Kamoe Terotume Aisake is forever grateful to the Itaukei Affairs Board scholarship that sponsored his maritime studies.
Originally from Lopta, district of Oinafa in Rotuma, Mr Aisake left for Fiji soon after secondary school for a better future.
“My parents are typical islanders so I came over to Suva and lived with my older brother for tertiary and to get a job,” Mr Aisake said.
“I enrolled at the Fiji National University to do fitting and machinery. Before I started, I met a cousin who told me about the maritime industry,” he said.
“Somehow, I was drawn to everything he said; that was how I ended up getting into the maritime industry.
“I enrolled in the Fiji Maritime Academy and did my trade diploma in Marine Engineering.
“I am so thankful to the FAB scholarship and to be working in a local company and help in the transportation of passengers and goods for better economic impact is something I am proud to be part of.”
He said the scholarship lifted the burden off his parents’ shoulders of having to pay school fees.
The 28-year-old is the chief engineer for Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) Lomaiviti Princess 3.
The father of one has maternal link to Malha’a.
It has not being an easy journey for Mr Aisake but through hard work and dedication he overcame challenges to get where he is today.
Mr Aisake said his journey was not an easy one; a challenge he had to overcome was to understand the iTaukei language while studying.
“Some lecturers always speak in Fijian and as a Rotuman in Fiji for the first time it was hard,” Mr Aisake said.
“I had to keep asking my friends what the lecturers were saying as I needed to be on the same page.
“I was lucky to pass my first stage. I still have not learned the iTaukei language but I do understand some.
“After I did my trade diploma, I had to stay home for sometime because it was hard to get onto a vessel to do my attachment.
“I hated the waiting game. There was a time when my brother had to go to Lautoka and I was alone at home. I had to look for a job so that I can buy food.
“I had to work as a security officer to have food on the table; at the same time I continued looking for a vessel to board.
Life At Sea
“I had my break when I was accepted by the Wakaya Limited in 2013 and in 2015 I joined GSL and have been with them since.”
“Life at sea is not easy as one needs to be tough. It demands hard work, dedication and sacrifice,” Mr Aisake said.
“My island is surrounded by the sea; the sea is part of my life.
“I have not regretted changing my career path, the sea is my niche and I am thankful to those who have contributed to what I have accomplished today.
“I am happy that my wife understands my work. She understands that I spend a lot of time at sea.
“My advice to those who would like to venture into the maritime industry is that nothing comes easy but it they are willing then nothing should stop them from succeeding.”