INTERVIEW WITH MFAUME, OUR YOUTH AMBASSADOR NETWORK (YAN) REPRESENTATIVE FROM NORTHERN TERRITORY!
1. Who is Mfaume Kakozi?
I’m 21, one of eight kids, and I’m aiming to do an engineering apprenticeship to become a boilermaker.
2. What sparks a fire in you, and why?
I’m passionate about studying, singing in the community choir, playing the drums and learning the keyboard. I’m one of the youth leaders in our community and I enjoy helping young people make positive changes. I also enjoy playing soccer. I have been playing as a number 3 since I was little and when I came to Australia I joined a local soccer club. I enjoy the fun and fitness of training with people and meeting up to refresh our minds.
3. What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
One big achievement is just being comfortable living in a new place, with different people from different cultures and backgrounds. Understanding one another and also helping to bridge the gap when there are misunderstandings. When I first arrived in Australia there were people taking care of us, Anglicare, Melaleuca Refugee Centre, hosting events for refugees to meet together. I noticed that different people ate different things, and wore different clothes, and had to learn to adapt to the differences. Now I’m really comfortable with all of this because I’m used to it and I understand myself and believe in myself much more.
4. Who is your hero and why?
That’s a tough one…I watch action films, so maybe Jean-Claude Van Damme, I like the characters he plays. Or maybe Lionel Messi, the forward from Futbol Club Barcelona, because he’s a great player.
5. What is your most treasured possession?
My parents! They care about me more than everyone. They’ve been there for me since I was little until now, and I think that’s very valuable, their emotional investment in me and my life. They’re the best.
6. Why did you apply to be the MYAN YAN representative for NT?
I want to experience more and learn more – mostly about leadership so I can keep growing as a leader in my community.
7. What skills and talents are you bringing to the YAN 2020?
I’m humble and I’m nice to everyone, I make sure to help other people. I also try to do things differently when one way doesn’t work, which I think is an important skill. In our community, it’s easy for people to start blaming others if something doesn’t go according to plan instead of just trying a different approach. If you keep looking for new ways to do things, that can get you very far.
8. What are you hoping to achieve in 2020 as YAN’s NT representative?
I’m planning on being able to work smart, achieving a lot, gaining more perspectives, meeting new people who maybe I didn’t think I could meet in my lifetime.
9. What advice do you have for young people wanting to make a difference in the world?
Keep being you, follow your dreams and look for help if you can’t do everything yourself. Also study hard, because hard work pays off!
10. How can young people get involved in the work you do?
Come back to me after next year, haha! When I first arrived in Australia I did join some of the activities that Melaleuca Refugee Centre put on like going to the beach, sometimes playing games, having dinners. I’d recommend this to newly-arrived young people and their families who are trying to get settled here in Darwin.