How missing out on rugby glory lead Taranaki mental health advocate to new path


Enele Fidow’s Love n Light movement to get people talking about mental health has taken off around Taranaki.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Enele Fidow’s Love n Light movement to get people talking about mental health has taken off around Taranaki.

Shattered rugby dreams, a first break-up and a concussion: Enele Fidow’s life veered far from where he hoped but he ended up exactly where he needed to be.

The 24-year-old Taranaki man is on a mission to get people to open up and talk about their mental health struggles.

His path to mental health advocacy began in 2016 when he was not selected for the Samoan Sevens team, something he had dreamed of for years.

“I went over there with the mindset I was going to make it and provide for my family.”

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It was only when the Samoan New Zealander came home that he realised what a toll not making the team had taken on his mental health.

“Now that I understand mental health I realise that was the first time I went through it. I didn’t even know I was depressed.”

Fidow says his own mental health struggles encouraged him to start posting on social media.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Fidow says his own mental health struggles encouraged him to start posting on social media.

In 2018, he suffered a concussion in a rugby match, leaving him unable to play. At the same time he went through a relationship breakup, which together saw his mental health deteriorate again.

“Going through all of that at the same time, I didn’t know how to deal with it”.

He believes part of this inability to both recognise and deal with his feelings then was because his family did not speak openly about such subjects.

But after his own experiences, and watching his sister also battle, he decided he wanted to make a change for the better and started posting videos on social media talking about his mental health.

His social media platforms have continued to grow since he started them over a year ago.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

His social media platforms have continued to grow since he started them over a year ago.

This has now turned into Fidow’s Love n Light movement, which has generated nearly 600 followers on Instagram and over 1,000 on Facebook.

It has grown beyond his expectations and he is continually buoyed by the messages of support from his followers.

“I didn’t do it for the clout and I didn’t even expect it to be this big.”

He has recently created clothing with the Love n Light logo to encourage others to get behind the cause.

Fidow will be selling his t-shirts and hoodies to raise awareness about the movement.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Fidow will be selling his t-shirts and hoodies to raise awareness about the movement.

And with his mental health journey improving, Fidow made his way back to the sport he loves and is now coaching rugby.

He has also been studying to become a personal trainer as well as picking up a qualification as a life coach.

“If I can help people physically, it’ll help them mentally as well,” he said.

“If my story helps then I’m happy with that.”



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