From fitness regimens to music and dance, and from boxing to mentorship programs, Brown Pride is making a difference in the lives of young people in South Auckland.

Manurewa Local Council Vice President Melissa Moore recently visited the Manukau-based gym which offers new futures alongside weights, jump ropes and punching bags.

“The council decided to provide funding to the group, and we have seen it develop and grow and become an instrument in providing new avenues and opportunities not just for the rangatahi of Manurewa, but all of South Auckland” , she says.

“It was great to visit Brown Pride and see a kaupapa that empowers Pasifika and Māori rangatahi to pursue their passions, unlock their potential, and even start businesses.”

Moore says funding programs for alternative education and employment pathways is not the council’s core business.

“But through our Youth Connections work in partnership with The Southern Initiative, we have been able to provide seed funding and support incredible work that is making a difference for young people in our community.

“It was inspiring to see the growth of the organization and the range of programs it offers, and to hear about the successes of the rangatahi who have signed up and worked in various jobs, but also who have just benefited from a place of connection and who belong.”

Brown Pride began when a group of friends decided to open a gym and promote various fitness classes to reach young people from the Pasefika and Māori community.

Since then, Johnnie Timu has seen Brown Pride become much more than a gym, today also providing a hair salon, a music label and a youth support group that helps rangatahi make good choices. for their future.

“Board Chairman Joseph Allan and I had the good fortune to meet two young Manurewa who had just obtained their forkhoist license, but who were also making waves in the music industry thanks to the support of Brown Pride, and their smiles and confidence said it all,” Moore said.

Timu is grateful for the funding the council and others have been able to provide.

“We were just ordinary Samoans, with no qualifications or big wallets, who were tired of working weekdays and wasting our weekends, and wanted to make a difference.

“We are just getting started and we have big ambitions and big plans.”

These plans included weight loss challenges, sports scholarships, a record label that allows young people to express their talent under the supervision and with professional guidance, small group physical training and even his own army. .

Timu says the brown army is the name of the youths who are under the group’s wing. “We help them meet new challenges and opportunities. Whether in sports or in new careers.

Staying in touch

Would you like to be kept informed of all the latest news in your region? Subscribe to our Manurewa Local Council eNews and get it in your inbox every month.