Shania | Manurewa

“Hey, I’m Shania and I’m from Manurewa, Auckland. It would definitely be my, my second-to-oldest sister. She’s recently passed away, like three months ago, and it’s all because just who she is, and everything she’s done for me.

I look up to her, and I miss her heaps, and she loves food. I would definitely be sharing my food with her!

She actually got into bad drug addiction and drug-use, where she couldn’t fight the temptation to stop. She went into the hospital 22 times for the same reason. It was sad for me to see, anyway. She’s someone that I look up to, and to see her go through that phase in life was just hard, and she eventually decided to stop when she was told that she might not be able to live out of her 30s, but when she did decide to stop, it was kind of too late. She died eventually in hospital, three months later. It’s sad, and now it’s sad for me to see people on these streets of Manurewa high on drugs, and she wasn’t the only one I’ve seen in bad states. I’ve seen people here on the streets, in my hometown. This is my hometown, Manurewa. And it’s just sad to see people go this way, and I really would like it to be a better place, definitely. 

If I could do anything, it would just be helping people going through things and sharing awareness that people using drugs to get out of the mindset, and state, need to just find something else. Find something better in life, because, at the end of the day, drugs are just going to end up killing you. Doesn’t make anything better. Not your health, not your life situation, nothing. It can take it all away for a moment, but then it’s going to all come back when you’re not high anymore. I’ve been using marijuana to take away all the problems in my life, but I’ve just decided to give it up and find something better to take all the stress off. Be creative, you know? Get out there and do something. Create stuff. Be all creative, and I’m only 19, so I don’t want to die early. My sister was only 33 when she passed, and I just want to change. I just want to help others change, as well.

Oh yeah, I grew up here I Manurewa. I was born in Middlemore Hospital, where my sister passed. She actually passed there. My mum raised us on her own. Four daughters. I’m the youngest. I was raised here, south-side of Auckland, and I love my town. I know that we aren’t perfect and anything, but this is where I was raised, and I was just telling my mum the other day that I’ll do anything to make a change towards my town. I’m starting with quitting drugs as my first step. Everybody knows my street as the ghetto part of town, and for me to live there and actually experience it, you wouldn’t know. I’ve heard so much about my street, that it’s the worst street in Manurewa, but I don’t find that. I grew up here, I played on the street every day, and nothing serious went down. The streets do teach you a lot thought, and it is hard in life, but drugs and smoking and alcohol, it doesn’t help. I’ve been through it. I started smoking weed at 15. I started drinking at 15, and I’ve found myself nowhere with that, with particularly those things. Nowhere. I would advise any young ones to just find something that you love. Find something that you love and you’re passionate in, and just go for it and don’t let nothing distract you. I’ve let so many things distract me in my life. I’ve had dreams as a little kid, and I’ve just gone so off-track and I just don’t want anyone to go wasting time. So, my advice is just, find something you love. Everyone knows what they love. Everyone knows what they’re good at. Everyone knows their-self, just go for what you want. Don’t let nothing distract you. Don’t let nothing hold you back. Don’t let bad, negative energy stop you in your tracks. Just know that God has you, and you’ll always be safe on your journey, as long as you be true to who you are. You’ll make it. You’ll be happy. All of that, and everything will turn out for you, as long as you, you’re good to the people around you, and you just stay with the people that are good to you.”

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