By Pauline Karalus
At the young age of 13, Napio was served the double blow when his father passed away and, in the family politicking that followed, he lost all the rights to the inheritance bequeathed to him.
Napio is the only boy in a family of five and grew up with his four sisters and mother.
Napio’s Dad was the first born in his family and so most of the family customary land was his.
He had several cocoa plantations where he would dry up to six bags a month. Despite the fact that he was a subsistence farmer, the family heavily relied on his earnings more than the mother’s, who taught at the local primary school.
He earned much and the villagers envied him, but he never rejected a request from people who wanted help from him. He would help anyone in cash or kind, comfort or prayer whenever they needed it.
Having such a wonderful supporting wife and five lovely kids was a blessing from the Lord. His sudden passing shattered the hearts of his wife and children into pieces. This was a sad beginning of a new chapter in life for the family.
Napio, being the only boy in the family, was traumatized at the loss of his role model even years after his dad’s death. He changed from being that smiling playful boy to that quiet boy who enjoys his own company, who loves not being involved in any conversation.
With growing concern, his mum tried everything to make him socialize with the other kids his age, but Napio only wanted to be alone, a decision his mum ultimately respected.
He was still a young boy and so he was unable to cultivate all the land his late father had left him. His family had to move to the place his mother’s people to help her emotional recovery and it was difficult to keep an eye on his inheritance.
As the years went by, Napio grew in to a kind and gentle man. He returned home to his land, which was now occupied by his uncles and wouldn’t hand it back to him. He tried every possible way to get the land back, but was unsuccessful in his efforts.
A bright student, Napio successfully completed grade 10 in year 2010 with his younger sister. His sister continued on to grade 11, but he went for short courses down at Moramora Technical College in West New Britain province.
Upon completion of his studies, he got a job there and helped his Mum to pay for his sister’s tuition fees. He worked for a while and then chose to return to Buin, to stay with his mother and helping her out at home he had to move back to Buin.
He now stays at home and manages his trade store and helps raise funds for his siblings’ fees.
Up to this day he still stays at his mum’s place and continues to cultivate what little land has left for him.
To Napio, land is not the most important thing, he feels complete with his family.