Robby | Ōtara

“Hey, what’s up, everyone?  My name’s Robby and I stay in Ōtara. A couple of years ago, growing up in South Auckland you see violence and all sorts of things. Gangs, homelessness, and so something that I really wanted to do was learn youth work.

So, two years ago I did my Level 4 certificate in youth work with a diploma in Level 6. So, that was one of the greatest achievements that I made for myself. And I was a drop-out in high school.

So the vision that I had for youth work, is to understand it, and you know, as a child, you’re always looking for acceptance, and acceptance comes from the big boys; hanging around with the big boys, gangs, violence, especially for those that are living in broken homes, and so one thing that I know that kids love to do, is listening to music. Music is a big part of everyone’s life. They hear something that they like, they follow it. They follow the trend. So, for the future generation, that’s growing up in a broken home I want to utilise music to try and lure them into a positive motive. Using the lifestyle, using the background, and sharing that through music, to influence other people that’s living in that same concept, and hopefully, that will help them in the future. So youth work was something that I really wanted to learn so that I can actually improve my ability to help them, in whatever areas they’re struggling.

Advice? Man, I’d just say, be yourself.  Be careful who you hang around with. Some of your friends can be friends in front of your face, but behind your back, they’re not. So, really trying to identify who your close friends are, those that want to see you achieve and succeed in life. As I say; monkey see, monkey do. You hang around with dogs, you catch fleas. You hang around with thieves, you eventually want to take things. Surround yourself with people that’s got knowledge, people that can contribute something that’s going to take you away from that life, and put you in a positive way. That’s the message I have.

I’m originally born in Tahiti. I came here in ’92. Grew up in Papakura, Manukau. Eventually, when I reached the end of my teenage years, I moved to Ōtara, where I met my girlfriend at the time. So, been in Ōtara ever since. Growing up in South Auckland, you hear stories about different neighbourhoods, but give it a year or two, and maybe going to five years I realised that Ōtara is very friendly. It’s a very peaceful neighbourhood, to be honest. It all depends where you hang out and who you surround yourself with, but I love Ōtara.”

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