‘I Owe It To My Parents’: Nabetelevu

Talent can take you places but attitude defines your character, says Jone Turaganivalu Nabetelevu.

The Kaiviti Silktails center Nabetelevu shares the struggles he had to overcome in life and the hardship his parents went through to put food on the table.

Nabetelevu was first introduced to rugby league when he was 13-years old.

By the age of 14, the Nauluwai, Naitasiri native was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend Ellesmere College in England.

Growing up, Nabetelevu watched his father, Jone, a factory worker at Rewa Dairy (now Fiji Dairy) provide for his family’s needs.

So he made it his goal to work as hard to ensure that he was able to offer a better life for his family.

“I will not forget seeing my father walked every day from Nadera, where we lived to his workplace,” he said.

“They try to give the best they could to me and my five siblings and I owe it to them.

“My father recently retired from working and is now in the village, farming.”

After the scholarship ended last year, Nabetelevu came back home, but his dream did not end there. Last year, Nabetelevu was given a contract to play in the Parramatta Eels Under-20 competition in Australia.

“It was a proud moment for me to learn from the professional players and come back to Fiji and showcase what I’ve learned,” he added.

He continued to play for his local club Nadera Panthers and was selected to be part of the Kaiviti Silktails.

Growing up peer pressure had always been something that held him back.

“Living in Nadera, which is considered as a red zone at that time and seeing my friends going to jail due to it,” Nabetelevu said.

“I had to question myself, whether to follow their footsteps or follow my dreams.”

Nabaetelevu plans to one day join the NRL club Melbourne Storm.

Right now, he said all overseas contracts are on hold as he prepares for the 2020 Ron Massey Cup.

“I want to play for the Ron Massey Cup competition and prove to everyone that we can do it as well.”