Noosa LNP candidate James Blevin, pictured with Diwa Zambezi team member and brother Benji opens up on his childhood in Africa.
Noosa LNP candidate James Blevin, pictured with Diwa Zambezi team member and brother Benji opens up on his childhood in Africa.

Grim childhood sparks passion for politics

A childhood marred by murder, death threats and tragedy has only made LNP candidate James Blevin more focused on fighting for the greater good.

The Zimbabwean-born Noosa LNP candidate moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2003 after growing up in a country influenced by corruption, racial tension and violence.

Noosa LNP candidate James Blevin with a woman from an African tribe.
Noosa LNP candidate James Blevin with a woman from an African tribe.

From a family of farmers in the north east of Zimbabwe, the fourth generation African has too often been face-to-face with violent gangs.

"They were known as youth gangs or soccer teams, they would physically intimidate voters with violence," Mr Blevin said.

"They would come into the compounds and ask for party identification.

"Almost every week we had labourers die under the regime.

"People who worked for us."

Barely a teenager, Mr Blevin witnessed his father, who was the farmers' association chairman, threatened with his life on numerous occasions.

"He had a lot to do with the Minister for Agriculture and he turned up to a meeting once, I was sitting in the car," Mr Blevin said.

"As he was about to go into the politician's office, a couple of security guards held a screwdriver to his gut and basically told him to remember where he was.

"There was a fair bit of that."

James Blevin playing with children in Zimbabwe.
James Blevin playing with children in Zimbabwe.

Coming from a privileged background, Mr Blevin and his siblings were constantly reminded to be proud of their heritage.

"Dad always enforced that we were not British living in Zimbabwe, we were Zimbabweans and we spoke the language," he said.

"I spoke Shona (native language) before I spoke English.

"I managed to get myself out of a few binds with my brothers just by speaking the language."

He recalled one afternoon when he was stopped at a roadblock by an armed youth gang.

"They were holding machetes and chains and saying something along the lines of, 'white boy go back to your own country'," Mr Blevin said.

"I would respond in Shona and say, 'I was born here, where is my country supposed to be'?"

His tumultuous upbringing spurred his passion for politics.

Noosa LNP candidate James Blevin with wife Sammy.
Noosa LNP candidate James Blevin with wife Sammy.

"Social justice is very important to me," Mr Blevin said.

"In Noosa, we certainly have so much to protect.

"Noosa is so privileged in what it offers but very vulnerable to environmental and economical mishandling."

As LNP candidate, Mr Blevin said it was time for a shake up in Queensland's leadership.

"The kind of long term incumbency we have had in Queensland is never healthy," he said.

"If we'd had a Liberal government for 25 of the past 30 years or a Labor Government for 25 of the past 30 years, such as we've had. It just breeds wastefulness and lethargy.

"That's just human nature. We need to change things and rehabilitate our state."

Mr Blevin said there was a lot to be done for the Noosa region and he believed incumbent MP Sandy Bolton had not followed through with her campaign pledges.

"From what I recall in 2017, Sandy made three promises. Which was to fix Beckmans (Rd), restore the TAFE site, and bring the river under local control. I don't see any of that has happened," he said.

"Those are major issues for me. We need to invest in Noosa again."