Serenity overcomes odds to top Maluafou College

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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DUX 2017: Serenity Lokeni with parents; Sala and Isaia Lokeni.

DUX 2017: Serenity Lokeni with parents; Sala and Isaia Lokeni. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

The Dux of Maluafou College for 2017, Serenity Lokeni, is a living testament that through the pain it doesn’t break us, it builds us.

Her success was celebrated yesterday by her family, parents and friends during the school’s end of year prize giving. 

“I believe that when you do not have enough or have anything, it really motivates you to do better in school or in whatever you do in life,” she said. 

“My father is a taxi driver and my mother works at the S.N.P.F. We don’t really earn that much and through that experience I draw my motivation.”

Serenity said despite this being a challenge, she was determined to work hard in school.

The top Commerce student wants to do well to secure a decent job so she could take care of her parents. She wants to become an Accountant.

Serenity is from the villages of Alamagoto and Fasito’o-tai. 

In the five years she was in college, she has learnt one thing, searching for knowledge is not easy.

“Throughout my college years, the biggest lesson that I have learnt is that looking for knowledge is not easy, it requires time and commitment,” she said. 

“It is very hard because it is draining at times.”

PROUD MOMENT: Lalotea Bernard with family.
PROUD MOMENT: Lalotea Bernard with family.
Memory Fruean with relatives.
Memory Fruean with relatives.

The 18-year-old always strived to be the best at everything she did despite how many times she failed and it was through God’s grace that helped her this far.

“I have tried to do my best in so many things and I give praise and honour and glory back to God for everything that He has done. I have finished well this year and it is all because of him and his love.”

Making her parents happy is all that she wants because it was not easy trying to budget, especially when she was the youngest of six siblings. 

“It feels good to be satisfied; any parent will feel absolutely replete from the achievements of their child. 

“I hope that’s the way my parents feel because putting me in school is not easy. There are six of us children and I am the youngest, I want them to know that all their hard work has paid off.”

Serenity dreams of being an accountant in the future.

According to her mother, Sala, they took Serenity and made her as their own when her grandmother passed away and it was a good decision because she has made them very happy.

“I feel very proud of my daughter for all her achievements. Serenity is my youngest daughter and she is our adopted child. Ever since she was young, she has always worked so hard. We didn’t expect her to top her class this year. She was the greatest decision we have ever made.”

Serenity means peace or calmness and to her the deep meaning of her name was a key to overcoming the obstacles she faced in life.

“I guess my name played a big part in my life. Every challenge that I faced was not easy, growing up was a struggle and every time my name was being called, I am reminded that I find stillness in my maker.”

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