Twenty-three-year-old Akuila Salavuki, who was found dead at the Suva foreshore a week ago, was laid to rest at the Tacirua Village Cemetery yesterday.
The funeral church service was held at the Raiebevu Methodist Church in Tacirua, where his family, friends and colleagues from the SODELPA youth gathered to bid their final farewell.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Akuila’s uncle Kameli Dracere said his nephew was better known at home as Abu, and was from the sub-chiefly clan/steward chief or sau turaga of Namuavoivoi Village in Lekutu, Bua.
Akuila had two other siblings. He was the youngest and when he was born his mother was too sick to look after him.
Mr Dracere said Akuila was raised by his mother’s side, especially his grandmother, since he was two years old in Bua until he reached tertiary level at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Labasa.
“He was to be the first in the family to complete his education and to graduate. He attended Nasarawaqa Indian school, knows three languages i-Taukei, Hindi and English, attended All Saints Secondary and Dreketi High School for secondary education.”
He said Akuila moved to Suva to complete his tertiary education at the Fiji National University where he was expected to graduate next year.
Mr Dracere said the family was hurt and continued to question what had happened, however they had to rely on God.
Fiji National University lecturer and representative Filimoni Saumaka said it had been a tragedy for the FNU family, especially friends who were close to Akuila.
Mr Saumaka said he knew Akuila was from the Northern Division and understood that he had been a unique student.
Mr Saumaka informed those gathered at the funeral to ensure that the death of Akuila would be the first and the last to ever happen to any other student.
He said that all parents and families wanted to see their children graduate, not to attend their funeral.
SODELPA General-Secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi, MP Salote Radrodro and SODELPA youths were present at the funeral.
Adi Litia thanked the family for a youth who stood with the SODELPA and thanked the family for raising Akuila and for supporting him.
She said Akuila showed the way he was raised as sau turaga from Bua in all that he did as a youth.
“Young as he was he had a conviction for a better, free Fiji and free his family from the poverty cycle, he gave his life to stand as a youth of SODELPA.
“He had an impact on each and every one of us and we thank the Lord for his life.”