MEET KEVIN KAPEKE
My name is Kevin. I’m 23. I’m running in the upcoming Council elections representing Aitken Ward in Hume City Council.
I have lived in Hume for many years and have had the privilege of being employed in the area just as long. Firstly, I worked at Melbourne airport and most recently, at Woolworths after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic and for my local Member of Parliament, Maria Vamvakinou. Being the eldest of three, I have the privilege of watching my youngest sibling attend school in the area (currently online) down the road from where we live. I enjoy watching her play tennis at Hume Tennis and Community Centre and get competitive with other children and feel like a part of this community.
Aside from my involvement in helping raise my youngest sibling, I am involved in my old Secondary College’s school council (hopefully inspiring the younger generation), my local Labor party branch, local church and cultural group.
Whilst for most, this is all they have ever known, a home in Hume, children attending the local school and getting involved in extracurricular activities after school and the added privilege shopping in the area and enjoying the local parks, my life has not always been like this.
I was born in Zimbabwe, in a small rural town called Zvishavane, in the Midlands province. I grew up in the central town of Kwekwe, right in the middle of the country and between the two largest cities, Harare and Bulawayo. I lived in Mbizo 1-extension (the three roomed council commission houses) with my mother, father, little brother, cousin, grandmother and great grandmother. My father was a Boilermaker at ZIMASCO (steelwork manufacturer) and my mother was an Environmental Health Officer within the City Council and on-call to travel to rural areas to deal with outbreaks (Malaria and cholera) and teach communities about water sanitation weekly. My father worked from dawn to dusk and my mother was away most days. My grandparents and aunt looked after us during those times and saw to it that we go to school and did our homework once we came back home.
My parents worked very hard in a struggling economy and did everything they could to ensure that our upbringing was memorable. They sacrificed so much for us and also had the added responsibility of looking after our extended family too. It was my father who acquired a VISA to work in Australia in 2008, gave up everything he had worked for to pursue a better future for my brother, my sister (who had just been born) and myself. My immediate family made the journey here the following year. When I turned eleven I moved to Australia.
This type of upbringing is not uncommon for most migrant families. However, what it has done, is it taught me primarily to really appreciate where I live, because I was old enough when I left Zimbabwe to know what I left behind. Moreover, it has taught me to value my community and to take an upper hand in helping those that are struggling, just as my community helped my family when we needed the help.
" I AM PRIVILEGED TO BE A CITIZEN AND CALL AUSTRALIA HOME "
During my high school and university years I volunteered to help my schooling community. I served as an ambassador in high school, appearing on the ABC to represent my school and talk about my experience studying at a government school. I have worked and volunteered at my university as an Ambassador, a mentor and a welfare officer as well as a magazine editor within the La Trobe Student Union. In 2017 I served on the La Trobe University Council as the student representative and most recently, as the president of ALIAS (A Look Into African Society) and Vice Chair of the ZimCommunity (Zimbabwean Community in Victoria).
However, as a community we still have a way to go. Hume is a very multicultural city and a growing city. It is now the time for newer, fresher and more diverse voices in Hume. This will give an opportunity to have different stories told, by migrants, have young people at the forefront of job creation and town planning and further have young people champion entrepreneurship in our community. Lastly, I believe it is important to have young people contribute to the discussion about how we navigate our city in a post Covid-19 world whilst supporting our local families, small businesses, young and older residents.
I hope you’ll join me and support my campaign.
Noma Kapeke (Mother)
From: Zvishavane, Zimbabwe
Nurse, Support worker and Environmental health officer
Fun fact: First in our family to go to University and one of the eleven members of her family.
Champion Kapeke Snr (Father)
From Shurugwi, Zimbabwe
Boilermaker, trainer & assessor
Fun fact: Lived in Australia by himself for one year between 2008 and 2009 whilst waiting for our VISAs to be granted.
Champion Kapeke Jnr (Younger Brother)
Fun fact: Rides a motorbike, an artist and stole my name, haha!
Thabile Kapeke (Young Sister)
Year 7 Student
Fun fact: Learning to speak Mandarin and likes to play tennis.