Hard work pays off


A STUDENT, who was afraid of returning to his village and used to walk for two days frequently to get to a road to access basic services, was awarded the dux of Markham Valley Secondary School last Thursday.
All the 207 grade 12 students who graduated during the week had their own stories to tell.
Waikisa Tukiki, 20, from Sakaban village in Wantoat, Markham, came from a poor family. He had to pay his own school fees from grades 1-8 and had a huge fear of going back to his remote village.
Tukiki was the science dux. He earned the first placing in language and literature, first in advanced mathematics, first in biology, first in chemistry, and second in physics.
“In my village, it takes two days’ walking to reach the main road,” he said.
“That is why I kept my head down and aimed high.”
During his grades 1-8 at Bayamasu Primary in Wantoat, he paid his own fees through money earned walking to the main road every weekend, going to town to buy store goods to resell in the village.
“When I started my grade nine, my uncle helped pay my fees.
“I always wanted to be a pilot which was my mum’s wish but I now want to be either a doctor or a high school teacher, teaching science.

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