“One day I went to a local petrol station to buy some water and soft drink for guests at my parents’ house. It was 7pm. As my friends and I came to the front door, the owner locked the door. There are people that will judge other people based on their appearance. This experience made me stop wearing hoodies, especially at night time.”
Fiston Baraka is a 19 year old music artist and creative thinker who lives in Corio. Born in the Congo, Fiston and his parents spent their lives moving and relocating due to the wars in the country. For seven years, he stayed at a camp called Lusaka in Zambia, south of the Congo. His parents applied to UNHCR, and after some years moved to Australia. Fiston and his family have lived in Australia for 10 years.
“It has certainly been a spiritual journey. I can’t describe the feeling of being accepted in Australia, learning a new language, and meeting new people from new cultures. I was introduced to AFL, a sport I’d never heard of. I lived close to a football club, and the coach asked me to have a go. From then on, I have played for the Bell Park Dragons and Anglesea Football Club. I am a short person. That is not good in AFL. But I use this challenge and turn it into a strength. Height isn’t the problem, it’s the attitude about height.
“After graduating Year 12 VCAL at North Geelong Secondary College in 2018, I have finished a diploma of education support. I wanted a pathway into university. I did not do VCE because I doubted my ability to find success in that pathway, because of the language barrier.”
Now, Fiston is a fulltime painter, pursues his passion of music, and is a member of the North Youth Theatre. “There is a lot going on in the news in Melbourne about gangs at the moment. Don’t judge a whole group of people by a single person’s actions.”
“I’m a musician, but I’m also someone who is on a journey with their voice. I initially started creating music with themes and messages of friends, family and spirituality. ‘Prayer for Change’ is a rap about acceptance of others, with the lyrics ‘Love your enemies…love is true, prayer for change’. Blackviper talks about how artists are not being true to themselves and conform to how genres of music should sound like by not being your true self. Link below to Blackviper.
Fiston is part of a new show with the North Youth Theatre called ‘Waiting For Something Better’. It is a comedy about the end of the world, where two desperate people wait at a crossroad for something to save them from the approaching apocalypse. Waiting For Something Better is on at The Courthouse Youth Arts Centre and premiers this Friday at 7:30pm, with a follow up performance on Saturday 15th December at 7:30. Free tickets can be ordered at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/waiting-for-something-better-tickets-80188013507
Prayer for Change – https://soundcloud.com/fiston-baraka/prayer-for-change
Story and photo: Brandon Dellow