If I die, don’t cry for me!
Those were the words that Seini Vakaloloma heard her nephew, Josefa Tuiloma, utter some time ago.
Sadly, those exact words were stuck like glue in her memory. The late Mr Tuiloma, 26, was hit by a minivan travelling along Ratu Mara Road on Saturday morning.
Mrs Vakaloloma said her nephew told his friends, at a drinking party last week, that they should not cry for him if he dies, instead they should be happy like how he always makes them happy.
“I will miss ‘Jojo’. He was a well-mannered and a very humble child,” she grieved.
Jojo is the name he was fondly known by, the Tuiloma family.
Mrs Vakaloloma raised Jojo and his twin brother Samuela Vodo from when they were just three years old till to date. She treated them just like her own.
They lived in Tamavua Village.
Jojo, who hailed from Namalata Village in Kadavu, was a casual worker with a grass-cutting business contractor.
“I took them in when they were still small. They were staying with their father, who is my younger brother, after their mother left for Australia,” she said.
“He is like a comedian to his friends, because wherever he is, you will always hear laughter.
“Every morning, his friends will be here asking for him.”
Mrs Vakaloloma added that Jojo loved rugby and he was someone who would never say ‘No’ to anything.
“If I send him 30 times to the shop today, he will go with a smile on his face,” she said.
On Friday night, the family was celebrating a birthday at their home before Jojo left. He never returned.
A police report stated that: “At around 5:30am on Saturday, the victim was crossing the road from the Fiji National University side when he was allegedly bumped by a minivan which was heading towards Suva.
“Following the first incident the victim ran back towards FNU when he was allegedly bumped again by another minivan driven by a 26-year-old who was also heading towards Suva in the inner lane.
“The victim was rushed to the CWM Hospital by the second minivan driver and passed away shortly afterwards.”
Mrs Vakaloloma also described how painful the loss of his nephew was to the family because they were still mourning the death of their grand-daughter who died last year around July resulting from serious injuries she suffered in a road accident in Tamavua.
“My grand-daughter was just two years old when she died last year and we still miss our beautiful angel,” she said.
Her granddaughter was Jojo’s elder sister’s daughter. The road death toll stands at 24 compared to 20 for the same period last year.