Puk Kireka, a Mongrel Mob member in Hastings, New Zealand, has been trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
Kireka didn’t identify as a sportsperson at high school.
“I just went to school to eat lunch and play a bit of basketball at lunchtime,” Kireka told Hawke’s Bay Today in an interview earlier this month.
The 31-year-old’s weight started to balloon in his twenties, however, which prompted Kierka to do something about his ailing health.
“Basically I just wanted to get healthy … look good and feel good,” Kireka recalled.
The father of three signed up for a 13-month fitness programme which saw his shed 31 kilograms. He is now well underway in his first season of club rugby for Hastings’ Tamatea.
The mobster, who has spent time in an out of prison since his teen years, has an incredibly prominent tattoo covering the lower half of his face, which makes him stand out from the crowd.
“I know it will be hard to get a job with my tatts,” Kireka says regarding the mob colours splashed across his face.
“I will always be a mobster but it’s important to show we can have better lifestyles. I want to bring some of the others on board this better lifestyle.
“A lot of them are still drinking and smoking. While they aren’t getting into much trouble they are still ruining their lives with their lifestyle,” Kireka stressed.
Kireka, to his credit, has been drug-free for the last four years after kicking a methamphetamine habit while in prison. His recent physical activity and commitment to living healthier shows that there’s potential for anyone to try and improve their lifestyle.
Some, however, will always find ways to criticise guys like Kireka.
Notorious UK newspaper the Sun recently published a click-bait article based on Kireka’s interview, titled “MOB JUSTICE Gangster with ‘Notorious’ tattooed across his face moans he can’t find a job”.
While the journalistic integrity of the Sun is questionable at best, readers should be able to make up their own views based on the reported information.
One such reader (or perhaps he just looked at the article headline) is American rapper 50 Cent.
50 Cent published a screenshot of the article to Instagram, captioning the post “What the f*** is really going on man. I wonder why he can’t get a job.”
50 Cent started dealing drugs at the age of 12 but is now considered one of the greatest rappers in the world.
It’s clear to all and sundry that Kireka has made a few errant decisions in his lifetime, but it should also be obvious that he’s now trying to create a better life for him and his family, just as 50 Cent did. The last thing that a person trying to break bad habits needs is to be continually criticised for his past choices – especially when those criticisms come from public figures.
Kireka is taking small steps to make a great change in his life – this should only be commended.
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