Batimala’s passion for music

Rosie Batimala in Suva yesterday. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

FOR Rosi Batimala, singing was her passion and she grew into it right from the age of 16.

Ms Batimala, who hails from Volivoli Village in the province of Nadroga, said initially she was a housemaid but singing was always something she wanted to pursue.

“I had won a talent quest here in Fiji in 1985 and I became a singer,” she said.

“I sang in resorts for over 15 years like the Sheraton Fiji, Shangri La’s Fijian Resort and Spa and I’ve learnt a lot in doing a lot of country music, rock and roll, vude, Fijian traditional songs like Noqu senibua,” she said.

She told this newspaper God helped direct her path and for the first time she composed a song called One Accord which was sung during the FijiFirst party’s fun day held in Valelevu on October 27.

“It was the first time I heard God speak to me through the lyrics and on October 27 it was just amazing that He spoke to me and I got the tune right there so I just sang it,” she said.

She said initially when she began singing it took her a while to get both the tune and the lyrics in sync.

“Back when I used to sing in hotels or in nightclubs, I never used to have both the lyrics and the tune of the song come to me at the same time but this was different.”

Ms Batimala now is a volunteer for Prison Fellowship of Fiji and has been conducting counselling for the past 15 years.

“I had some bad experiences and good. When I put it together, now the Lord has changed my attitude, my behaviour and character,” she said.

She said when she looked back at her life, she was thankful for being blessed with the gift of singing.

“Back then there’s no debate, we are all one in Christ and God is able to change us all, the impossible becomes possible,” she said.

Her favourite genre of music is slow ballet. “I sing different sorts of music but now my absolute favourite song is Chris Shalom’s My Beautifier,” she said.

She acknowledged the help of her relatives and friends who have continued to support her through the years.

“I’d like to thank God first and aunty Lute who lives in Lami, she gave me a shelter to sleep in while I was doing my mission work in Suva,” she said.

“Another lady is Mrs Vakaloloma and she’s married to one of my dad’s cousins who lives in Lami too, various churches, friends in Tailevu, Rewa who are always willing to let me stay over while I’m doing my ministry work.”

Ms Batimala said as singers they should consider the words they write for a song because it could negatively impact a person’s life.

“In music the most important thing for me is just the lyrics of the song. Before we sing we have to check the lyrics, would it affect someone’s life?”

She said through her work now she had seen how much influence music had on people’s lives.

“The crime that I see now with my counselling in prison ministry would be because of an influence through the words of a song and therefore there are more crimes so it would be best if singers, musicians sing the right lyrics,” she said.

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