Wakaniyasi, a hero gone too soon

Wakaniyasi, a hero gone too soon

By Mosese Raqio
Wednesday 22/03/2023
The late Joshko Wakaniyasi, a champion for people living with disabilities in Fiji [Image: Fiji Disability Forum]

The saying “not all heroes wear capes” rings true for Joshko Wakaniyasi who has been a one of the biggest champions for people living with disabilities.

According to the Pacific Disability Forum, Joshco (as he is commonly known by many) was a pillar and tower of strength to the Fiji disability community as well as the Forum members in the 20 Pacific Island countries and territories ensuring that assistive devices are available for persons with disabilities in Fiji and the Pacific.

The Forum says Wakaniyasi was an advocate, a champion, and a leader in the disability community.

He led and managed a number of key focus areas for the organisation and one key area was the precondition to inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Wakaniyasi received an award in 2019 at the 6th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability in recognition of the work he has done.

Under his portfolio, he led the discussion for a regional procurement hub for the Pacific for assistive devices, something that he was passionate about which he started and supported since his days at Spinal Injuries Fiji.

Ensuring that the building environment is accessible to persons with disabilities, he led the access audit project and the organisation and audited the UN offices and premises in Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Island and Vanuatu.

This included auditing the three APTC offices in Suva.

PDF adds Wakaniyasi pushed boundaries and shattered glass ceilings for persons with disabilities.

Wakaniyasi will be laid to rest this Saturday.

Should you wish to pay your last respects, please get in touch with the Pacific Disability Forum for details.

More details on the funeral will be released later.

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