PEOPLE | Never give up on dreams

Listen to this article:

The cheery teller at Bred Bank Labasa branch, Esala Nadruku. Picture: NACANIELI TUILEVUKA

IF smiles could kill, every bank customer served by Esala Nadruku would fall victim to his friendly appearance.
But behind the Bred Bank Labasa employee’s beaming personality is a moving story worth telling, a tale that proves that hard work is always rewarded.
The Lomaloma, Macuata man’s journey in life was never a bed of roses but one filled with many hurdles.
The youngest of three siblings, he recalls attending school without a bag or footwear.
At times, he would be sent back home by the head teacher because his parents hadn’t paid his school fees.
Wearing the same uniform for years and facing occasional bus fare shortages were common occurrences during his school years. His parents were both unemployed and could not afford the luxuries of life that many often took for granted.
“There were times when I had to go to school without lunch or was told that I was not good enough to continue my education,” the bank teller said.
He would sacrifice attending school on Thursdays and Fridays just to help his parents gather enough to sell at the market on Saturdays.
“My family’s survival depended on the income generated from those sales.
“Sometimes my mum would be back from the market with just $50 profit and that was used to pay for our school fares the following week.”
But Esala’s trials didn’t stop there.
While studying at the Fiji National University, he was left to fend for himself after his parents got a divorce.
It was a difficult time for him but he remained optimistic and kept his faith in God.
“Even though I felt alone I worked hard because I had seen how my parents worked hard to pay for bills and put food on the table,” he said.
“This kept me going. I made sure I had the right peers and got good advice.”
School became his beacon of hope, motivating him to strive for a better life.
“After all these years, I realised that our humble background should not define our potential for success.
“Through perseverance and determination, I managed to overcome obstacles and elevate myself to a higher level.
“The journey was undoubtedly painful, but it was all worth it. I’ve learned that the key to success lies in valuing education, never giving up on dreams, and appreciating everything I have.”
He hope his story serves as a powerful reminder to others facing similar hardships.
“My story highlights the importance of education as a pathway to a brighter future, regardless of one’s family background.
“It emphasizes the significance of gratitude and resilience in navigating life’s challenges.
“And it’s never too late to start, it’s all up to you how you push yourself forward.”
Esala’s advice to young people is to never to give up on their dreams