Te Kahu | Manurewa

“I am 16 years of age, and I am currently staying in Manurewa, ready to be moved out to Ōtara, in the next couple of weeks. My hometown is actually Kaitaia, from the naughty North.

Well, growing up I never had any parents around. I only had my Nan, and I guess the loneliness for me was having no father around to teach me the way through life, but I was lucky, because my Nan was there, and growing up I never had any friends. I never liked hanging out with friends because eventually they’ll backstab you and all that, but I learned to stand on my own two feet, and you know, just be strong for my people. I’m Croatian and I’m Māori. Now, yeah being a Māori people, it’s pretty hard when you watch your country going up in flames. Yeah there’s a lot, there’s a lot that’s happened to cause my loneliness, but I fought it. I’m still smiling, you know? Yeah that’s my answer to being lonely.

Having the thought of someone loving me eventually, and accepting me for being who I am. I just, I gave up billions of times, but I just kept on going, because that’s all you can do in this life. You know how they say you only have one life? You do, and you’ve got to live it. You’ve got to use all your potential to strive, because without that potential you’ll be nobody. So I learned, like I said earlier, to stand on my own two feet, and not allow negative people to enter my life. And when those people did, I was blind. Now, it’s hard, you know, walking around these streets, and watching people suffer, but I’ve been there before. I’ve done that, and now I’m actually glad that I’m going to MIT Ōtara, studying to become a youth worker, because I watch everybody around me, and everybody has their own personality. Everybody chooses where they want to go in life, but me, I chose my own path. I had two; the good path and the bad path. Now, I chose the bad path at first, and I chose the second, which was the good path and now gradually I’m moving down that path.

I have many stories. Last year on April 10th I lost my baby cousin, who I prefer to call my brother, at the age of 13, due to a car crash. That would be the most hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, because it was a day, just a couple of days before I found out he was gone. I’d seen him walking through town, and I waved out to him, and I said, hi Cuz how are you? And, here he is taking selfies on his phone. You know? It was hard, but I had to remember that he was in a better place, and that I couldn’t dwell on stuff like that, and the only way I can reach out to people is by preaching, but not preaching like a priest, but preaching the journeys that we must take, so we don’t end up karked it. That would be the most hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, because of alcohol and drugs. That’s what caused it to happen, and the people he was hanging out with, and I wish I could have changed it, but I couldn’t. The reason why I’m here is because I want to live on his legacy that he left for us, because I know no-one else will do it except his baby son that he left behind – the cutest baby ever, straight up. But hopefully I can reach out to people. Hopefully one day someone will give me that chance, you know?”

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