13 May Nikita’s Story
Nikita’s family is everything, she’s kept busy over this time by helping her sister care for her little brother so her mum, an essential worker is able to continue working during lockdown.
Nikita has been with Ngā Rangatahi Toa since the beginning of 2019. Her whānau are from Whangarei, but she lives in Mt Wellington, Auckland. We had a great kōrero about Ngā Rangatahi Toa and what the experience of lockdown has meant to her.
At 14 years old, Nikita is one of our tuakana. “To be a tuakana means you help out anyone that doesn’t know what they are doing,” she says, “and you get to know them before anything – like, know what they are like and get on with them and take responsibility of your actions and learn from your mistakes.”
Living in lockdown with her whānau, Nikita takes care of those who need her. “I look after my little brother when no one is around, and I look after my little nieces and nephews, and yeah, I just have fun with them.” She tells us that the thing that is keeping her positive is the love and support they all give each other.
Like many of us, the lockdown experience has been a great time to reflect on and be grateful for the simple things. For Nikita, this has meant “I can do my homework in peace and chill with the family n’ stuff around the house.” She is also shared, “I’m grateful for talking and spending more time with my family like I didn’t use to before, and I’m also grateful I get to help my older sister cook dinner. Tonight, we’re cooking fettuccini with bacon.”
The lockdown experience has also presented many challenges. We’ve had to adjust the way we would typically do things. Nikita has found the long queues at the supermarket and the disappointment of not always being able to get what you need a real challenge. “When there is a long line, and then you have to wait, and once you’re inside and all the food you want is gone. That’s why you have to be the first one there.”
Nikita’s little brother keeps her busy; this helps her to process what’s going on around her. “I’m finding it a little difficult, but not, at the same time, like, things that are keeping me going is my little brother like making me run around, which is good because I’ve been lazy. He’s keeping me energetic.”
When asked if she would do anything differently in another lockdown experience, Nikita is quick to share. “What I would do more is, be more organised and, like, find my headphones, cause last time I couldn’t find my headphones. I would personally be more talkative, like give out ideas with everyone. As a country, be calm about it and don’t panic, don’t go in panic mode straight away.” But for now, her plans are fixed on when lockdown finally lifts: she’s going to “have Maccas again, hang out with all my friends and go roller-skating.”
Her message to other rangatahi is simple – “Just stay calm and be helpful. Be grateful for what you’re given, like, don’t be a spoilt brat and like, just be kind to others and treat everyone how you want to be treated, treat everyone equally not individually.”
– Crafted by Nicki White