Love can change the world.
At 22-years-of age, Reupena Tupa’i of Leauva’a, strongly believes this.
He might be a young man but he is a man with an opinion on what’s happening.
“I’m aware of how the youth have turned out these days,” he said. “I see kids roaming the streets, spending all day in the markets and only go home in the evening.
“And honestly; sometimes that kind of life, it is tempting but when I think of my family, it just kind of put you back in your right senses.
“I wake up everyday and tell myself that I’m alive because I have a family to serve and look after.”
Being angry will not do any productive, he said.
People – especially young people – need to be loved. The older generations need to understand them too.
“Life has changed and young people think differently,” he said. “I know the feeling because I have been judged and misunderstood so many times.”
Many people for example think he is stupid for not working.
But that is not the case. Reupena said he used to work as a carpenter for a Cabinet Minister.
He helped him build houses for seven months before his family needed him home.
“My dad and I were the only people working in the family but we only have a little family and no one was ever home to take care of things,” he said.
“So I resigned from my job to manage things at home; you know little things like cooking, cleaning the land and all that.
“And honestly for me right now; I don’t mind doing everything because I know that the people I’m doing this for; are not strangers. They are my flesh and blood.
“You take care of them and at the same time; being at home makes you feel at peace and safe from the world.”
Reupena has a plantation of bananas and coconuts. In fact he was on his way to fetch some coconuts yesterday when he was spotted by the Village Voice.
“I finished school in year 12 at Faleata. Even though it was hard but from then on; I knew that no one can help you like your family.
“I believe one day I will be given an opportunity to work again but for now; my family comes first because time and tide waits for no one right?”