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Bula Vi­naka Fiji! Au­gust is here again and it seems it will be a very busy pe­riod. The high­light of the month is the Voda­fone Fiji Hibis­cus Fes­ti­val held at the Valelevu Grounds in Nas­inu. Hope you en­joyed the fun and laugh­ter, food, en­ter­tain­ment, shop­ping and the op­por­tu­nity to meet new friends. This month’s cover story is on artist Sonam Sapra’s lat­est cloth­ing line, Baby Boo by Sonam Sapra. Hope her story will in­spire you to pur­sue your dreams and rise above your chal­lenges. The mother of two whose fam­ily hails from Tave­uni was born in Fiji and trav­elled through­out the world be­cause her dad worked for the United Na­tions. She came back to the coun­try of birth five years ago and re­dis­cov­ered the artist in her. We have two can­cer re­lated sto­ries this month as a lead up to Pink­to­ber which will be cel­e­brated in Oc­to­ber. Learn about how Ase­naca Driso was di­ag­nosed with cer­vi­cal can­cer and sur­vived the dis­ease. She is now en­joy­ing the sim­ple things she used to take for granted. A mother and daugh­ter from Nakelo in Tailevu, Milly and Sain­im­ili, spoke to maiL­ife about their jour­ney when a mem­ber of their fam­ily was di­ag­nosed with oe­sophageal can­cer and later died from the dis­ease. Our pho­tog­ra­pher, Jone Lu­ven­i­toga, writes a story about a man’s vi­sion to set up a pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion for wheel­bar­row boys in Suva and the changes this has brought about. We travel to Beqa Is­land and let vil­lages from Soliyaga, Lalati, Nawai­somo and Rukua tell us their fears about cli­mate change and how it has af­fected them. In 1971, when the Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific held its first ever grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony, a young mar­ried woman was among those who grad­u­ated. We fea­ture her in this is­sue. Mere Tora, a mother of four and wi­dow, is the first in­dige­nous woman to have grad­u­ated from USP. She grew up in a ru­ral vil­lage in the province of Cakau­drove on Vanua Levu with her nine sib­lings, two of whom went on to at­tain PhDs. She is now re­tired and is en­joy­ing ev­ery mo­ment of it. Seona Smiles re­views two new books – Be­gin­ning of the End by Daryl Tarte and Sia Figiel’s Free Love. For pet lovers, there’s a piece that teaches you how to take good care of horses and for our on­go­ing se­ries on Democ­racy and Elec­tions, this month we will take a look at the topic “Ac­count­abil­ity” Lastly, we have our reg­u­lar favourites – Food by celebrity chef Lance Seeto, Health ad­vice by Dr K, Travel and Ad­ven­ture sto­ries by Priya Singh and Ben Mack, Ac­tive by Bu­la­li­cious, S’Pacif­i­cally Speak­ing by BRG, Fash­ion Opin­ion by Faraz and the long­est run­ning col­umn – 2 Bags. Hope you’ll like this month’s se­lec­tion of sto­ries. Un­til next time en­joy read­ing!

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