Ives Rose, a former refugee, also known for his drag queen pasona – Black Mamba, became a Registered Social Worker after obtaining his degree in social Practice at Unitec in 2016. While a student, he participated in community activities, including; volunteering with Rainbow Youth and African Community Forum.
As social worker, he continues to advocate for the rights of rainbow rangatahi (youth) through working with their whanau (family), communities and other agencies to create a safe space. He understands the psychological pain associated with being isolated by family and the community, due to sexual identity.
In 2014, with a message of love, acceptance and inclusion, he ran for and won the title of Mr Africa (MANZ) – an organisation that helps empower young men of African descent with the purpose of appreciating their strengths to foster enhancement of potential, talent and culture.
“Whilst most of my family are still finding it difficult to accept who I am, I strongly believe that being who you are is the best cure to psychological distress. In and out of my work, I strive to support and help others based on my own personal experience”.