So I’m legal to vote in this election and it’s a dream. At least I think it is. Whenever I ramble about how I’m looking forward to voting, every person whose been voting for a while just gives me a look. This look manages to quietly say “You wretched, dumb, naïve soul.” Okay maybe it says, “Sure waste your time” or “Of course, why not stand in the sun for eight hours only for the election to be rigged.” But I chose to interpret it as a jibe to my insecurity.
Obviously, the seasoned Kenyans have reasons to not be as excited about voting as I am and they probably know what they are talking about, but when has that stopped me? So as usual, in line with my extraordinary ability to give advice on things I have zero experience in, here’s my comprehensive list of why you should vote.
1. TO GET COMPLAINING RIGHTS
You know those random days when your politician lets you down. Or you know, everyday? And you feel the need to punch them into the next century?
That is the exact reason why you should vote. Chances are your chosen candidate will let you down, whoever they are, so why not vote them in anyway just so you can complain? Huh? Huh?
It’s genius really. See politicians are like…. They’ll never do everything right by everyone. Someone must be disappointed. So if that person happens to be you, and you stood in the scorching sun to vote them in, Lord help them from your drunken complaints in a dimly lit Kangemi bar.
2. TO STICK IT TO THEM
You know sometimes people collectively make huge mistakes. Just look at the Canadian currency colours. Or Donald Trump. Or when we all thought it was okay to use the word shmexy. It’s like the whole world was on drugs.
Point is, whenever we make these mistakes, we need to pull an Adele, and start over. We need to get rid of of politians whose intentions are as straight as a roundabout. And there’s no better way to do this than to remove their title, I mean going from Senator StealsAlot to just StealsAlot must hurt.
Therefore, failing to vote in a candidate is the most sure way to tell them they were about as useful as a matatu driver’s road safety training. Show them that they promised so much but ended up being a sad shell of themselves. A rich sad shell.
I mean I know dethroning politicians in Kenya is as easy as pulling a tooth but don’t let that deter you, heavy is the head that wears the crown. And as a voter that crown is as heavy as a form one student’s box. So don’t take that duty lightly, think of it as retribution…for a job poorly done in half a decade.
3. TO HAVE A CHOICE
The main point of democracy is to give the citizens a choice of whom they want to govern them. This choice is a great way to bring unity and encourage variety in leadership. Besides there’s always more political candidates than all the characters of Game of Thrones, so no one is lost for choice.
And to be honest, everyone feels like their politician is different. It’s like my situation with beans. Whenever I mention that I don’t like beans, the reply is always along the lines of, “You haven’t tried my mom’s beans” or, “Mombasa has the best beans, they put coconut” and of course the classic, “Come to my place and taste my beans, you’ll change your mind” This one is especially offensive, not to mention slightly pervy. I mean my mom makes great beans too, I just don’t like beans.
So voting allows you to cast your ballot supporting your beans, I mean candidate of choice, and that’s powerful. Sure like beans, there’s always a horribly suspicious smell around the concerned party once the deed is done in the form of election discrepancies and BVR drama, but you still wield the power to chose. No one can take that away from you. Well…unless you live in Congo, where the government goes, “We’re broke, no elections.” Kind of like a family holiday trip that Kabila decided to cancel. Also can you imagine the jokes that Kabila would face with a name like that if he was Kenyan, I mean those jokes just crack themselves.
4. TO REMEMBER
Remember in 2007 when the country had gone into a dark period marked by death, violence and the Britney Spears meltdown? Remember how sadness prevailed and we just wanted to blot out the sun? Or at least close the curtains? The tear gas smell was strong.
During that terrible time, Kenyans vowed to never allow those horrific events to repeat themselves. To never allow sadistic politicians to pit one tribe against another, neighbour against neighbour. To judge people not by their ethnic background or whether they are Joy Wairumu, Joy Anyango or Joy Juma, but by the goodness of their hearts. And their ability to lend you Empire DVDs and not expect them back.
Voting is a way to reaffirm this commitment. Standing in line with hundreds of other voters, feeling that liquid fire throbbing through your veins reminding you of the anger and loss, that’s the reason why you should vote. Not to give your tribemate whose vying the opportunity to buy a V8 while you become displaced and seek entry into Tanzania as a refugee. Also Magufuli is no joke.
I hope this post makes you realise that it’s only the names that change, the war still remains the same. Don’t let the 2007 Post Election Violence become the 2017 Post Election Violence.
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