It poured outside but Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau brightened the studio and turned the rain into liquid sunshine.
As she and I talked to prepare her and myself for the live interview, she shared that the issues of her generation were mine too.
This was the worry.
The equality and recognition of women in leadership, in areas of development, despite generations of campaigning seemed fruitless; women and their involvement were still a non-issue.
Why was this? Simply the clutter of development. The focus has always been on the band-aid solutions of road fixing and other infrastructural issues.
Women knew all the issues and found themselves put second. More than half the population is pushed aside and put with the sewing machines and occasional tokenism.
Perhaps it is the women themselves that need to affirm their need and right to be involved in development issues that do not seem to be “woman’s work”.
Maybe these past three generations are forgetting to talk to each other. I have been privileged to have my mother and grandmother teach me what the movement has done ans support my entry into it.
While I stand ready to train young women to join what I am part of, as I hope I am doing with my training of the young Maria through the Morning Waves breakfast show on femTALK 89FM, I hope to see the ripples echo our youth.
Development is not simply work for men or women, but for the society as a whole. We women just wish to be included; that is why we do what we do.
We thank those that had come before us, we remember them being with us.
While Bernadette had left the studio for a whole hour, Maria turned to me at the end of the shift and said, “You can still smell Mrs Ganilau's perfume!”
Her impression did not just permeate the studio, but I felt energised and looked at the pouring rain and for a second did not feel the dread of the soaked walk I was going to take, but looked forward to the sun rising on Suva's newly cleaned buildings and plants.
I looked forward to the freshness after the rain.