Apenisa focuses on youths

NFP provisional candidate Apenisa Vatuniveivuke. Picture: SUPPLIED

APENISA Vatuniveivuke will most likely be the youngest candidate contesting this year’s national general election.

The 20-year-old, who hails from Moala, Lau, with maternal links to Rewa, is a provisional candidate for the National Federation Party.

He said he hoped to make a difference for youths and their families.

The Natokowaqa resident said his interest in joining politics started in school, a place where he also learnt the importance of multiculturalism.

“Those were important moments in my life because those schools were largely multicultural and at those times I learnt how it was to be with people from different racial groups and to actually grow up in that environment allowed me to know Fiji as a whole,” the oldest of three siblings said.

“My father is a security guard and works at MH Supermarket and he’s been there for about 17 years and my mum stays at home.

“It has shaped me to know and understand what people go through because, most of the time, Fiji is not as rosy as people try to market the country. There are people who struggle, people without a decent meal and my family was like that too.”

Mr Vatuniveivuke said his interest in the mechanics of politics and how a parliamentary democracy was supposed to work developed while he was still in primary school.

“We can organise youth groups as much as we want but Parliament is where the decisions are made, so I realised that from a young age.

“I was in Class Four when the coup happened, so I had to wait a whole period of my life when I was in school before there was parliamentary democracy.

“I used to spend a lot of time in the library and this was the place I learnt what parliamentary democracy was and how it was supposed to work.”

As part of his aspirations, the tertiary student said he wanted to inspire youths to step up and fight for the future they wanted to have.

“Youths have been relegated to the back seat. People always say the youths are the future of this country but the fact of the matter is youths are not asked what future they want and that is one of the things I’m trying to focus on.”