Kadavu Province is one of fourteen provinces of Fiji, and forms part of the Eastern Division, which also includes the provinces of Lau, Lomaiviti and Rotuma. Kadavu also belongs to the Burebasaga Confederacy, a hierarchy of chiefs from southern and western Fiji with Roko Tui Dreketi of Rewa as the paramount chief.
The province is divided into nine tikina (districts), each with its own paramount chief and chiefly villages. The tikinas are Tavuki (Tavuki), Naceva (Soso), Nabukelevu (Daviqele), Nakasaleka (Lomanikoro), Sanima (Drue), Yale (Rakiraki), Yawe (Nalotu), Ono (Vabea) and Ravitaki (Ravitaki). Each high chief is a member of the Kadavu Provincial Council. There are 75 villages in the province of Kadavu.
The Kadavu dialects are almost as numerous as the tikinas but with tiny variations between dialects. The Kadavu dialects are closer to the Rewa dialect in Ono and then closer to the Beqa, Serua and Vatulele dialect in the main island with more similarities with the Nadroga and Ba dialects as one moves towards the south of the island. This could all indicate the origin of the inhabitants to an extent.
Kadavu is also the home of the second-largest living organism on Earth, the Great Astrolabe Reef, which lies along the southern side of the island and stretches from the northern part of the island, Ono island, to the southern tip of Kadavu Island, Muanasika Point near Nasau village. The edges of this reef are indicated by two lighthouses: the Solo Light House near Ono Island, and the Washington Lighthouse close to Nagigia Island.
There is no town on the island but Vunisea is where all the government headquarters are, with one high school (boarding school), a primary school, police station, hospital, airstrip and at least five supermarkets. However, there are also two main other stations apart from Vunisea: Kavala and Daviqele.
Note Worthy Kadavuans
Many Kadavuans have made their province proud through their contributions both at provincial and national levels. Others have gone on to be trend setters and history makers in their own rights by achieving what no Fijian has done before.
The names listed below are some of the many who made a name for themselves and the province:
- Akalaini Baravilala - First Fijian woman to play for IRB USA Women's Sevens team and also represented USA at Rio,2016.
- Bulou Akanisi Koroitamana – Former politician, wife of Ratu Jone Koroitamana
- Alexander O' Connor - Politician, Current MP
- Alexander Sauvolitanakadavu Soqosoqo - Former sprint king, Actor
- Apakuki CokanaKadavu - Songwriter, Muscian
- Ana Naisoro - Fiji Police Force spokes person
- Dee Uluirewa – singer – Hillsong Australia, (Sister of Dr. Tim Uluirewa)
- Edward Soro - VOU Performance Manager/Coordinator
- Elenoa Sailosi - Former sprint queen, one of the most endearing athletes of Fiji
- Dr Epeli Nailatikau - Medical Doctor, father of Merewalesi Nailatikau
- Epeli Vakatawa - TV personality and host
- Emosi Mulevoro - IRB Sevens Rugby player
- Fenton Lutunatabua -Former TV host, Environmentalist, Pacific Climate Warrior Coordinator
- Rev. Inoke Nabulivou - Past President of the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma
- James Bolabiu - First Fijan and First Pacific Islander to officiate international rugby sevens matches and Fiji's most experienced referee.
- Jesoni Vitusagavulu - Former CEO, Former Ambassador to the United States, Cuba, Mexico and High commissioner to China
- Jerry Yanuyanutawa - 15's rugby player, plays in the UK
- John O' Connor - CEO Fiji Rugby Union, Former CEO National Fire Authority
- John Seru - Actor and former Australian professional wrestler. He is best known as "Vulcan" in the Australian version of TV series Gladiators
- Ratu Jone Koroitamana – long serving Former CEO – CAAFI, AFL
- Josefa Lilidamu – Rugby player – Japan.
- Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo – was a Fijian chief, businessman, and former chairman of the Kadavu Provincial Council.
- Kaliopate Tavola - Former Minister for Foreign Affairs - Fijian Agricultural economist, diplomat, and politician, who was his country's Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2000 to 2006
- Lenora Qereqeretabua - First daughter and mother to be crowned Miss Hibiscus. Longest serving TV personality in Fiji(20yrs), former Hibiscus queen and one of the Pacific's most recognisable face. Fiji’s favourite MC
- Leone Lesianawai – First Fijian to act in a TV series, "Adventures of the Seaspray." Fiji's most famous policeman with the Fijian "bui ni ga"
- Leone Nakarawa – Part of First ever Gold Medal Olympic team – rugby sevens at Rio 2016, Europe's offloader King in 15's rugby.
- Lingo Reece - Castaway Island’s Duty Manager for more than 26 years.
- Litia Daveta AKA Esther King - One of Fiji's most famous gospel singer.
- Lynda Tabuya - Politician, Former Miss Hiscus, Former Lecturer
- Dr Manoa Masi - First Fijian Dentist, (One of the core influences behind the prominence of the Kadavu Choir)
- Manu Korovulavula - First father and son in Fiji and the Pacific to fight toghether in a war.Fijian political leader and civil servant. War veteran of the Malayan Campaign. Also a Writer, Composer, and Singer.
- Merewalesi Nailatikau - First Fijian and first Melanesian woman to win the South Pacific Pageant.was a recipient of a Sylff fellowship, was appointed UNICEF’s regional ambassador for the Pacific Island countries. Former TV personality. Former Miss Hibscus queen.
- Mosese Tikoitoga - Ambassador, Former RFMF Commander
- Mosese Sorovi - Fiji's Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion
- Niko Verekauta - Pacific Games Former 400 meters specialist & champion
- Nina Nawalowalo - First female Melanesian theatre director in the world. Daughter of Ratu Noa Nawalowalo.
- Ratu Noa Nawalowalo - First Fijian-born barrister to graduate from Victoria University and First Fijian to set up a law firm in NZ.
- Rachel Ah Koy - Former Swimming National record holder & champion, grand daughter of Sir James Ah Koy
- Radike Qereqeretabua - Long time Hotelier/Manager, father of Lenora Qereqeretabua
- Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo - was a Fijian chief, businessman, and chairman- Kadavu Provincial Council.
- Richard Tanumi – Australian born - Musician, Actor, Singer, Model, Dancer
- Roy Ravana - Sports personality, was one of Fiji's star athlete
- Ratu Seci Nawalowalo- former Member of Parliament
- Ratu Sela Nanovo - Former Fijian Senator, named by the Great Council of Chiefs
- Dr. Sitiveni Ratuva - Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and director of the MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
- Dr Tim. Uluirewa – First Fijian to attain a PHD in Music. Former Pastor, songwriter, and worship leader.
- Sera Tikotikovatu - First Fijian actress to act in an international TV series. Former Miss Hibiscus queen. She starred as Kirra in Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji.
- Sireli Naqelevuki - First Fijian and First South Pacific Islander to play for a South African Franchise Team in Rugby.
- Solomoni Mara - Current Ambassador to the USA, previously to the UK
- Vilisoni Rarasea - Sports personality,one of Fiji's star athlete, brother of Elenoa Sailosi.
- Viliame Leqa - TV personality
- Vilimoni Vaganalau Labailagi - Butler to many of Fiji's Governor Generals, PM's and Presidents. Fiji's longest serving civil servant of more than 50 years.
- Waisea Vatuwaqa - One of Fiji's famous musician and song writer
- William Tabuya - Former TV personality and sports commentator