I have never had a column during an election period so forgive me if today I sound jittery about what to say on the weekend before Election Day.
It is two days to a “high-stakes” elections — as political analysts say — and anything I say or write here might and could be used against me in the court of public opinion. You have heard enough peace messages so I will bore you no more with the “choose peace” messages.
In any case, it seems to me that peace is being prescribed to us as if it were a drug to be taken religiously during the election period.
My message is simple: don’t take these elections personally. I know our future is at stake here, that we are making decisions which will go beyond August 8, but then again, it occurs to me that we have all put our lives on hold because of an election.
We have closed or slowed down our businesses because of the election. Some of us are not even concentrating at work because all we do is talk and think about the election. We are holding our breath collectively waiting for this one day that occurs once in five years.
Some people are on ‘vacation’ outside the country or out of town to sit out the election. Our lives have been held hostage by an election that will only truly, financially benefit a very small group of people — politicians.
This is why today I ask of you that you don’t take this election as if it were a personal project.
I have seen some of you disagree over politics, which I think is the most unwise thing to do. Arguing over a politician. Insulting your friends, colleagues and neighbours simply because you disagree over a candidate.
I have also observed quite a number of us spewing and spreading some hateful messages on social media, some very disrespectful comments simply because you think you belong to a more superior community.
People I held in high regard are suddenly proving me wrong and I am beginning to see a very ugly side of them, only because we are in an election period.
LIFE AFTER ELECTIONS
Remember that elections come and go. That politician you are fighting over and who is the reason you’re insulting other people on Facebook, will be done with you after August 9 only to come to you again in 2022. You need those friends you are arguing with after August 8.
There is life after elections; that’s all I’m trying to say. So, don’t show your ugly side because of a day’s event.
Let us keep our minds clear during these elections. I know they are important but they don’t really matter that much if it means turning against people you have known, loved and worked with for years.
As you keep your mind clear this week, also remember to guard your heart. I foresee quite a number of you experiencing mini heart-attacks because you have placed too much faith in your preferred candidate. Keep your blood pressure in check; do not expect too much from these elections and if your side loses, just accept…peacefully.
This is not a personal contest. It is an election. Treat it like an election is meant to be: rationally, not emotionally.
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It humbles me that so many of you read this column religiously. It warms my heart when some of you literally memorise some phrases I have use here and recite them when we meet.
Words fail me when I learn that some fans pin this column once in a while on your walls, that you buy the Saturday Nation and visit our nation.co.ke website regularly. You, my fans, are every writer’s dream. Your encouragement and positive energy have been my greatest driver.
So, today, I want to thank you sincerely for your support and love. I don’t write for me. I write for you. I have met readers of this column from the Coast, Nyandarua, Bomet, Nanyuki, Mandera, Kisumu, Meru, Embu, Garissa…everywhere. You are the wind beneath my wings and the reason I brave this labour of love called writing.
I have wanted to give up on many occasions, especially in the face of harsh criticism, but your appreciation and the fear of letting you down is what keeps me afloat. You are the reason I am here.