Joni Madraiwiwi I

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Photographic portrait of Ratu Madraiwiwi, most probably while he was Roko Tui Ra.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi (1859 – December 1920) was a Fijian Ratu and early colonial administrator in what was then the British Crown Colony of Fiji.


Ratu Madraiwiwi was a Bauan chief, and the son of the Bauan chief and rebel Ratu Mara Kapaiwai (who was executed by his cousin Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau).[1]

His mother, Adi Loaloakubou was half-sister of Ratu Cakobau the Vunivalu of Bau, and had been promised first to the Tui Nakelo in return for support against one of many campaigns between Bau and Rewa; this promise was reneged upon[2] and she was given to Ratu Gavidi, Komai Nadrukuta (Chief of the village of Lasakau - the second village on Bau Island). She was widowed on 26 April 1850 when Gavidi was shot in the back during a skirmish with the rival vanua of Verata.[3] Their descendants are still the ruling family in Lasakau.

It is unclear when Madraiwiwi's parents began their relationship because they were first cousins: Ratu Mara's father Ratu Vuibureta and Adi Loaloakubou's father Ratu Tanoa were half-brothers[1] - and in Fijian custom they were parallel cousins and considered siblings; therefore a sexual relationship would have been quite improper and kept discrete (as opposed to if their respective parents were of different genders, and they would therefore be cross cousins or "vei-tavaleni" - in which case the match would be considered highly desirable).

In 1886, Ratu Madraiwiwi married Adi Litiana Maopa, a granddaughter of Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau, the King who ceded Fiji to the United Kingdom in 1874. They had 6 children: Ratu Sir Josefa Vanayaliyali Lalabalavu Sukuna, Adi Kacaraini Loaloakubou, Adi Kuini Vuikaba, Ratu Tiale Wimbeldon Vuiyasawa, Adi Salote Mokoiwaqa and Ratu Dr. Jione Atonio Rabici Doviverata.[1][4]

Their eldest, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna (1888-1958), played a pivotal role in the formation of modern Fiji, by forging the embryonic institutions for the modern nation.

Their daughter Adi Kuini Vuikaba was the first iTaukei to become a fully qualified nurse[5] and married the Tui Noikoro, high chief from the Navosa district in Nadroga province. Her granddaughter and namesake, Ratu Madraiwiwi's great granddaughter: Adi Kuini Vuikaba Speed was married to the late Dr Timoci Bavadra a former Prime Minister of Fiji, infamously deposed by Fiji's first military coup and herself later served in the People's Coalition Government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry as Deputy Prime Minister.

Their youngest son Ratu Dr. Jione Atonio Rabici Doviverata was the first iTaukei to become a fully qualified doctor.[6] Dr Ratu Dovi's son, Ratu Madraiwiwi's grandson and namesake: Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, was a prominent lawyer and former High Court judge who served as Fiji's Vice-President from 2004 to 2006, and was the Chief Justice of Nauru until his death on 29 September 2016.

Colonial Administrative Offices[edit]

After joining the Audit Office as a clerk at an early age, Ratu Madraiwiwi had steadily worked his way up through the civil service. He held the posts of Roko Tui Ra (from 1896) and Roko Tui Tailevu (from 1912) in the Colonial Native Administration.

Preceded by
Roko Tui Ra
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ratu Penaia Kadavulevu
Roko Tui Tailevu
Succeeded by
Ratu Popi Seniloli


  1. ^ a b c Henry Soszynski, World of Royalty Website, 1996-2012, Vunivalu page,
  2. ^ R.A. Derrick, A History of Fiji, Vol.1, Government Press, Suva, 1946, page87
  3. ^ R.A. Derrick, 1946, page103
  4. ^ Henry Soszynski, World of Royalty Website, 1996-2012, Tui Nayau page,
  5. ^ Lukere, ed. by Vicki; Jolly, Margaret (2002). Birthing in the Pacific : beyond tradition and modernity ?. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i press. p. 124. ISBN 0824824849. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Lukere, ed. by Vicki; Jolly, Margaret (2002). Birthing in the Pacific : beyond tradition and modernity ?. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i press. p. 115. ISBN 0824824849. Retrieved 25 February 2013.