Love needs no words

Setoki Naika (close to camera) with his family Ledua Naika (wife), his daughter Martha Bale, 7, (left) and son Laisenia Junia Naika, 4, at their home in Nasole. Mr Naika is planning to take his family out for dinner tonight. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Setoki Naika and Leidua Naika are the epitome of the saying, “True love does not need words”.

The hearing impaired couple reside in Nasole, Nasinu and have been in love for more than 17 years and their love for each other has remained steadfast throughout the years.

Mr Naika, 35, said their love story started in 2003.

He described it as “love at first sight”.

“I was studying at the Gospel School for the Deaf and she was staying at the Harland Hostel and she used to come to our school to give food and that’s when I saw her and fell in love,” he said.

“She always looked at me when she came to school and then we started talking.

“After some time, I used to go to her hostel nearly every day just to see her.”

Ms Naika, 37, said after spending some time together, she realised he was the perfect one for her. They got married in 2006.

“One day he asked me if I wanted to go with him to Vanua Levu, to his family house. “I said yes, so we went and got married,” she said. Like all other love stories, their’s also had a phase of challenges. Ms Naika said after her family discovered that she was dating, they told her to leave the house.

“My family was very angry that I was meeting him and they told me to get out of the house, but that didn’t change my love for him.

“Later when he was coming to my hostel to meet me and spend some time, the hostel management got angry and I had to leave the job.

“After that, I went to the market and started working there.

“After marriage, our family didn’t give much respect or showed love to us because we could not hear and speak, so we shifted to Suva.”

The father of three said the day they found out they would be first time parents they were both happy and fearful.

“I was very happy, but at the same time I was scared whether my child would have hearing or be like us, but we decided that we would accept anything that was given to us.”

The couple consider themselves fortunate to be blessed with three beautiful children who are normal – and have learnt sign language. “My children are aged 13, seven, and four.”

Mr Naika works at the Deaf Carwash in Suva while his wife sells salusalu, baskets and mats from home through her Facebook page.

“My wife weaves baskets, salusalu, doormats and other things, posts it on Facebook and communicates with the clients through chatting to take orders.”

He said with the little he managed to save, he took his family to dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Ms Naika said she was excited to go out for a date as they did not get to go out from the beginning of the year.

“It’s been long since we went out as we were so busy, and the cyclones and everything made us stay at home.”

The couple said they were proud to be deaf and a couple.

“We trust each other and we are incomplete without our children.”

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