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Tovata is one of three confederacies comprising the Fijian House of Chiefs, to which all of Fiji's chiefs belong.

Details of Tovata[edit]

It is located in the north east of the country, covering the provinces of Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove on the northern island Vanua Levu, as well as the Lau Islands.

The village of Somosomo on Taveuni is the current capital of the Tovata Confederacy. However, this confederacy was formed by the Tongan chief, Ma'afu.

Paramount Title of Tovata[edit]

The Paramount Chief of this confederacy is the Tui Cakau, who is also the paramount chief of Cakaudrove Province. It is currently held by Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, who won a court battle in 2001 to succeed his late father, Ratu Glanville Lalabalavu, who died in 1999. He had been challenged by Ratu Epeli Ganilau, son of former President Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, who had been the Tui Cakau up to his death in 1993.

Notable Fijians of Tovata[edit]

Although the smallest of the three confederacies, Tovata has been the most politically influential. Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, considered the father of modern Fiji, was from Tovata, as were Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, Fiji's longtime first Prime Minister and second President; Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, the first President of Fiji. In addition, Sitiveni Rabuka, former Prime Minister, and Laisenia Qarase, the recently removed Prime Minister, are also from Tovata. Political and Youth Activist Roko Jonetani (aka Pita) Waqavonovono is also from Tovata. Other notable leaders are Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Ratu Epeli Ganilau, both of whom have been politically active.

Business persons also from Tovata include Roko Matai of the Yatu Lau and Mere Samisoni, founder of the bakery chain Hot Bread Kitchen and a former Member of Parliament.


  • Broken Waves: A History of the Fiji Islands in the Twentieth Century - Page 233, by Brij V. Lal - 1992, Reference to Tovata as a Confederacy
  • Australia's Arc of Instability: The Political and Cultural Dynamics of Regional Security - Page 251 - 258, by Dennis Rumley, Vivian Louis Forbes, Christopher Griffin - 2006, reference Tovata as a confederacy and how it was formed

Further reading[edit]

  • Tovata I & II By AC Reid, Printed in Fiji by Oceania printers Fiji (1990)

External links[edit]