Land Transport Authority, saying there were many jobs available as a driver which I could apply for.
“I had my driving license and with the help of Mr Pai, I applied to FHH and got accepted about three years ago.”
Koroitamana started with FHH in the pothole patching crew for his first three months, before being transferred to the Line Marking Department as a Line Marking Operator. Early this year, he promoted to being a Foreman.
“I wish to convey a message to every struggling individual out there, not everyone is bright academically, but we all have our own interests, or talents that we could use as opportunities to becoming someone better in life,” he said.
“I’ve heard of a wheel barrow boy ending up being a flight attendant, a few others including shoe shine boys have to pursued their education or dreams. If you see an opportunity to start from somewhere, go for it, and then work your way up, because while “struggle” may be a cruel course, it sure teaches a person to understand the true meaning of life.
“Honestly, life was hard, but struggle sure had done me some good, moulding me into becoming someone better, for myself, my wife and my two children,” Koroitamana said.
“I thank Fulton Hogan Hiways for the opportunity to be working for them, the great team at the Line Marking Department, and especially Mr Pai for his endorsement, and to my lovely wife, who despite all the struggles my family has gone through, she’s believed in me during our 10 years of marriage.”
FHH Line Marking Department Manager, Kayne Thompson, said, “At FHH, it’s all about having the right attitude towards the work that we do. Livai has that, he is the kind of worker who is very hard working and always shows passion for what he does.”