USP Alumni Network

Ben Salacakau

What is your home country?
I am from Fiji.

Which country do you currently live in if different from above?
Currently I am the Fiji High Commissioner in South Africa and so live in Pretoria.

What programme did you graduate in and in which year?
I graduated in 1977. I did a BA+ GCE majoring in History and Geography. I later did a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies.

What was your most memorable moment as a student?
USP was an experience in itself. Meeting and working with different students from different backgrounds and I learnt a lot about other cultures too.

Describe your experience while studying at USP.
USP years was an adventure with new people and new things happening. I involved myself in a wide cross section of people and activities. I just knew that I would never regret it and so it did. 

What was your greatest achievement while studying at USP?
It is hard to say. I held a number of support roles in many activities.

After graduating from USP, what were some of the highlights of your career?
I was Principal in many schools in Fiji. The highlight was my 7 years at Labasa College, one of the premier schools in Fiji.

How do you think USP helped you in your career?
It helped me to work with different people of different backgrounds.

After graduating from USP, what has been your greatest achievement?
Right now being the first High Commissioner for Fiji in South Africa has been the highlight. However I look back with pride at my many students who have gone to rise in their careers. Many have now attained PHD’s, lecturing at Universities, Medical Schools, Nursing Schools, Training Colleges etc. They make me so proud.

What inspires you and why?
I love challenges. They can never get you down if you keep looking up.

What advice would you give to current and future students of USP?
Love your work no matter how humble it may be. Look to love the people who work with and the tools of your trade for without it the simplest task becomes a torture.

Any other information you would like to share?
Keep up with the evolution of knowledge in your profession. Many of the knowledge that got you through studies have now evolved into new dimensions and truths. If you do not keep up you become obsolete and irrelevant.

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