“Emperor Bosco”, as he is fondly known, has lived a life that is certainly worth putting down to paper. And we’re lucky that he has chosen to share his life’s journey with his fellow Fijians, along with some well-earned wisdom gained through his remarkable career. His is the kind of story that would inspire anyone to chase their dreams with passion and serve their country with distinction. Because this man, Ladies and Gentlemen, has built a legacy that every Fijian can be proud to celebrate.
A good auto-biography should never read like a resume. It is not a means to paint a veneer of triumph over all of life’s struggles. For we are all human. We all make mistakes.
And any honest account of our personal and professional lives is an opportunity for reflection on both our successes and shortcomings. That effort requires the author to ask hard questions of themselves, look into their hearts, and reckon with any regrets they may have. It is through that search for meaning that we find wisdom. Delivering such an honest account demands courage and humility –– qualities Mr. Tikoisuva has shown all his life. Which is why I look forward to reading about his journey, and I encourage others to do the same.
I’m sure most of us already know the broad strokes of Mr. Tikoisuva’s life. He is a true sportsman –– a leader on the field who has helped deliver legendary victories for Team Fiji, including against the British and Irish Lions –– in my personal opinion, was one of the greatest upsets in rugby history. Later he would lead our men’s Sevens side as a Manager and Coach and later as a Rugby Administrator.
I often tell our ruggers before they depart our shores that they stand for something far larger than themselves when they represent Fiji to the world. That when they don the jerseys of Team Fiji, they become Ambassadors for the country.
Mr. Tikoisuva interpreted that spirit quite literally, going on to become a civil servant and later in life, Fiji’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. There he helped build a partnership that grows from strength to strength to this day. And continues to be a valuable contributor to Fijian Rugby through his association with FRU.
I believe this book can become a fast favorite for many of us regardless of whether or not we’ve played sport at the professional level, because sport –– rugby especially –– is a part of our lives as Fijians. It unites us. It inspires us. It lifts our spirits in even the darkest of times. And it is very much part of our national identity.
There’s no place in the world I have been where I have not met at least one fan of Fijian rugby. Usually, they come in droves.
Fiji’s athletic talent is a fantastic resource for the country. And I’m sure Mr. Tikoisuva is proud to see the significant investments we have made to tap the athletic potential we know lies in wait across our islands and help amateur athletes rise to global prominence. By building parks and sporting grounds, especially in rural areas, attracting top coaching expertise, and constructing new state-of-the-art facilities, we are helping to identify, train and empower the next “Emperor Bosco” or indeed, the next Empress, because for the first time our women athletes are receiving substantial support from their Government as well. And those investments are paying off –– we have two Olympic Gold medals for our men’s side and an Olympic bronze from our Fijiana to show for it.
As well as a growing pool of talent in football, netball, swimming, weightlifting and many other athletic endeavours.
For women’s rugby, in particular, I believe we are living in the early years of a new era of excellence for our Fijiana Team. They have impressed every time they have taken the field, at the Olympics and most recently in the World Sevens series. I think we all know the best is yet to come.
But as we look to the future of Fijian rugby, we cannot forget those that have laid the foundation. Those that contributed to building a sport that does so much to unite Fijians and help us to rise above the challenges we have endured as a nation and people. Mr Tikoisuva sits among legends at the centre of that legacy. Thanks to this auto-biography, his impact –– and the lessons of his life –– will inspire many more Fijians through the years ahead.
I once again congratulate Mr. Bosco Tikoisuva on the launch of his book, “Emperor Bosco”. I look forward to receiving a copy.
Vinaka Vakalevu. Thank you.