Two South Sudanese refugees are hoping their positive story will go a long way to smashing negative stereotypes.
Kastro Chol-Mengistu and his boyhood friend Stephen Nyap Makwie recently launched Sunshine Auto and Tyre Services, which offers a range of mechanical services.
Kastro Chol-Mengistu said starting the business had been a long time coming.
“I finished my undergraduate university studies in Perth in 2013 and decided to move to Melbourne the following year for better job prospects. I aspired to get a job in my profession but without avail,” he said.
“My business partner and friend Makwie, also from Perth, moved to Melbourne a few years after my arrival to Victoria.
“With my business management skills and his mechanical experience, the opportunity to establish a business was there, but the idea just wasn’t realised yet.”
Mr Chol-Mengistu said he hoped to be a positive representative of his community.
“I will not dismiss the existence of some bad apples in the youthful segment of our population. In fact it is important to highlight that we have some bad as well as good individuals in our youth group, just as would be the case in other communities,” he said.
“But due to some bizarre and unfortunate reasoning, our community makes the exception. One bad onion made the rest rotten. At least that is what the media have been reporting over the last few years.”
“We pay too much attention to the ‘unruly few’.
“With Makwie and I now residing in Melbourne and the eagerness to counter the negative connotation associated to us, there was an idea to realise, an opportunity to seize and a fair dinkum point to prove. From that Sunshine Auto and Tyre Services was born.”