MercyCare / News / Kuzi Sakupwanya: Why I support the Raise the Age campaign

Kuzi Sakupwanya: Why I support the Raise the Age campaign

Sadly, my dad lost his dad ‑ my grandfather ‑ to throat cancer when he was just 12, but despite experiencing such a big loss, he defied the odds and went on to become a renowned Hydrogeologist in Zimbabwe.

I have always admired my dad for his drive, grit and tenacity; these were the things that I looked up to in my dad and he was the person I aspired to be as I was growing up.

When I was 10, I always thought I would be a professional football player. From the age of 10 to 15 back home in Zimbabwe, I played in our junior national team and at the time I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

One of my greatest memories that I can recall between the ages of 10 and 13 was how much I used to love school safari camping trips.

Every year we would go to different parts of Zimbabwe during the school term with my classmates for a week and enjoy being outdoors and seeing the different animals during these trips.

It was during those years of my life I had some of the greatest memories in my childhood.

As a culturally and linguistically diverse member of Australia, growing up back in Zimbabwe, I was surrounded by a big family on both my mother and father’s side and it was the values that my grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles imparted upon me that enabled me to have a rich upbringing.

While my experience may be different for others, to me, having so many supportive family members to guide me through my childhood was pivotal in helping me become the person I am today.

So the thought of children as young as 10 going to prison is heart-breaking.

It is abhorrent to know that we are still dealing with such draconian policies when this is the time children should be enjoying life and the things around them.

This is why I support the Raise the Age campaign, as I strongly believe that a 10-year-old child should not be going to prison, because it will cause more harm than good.

To read more about the Raise the Age WA campaign, click here.