Though there are other shops dIn Labasa where you can access your email and check out the internet such as Govind's, there is now an internet cafe in Labasa. This is the story of a family who recently came to Labasa to live from India. Story from the Fiji Sun and I've shortened it a bit.
Hemal Khatri, 24, is among the young entrepreneurs at Labasa Town. He is also among businessmen in the North who are trying to turn the Labasa economy into a lucrative investment dollar. Khatri was born in India and has fell in love with this South Sea island since arriving in Labasa nine years ago…. Khatri came to Fiji in 2000 with his family after his father; Narendra Khatri was hired by Infashion Company in Labasa, as a factory fashion designer. “Labasa was totally a unique peaceful environment for me and I managed to adjust quickly,” said Hemal.
He attended Gurunanak Primary School enrolling in Class Seven and proceeded to Holy Family Secondary School and the Fiji Institute of Technology. “I always dreamt of becoming a businessman, so I decided to study Diploma in Business and Applied Computing at the FIT Labasa Campus,” said Hemal. After one year of study, he worked as an attaché at Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa Mill under the information technology (IT) department.
“Six months of attachment without pay was very difficult for me, but my aim was to gain maximum knowledge in IT,” said Hemal. That was not the only problem he experienced as he chased his dreams. He added that he faced a lot of difficulties, especially to catch a bus in the morning and since he was from India, sometimes he accidentally boarded wrong buses. “Although we had a car, I prefer to catch a bus because I wanted to experience what working people and the communities of Labasa face every day,” he added.
The six month attachment was invaluable. He learnt about computer networking, printers, graphical lay-out system and many more relating to IT. After the attachment, he knew he was fully equipped to catch his dream of becoming a businessman.
Hence the birth of Labasa Town’s first and only cyber net café- the Galaxy Cyber Net Café with Hemal Khatri, the young Gujurati lad from India as proprietor and managing director. Why the café? “It was the in-thing and the opportunity was there. There is no cyber café here and it was on my area of expertise. “After my attachment, I took a risk and approached my father to sell our car. It was our only asset and it helped start the business. With that money I opened the shop on August 12 last year. I struggled a lot in the beginning, setting up the shop but I was greatly helped by my schoolmates,” Hemal said….
Cafés started as places for information exchange, and have always been used as places to read the paper, send postcards home play traditional or electronic games, chat to friends and find out local information.
Galaxy Cyber Net Café is not an exception because of its user friendly environment, fast and efficient services and internet access. It is also specialized in typing, printing, networking and computer repairs……
In Fiji internet cafés are closely monitored and close at 5pm daily under the new emergency decree regulation.
I like the last comment. Somebody is watching you. Somebody is checking that you don’t open files you shouldn’t!
The other thing I noticed in the article was the reference to a six month attachment without pay. Now that is a bit harsh. These kids should be paid the minimum wage surely!