A burst of joy and anticipation filled my tummy that night, sleep felt like a wonder. Tossing and turning waiting for the clock to tick 6 am, to finally embark on the “new adventure.” What will the ballot look like, how will the process be, will there be cops in the room, will I destroy my paper? This and more questions fuelled my anticipation to partake in the civic duty only adults could. At the polling station, I was welcomed by long queues, I never knew there were so many people in our “small area.” Lined up by our initial letters, I was separated from my kin we all stood independently. Earphones inlet the wait begins.
One hour turned to four hours with little to no movement in our queue. At this time there were small groupings already in the queues, a tap on my shoulder as someone asked. “What’s your second name?”, “XYZ” is my name I replied. Oh, you are one of us, we will surely win this election, thank you for coming (all this was in a local dialect) the conversation continued, and back to my earphones, I went. At this time, anger burst through my veins, who said I’m voting for XYZ because we speak the same language. After a whole month of checking the pros and cons of each aspirant, why x seems more dedicated than y, all that was reduced to the “second name effect.”
As a first-time voter, that shook my core. It’s no longer strange to hear the youth saying “you must buy my vote.” Most of them believe the elected leaders will not help them in any way, so they must be compensated now. Well, your vote means so much more than 200 bob or any other amount, it’s more than your tribe or blood ties. Your voice counts, pick the right leader for you and make them accountable! It’s not a favour they are doing for us when they build roads or give out CDF school funds it’s their duty!! They are our servants, where are not theirs! Or should I add, we are the master!