Aboriginal comedian Kevin Kropinyeri won over a group of boys from the Goldfields Clontarf Academy when he visited Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School yesterday.
Kropinyeri had the boys cackling at his impressions of familiar characters and stories of his misadventures growing up in Sydney.
Kropinyeri said he had always had a funny streak but his experience with childhood abuse had led him down the path of destruction during his youth.
“I didn’t know my real father and my stepfather was abusive … that abuse made me into a violent young blackfella,” he said.
After several run-ins with the law, troubled relationships and three suicide attempts, Kropinyeri made the decision to forgive his stepfather, a decision that became influential in allowing him to change his ways.
“Hate is like a cancer to your spirit,” he said. “If I’d given up, I would have robbed myself of all the blessings I have now.”
Kropinyeri warned the students of the dangers of falling into a cycle of violent behaviour and bad decisions, saying he didn’t want to tell the boys what to do but rather speak from his own experience about travelling from “humble beginnings” to a place of respect within his family and the community.
“I want to plant a positive seed with you fellas,” he said. “I want to see you all be good men.”