Don’t stop believing, Mai TV CEO says during launch of show on IWD

Mai TV Chief Executive Officer Raijeli Vulaono challenged women not to let circumstances define them, reminding them that they were created for a purpose and if at any time they fall, “stand up tomorrow” and become a better version of themselves.

Speaking during the celebration of International Women’s Day at the FMF Foods Limited complex in Walu Bay today which coincided with the launch of FMF Mai Perfect Bake show that will be hosted by popular TV News presenter Jacquee Speight, Vulaono empowered women to stop thinking and waiting about that ‘big thing’ to happen, telling them that they can make things happen with the simplest of things around them.

“For all women that are here today and the women out there, for international women’s day. Sometimes we are always thinking that something big will happen, but we would like to encourage you, just look around you. Grab the simplest things you have. Don’t look at what you don’t have. You look at the little things you have, even if you just have one kg of flour, you start with that,” Vulaono said.

“If its anything that you can pick today, start with it. Don’t allow your circumstances define you. You say to yourself that no I am blessed, I am privileged because I am created to be beautiful and you believe in your heart that you are. Regardless of what people say about you, don’t ever be taken up with that. You believe in yourself knowing fully well that God has created you for a purpose.

“I love what that book Proverbs 31 says about the perfect women. I know most of us we are far away from there, because we cannot reach that level, but always remember Jeremiah 29: 11, ‘ I alone know the plans I have for you to prosper you, never to harm but to bring about the future you hope for’, so believe in yourself and know that you were created for a purpose.

“Even with so much abuse at home and whatever you are going through, or maybe rebellious children, never for a moment for you to say to yourself ‘I blame myself for everything that is happening’, No, you stand up and say, ‘I may fall today, but I will stand up tomorrow’.”

Vulaono also acknowledged Mai Perfect Bake sponsors FMF for their belief in Mai TV and the show, set to premiere on Wednesday 16 March, and particularly the initiative to invest in flour, an item that is a must-have in every household’s grocery list.

Based on personal experience, Vulaono said flour has not only helped her create meals for her loved ones but has also been critical in helping her reach financial goals.

“In the few years I worked for Air Pacific, I would make 300 to 400 roti parcels a week to sell in the office daily. Even though we had a canteen, I would send out emails asking if anyone wants roti. It helped supplement my income and helped me reach financial targets faster,” Vulaono said.

She also shared about how helping out a girl who would sell roti parcels, made by her grandmother, outside a supermarket in Suva ensured that the little girl was not short of customers thereon, and she now not need to wait around late in the evening to sell all her parcels.

“The next time I came to the same supermarket, she is beaming in the corner. She said ‘when you bought the roti that day’, because what I did after I bought the roti, I gave one each roti to all the taxi drivers and security there. They tasted the roti. And she said, ‘they used to see me here, but they never bought the roti and did not know what it taste like, but that day they know and now I don’t have to stand here the whole day’.

“On that note, I would like to acknowledge FMF for that, for thinking of the flour and making it work for us, and even now with our next show the Quru Bisikete, it’s always flour.”

In discussing the partnership between FMF and Mai TV, FMF Marketing Manager Amrita Priyadarshni said signing for the baking show was a ‘no brainer’.

“At that time, we were given consideration as associate sponsors but when I saw the pilot we knew FMF had to be a part of it from the very beginning on a very major scale,” Priyadarshni said.

“So we took out time on a Sunday to come and meet CEO, to get this significant investment approved and for two key reasons, one because there is a lot of time when our FMF Flour in that paper packaging is seen as old, or it is not trending or it is not convenient enough for the consumers, but the show is a means for us to get louder to say that this is what has sustained Fiji, as a backbone of the food industry for a long long time, from the time when we used to import processed flour from Australia.

“But then there was a vision to bring flour in. We want to educate the upcoming generation about this, about the history of FMF, where we came where there are some things talked about convenience, and there are other things ingrained in our history, about the quality, about the people behind that bring the flour, and why we use paper packaging instead of plastic packaging, and we will educate all the viewers throughout the show, with Jacquee at the helm of it. Like I said, it was a no-brainer, thank you very much Mai TV for making this possible and thank you for making it into a digital show as well so Fijians residing overseas or here can see it online.”

The FMF Mai Perfect Bake show will feature 13 episodes featuring aspiring baking enthusiasts, most of whom the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to take up baking to supplement their incomes after their work hours were either cut short or they were put on reduced pay. It is aimed to empower women in that it showcases easy and affordable recipes, using flour produced by FMF Foods Ltd, to not only enrich their baking know-how, provide an opportunity to turn their love of baking into an income generator, but at the same time enable a platform for the young and upcoming bakers to showcase their talent and businesses.

Speaking at the launch, Jacquee shared her experiences juggling life as a single mother and work in the media, the transition from the face of the daily evening news on FBC TV to presenting a show that is on the opposite end of anchoring a news broadcast, and how she was only able to adapt thanks to the support of her single mother, her daughter Kimani, her grandfather and her work colleagues.

The show she says has also been a learning experience.

“I was thrilled to be given the opportunity and have enjoyed every minute of it,” Speight said.

“Meeting the guests of the show and learning from them (because let it be known that I am not a baker) has been a wonderful experience. Everyone has a story and I am so thankful that our guests were willing to share theirs.

“Our lives are bettered when we can find a way to share it with someone else and it’s empowering when we take those lessons and make decisions of how we will use ourselves and all that we have been given to serve which is greater than ourselves.

“Thank you so much FMF Foods Limited for coming on as sponsors in a major way for the Mai Perfect Bake show. It is an absolute honor to be associated with you. The professionalism and ease of dialogue between all parties have made for a very enjoyable experience and are sure to be a successful show. I have no doubt that viewers all over the country will enjoy every episode that will go to air.

“To Malia Clothing, sponsors of our cheerful and colorful wardrobe, thank you so much. A big Vinaka vaka levu also to our Amazing and Visionary Mai TV CEO Mrs. Raijieli Vulaono, our director the legendary Stanley Simpson, Mai Perfect Bake show producers Freda Lovo and Tiarre Waqavakatoga, and to our super creative production team – Raj, Sairusi, Josefa, Lisa and everyone who was involved in some way.”

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