As we go to the Polls...
April 27th is the date for the SONU Elections. To those familiar with Campus elections, know that this is a time for the loudest, meanest and 'wealthiest' comrades to flex their 'political' muscle. The few who have great manifestos and ideas they hope to champion are drowned in this 'wrestling'. Interestingly, almost three quarters of those vying in main campus are my classmates in particularly my Political Science class.
However, the most outstanding thing about this election is that most of those campaigning for the SONU positions were in some way either directly or indirectly involved in the past two-three elections. How? They were either clerks, goons or even office holders in the past government. So we have like a recycling of leaders in the Student Leadership.
It raises the question, aren't there over 30,000 students who can run and even win these elections and not the same guys all over again. Well, the truth is, there are...many, myself included. What then is stopping me, and the many others from taking up these positions, and especially the ladies? First I think its the setting in which these campus politics are rolled out. This is because, there are sadly, tribal factions that will terrorize you, pull down your posters, ask for bribes to leave you posters overnight, want a bribe for your safety and a lot more under dealings for your chance 'to eat of the Campus Pie'
My Principle of persuasion lecturer challenged us on time in class as to why as his students, we shy away from leadership. Something came out clear after the three hour discussion, that not everyone of us has to be in the limelight. Not everyone of us have to seen to be recognized as leaders because in essence we are all leaders in our own right. However what separates leaders, good leaders at that, from pseudo-leaders is servant-hood. Here, my definition of servant-hood is an ordinary comrade who does not have to don an oversize/ tight Marc Spencer Suit in order to address a crowd. A leader who will not spend the entire night going through a dictionary to cram and the next day, squeeze and jumble up archaic jargon leaving their listeners perplexed (its intentional) than understood. My idea of a servant leader is one who can clearly differentiate between the rights of a student in campus from the purported privileges they hope to give unto us if we give them our vote. It is not our privilege to have clean hostels (most are by the way, in the mornings though) but our right so when a leader says they will ensure hostels are clean, it leaves me wondering if they intend to do it themselves. The cleaning that is.
Leadership is about setting a trail, being an example. It is about walking in our shoes and knowing where the shoe pinches and not being the 'unreachable'. The University churns out brilliant minds each year to a waiting nation. I personally think we do a disservice to the University of Nairobi if during the elections, we witness violence, slander, bribery, deceit, corruption, hatred and vilest of them all tribalism. As a student of the largest think tank in the country, I take the responsibility to talk about these issues, I take the responsibility to vet the guys who push to you their election nomination papers to sign, I take the responsibility to challenge my classmates to be critical on who they pledge their support to, I take the responsibility to sober up my comrades whose thoughts are dictated by their 'charismatic' kinsmen, I take the responsibility to go to the polls on Friday the 27th of April. To vote, not for a classmate who reserves me the front seat, or the one we are with in my discussion group, or from my region...but a leader, a servant leader who Suits, funny postures and nonsensical words do not define him, whose size and heaviness of his pocket are not important. One who will accept defeat, accept opposition, accept correction and accept to learn and most of all accept to be a servant leader.
Is it possible?