T’is the season for politicians to dance like their last meal for the day depends on it. It’s the season for them to hug that fat crying mama on TV. It’s the season for kissing babies, sleeping in squatter camps, delivering food parcels (and other ‘project’ that have been lying in limbo for four years). It’s the season where you as the voter take precedence in our government’s plans for the first time in the four years since the last presidential erection (oops I meant election). Like some horny pervert, the politicians will be on your back, promising you heaven and earth. You need not worry, I will give you a five point plan on being a wise voter who won’t fall for any promise.
So, instead of voting on Monday and taking to the streets on Wednesday toyi-toying for this and that lack of service please try following the plan. If it doesn't work then by all means go loot the bottle-store. First listen to me though.
1. Man, it’s a fest!
Okay, there are a lot of jamborees called manifesto launches. Well I call them jamborees because they are filled with musicians, this or that DJ, freebies (in t-shirts) as well as a lot of informal traders selling you everything branded in the party’s colours (even a loaf of bread is branded). Okay collect the t-shirt from the fest and sing and dance and shout your party’s name in front of any cameraman you come across. When all is done kindly READ the so-called manifesto. The best way to read it is to do that spot the difference quiz you normally get in family magazines. Spot the difference from what your party has been promising all these past elections and this one.
2. Drive-byes, drive throughs and photo opps – seize the moment.
Some of the idol ministers will come to your area for the first time in donkey years. Convoys of black, air-conditioned SUVs will be driving by your area. Well some, especially in the Northern Cape, will most probably drive through at KFC and Micky D’s first. Biker gangs will be revving their iron horses; drum majorettes, the whole shebang. It will be one of those pomp ceremonies welcoming a dictator (pun and all else intended). Politicians will be going house to house (wait, I better make sure I have Valpre mineral water just in case one politician pops into my house. Remember that lot does not drink out of the tap).
Okay now. What you have to do is to go for that photo opportunity, and no I don’t mean jumping in front of the camera waving the little flag. Try to get closer to the ‘principal’ as they are called. Do the biblical Bartimaeus and seize the moment. The politician will be please to shake your hand for the camera, hold on tight and ask about sanitation; housing; schooling and crime in your area.
Whatever you do, don’t ask for clean water, you will be shot. Ask Andries Tatane and the two guys at Mothutlung in North West.
3. Food parcels are…….well food
They will come bearing gifts. By all means when offered food parcels do take them. In fact take them with a smile and a promise of that election winning vote. Let’s face the truth here, you did not vote to be poor (copyright acknowledged Mr. Ngonyama) and you can’t vote on an empty stomach, I know I can’t. In fact when taking the food this is what you need to say “oh thank you minister but do you know what would go nice with the packet of soup on this food parcel”. The minister, all smiles and giving that 7’o clock news handshake will ask “what” and then you say “some electricity to power the stove and a descent house where I can cook and enjoy the meal. Those are kind of basic minister”.
So even when you are promised one halva braai, just give a vote assuring smile and show excitement like a background stranger on 7 o’ clock news. I still say, you can’t vote on an empty stomach. Remember though, your vote is you secrete, the cow which got sacrificed for the barbecue will not mooo in your stomach should you decide to vote otherwise (also known as voting by mind and policy).
4. Boers will come back and blacks will destroy…what?!!
Blah…blah…blah…yeah…yeah…yeah... So you are voting because boers will come back to rule? Have you asked them if they want to come back? What if I tell you that they told me they don’t want to rule again? Or, do you vote because the blacks are messing up? Well perhaps they are not messing up, perhaps you are just waiting to point out where they err and don’t want to celebrate some of their achievements? I have news for you. You are stuck with the boers and boers are stuck with the darkies. So the sooner you ditch the politicians’ drivel the better. Get rid of the bull and start working with your fellow citizens to make this country a better one (picture me with the PW Botha finger gesture) and using your vote wisely is the first step.
PS – you dare vote out of fear you will find out that your fear is forever enslaving you (…and then you organize a march crying that you are your needs are not attended to).
4. “Opportunities, opportunities, opportunities”
Okay, the first thing you are going to hear is all the opportunities being made available over the years and other opportunities coming up. Job opportunities and now there is a latest one, ‘housing opportunities’. Errrr….no I don’t think it means you will get a house. I simply means you will you’re your name on a housing list and wait ten years and just when you are about there someone will pay a bribe and take the house. Yes it was an opportunity off-course, just that you missed it.
So here is an opportunity for you to actually think hard about what that X in the box means for you. Do not hold yourself to ransom, do not vote by emotions. Do not vote for this or that person like voting for your grandparents or parents who were oppressed or vote because you feel you are now marginalized and that you have no future blah..blah..blah.
Before you go on a rant about how some people are sell outs by not voting with you for, first think about everything that talks to you and your children. If you vote because you were promised that a cow will be slaughtered and you will braai until bearded and sandal wearing dude comes back, think again. You might find yourself clamoring for the Valpre water bottles left by the government officials who came to launch a malfunctioning communal water tap.
So it is now up to you. I have given you the skills, it’s up to you to use or lose. However you must remember if you decide to do contrary to all advice you are given, please, oh please by all means you and your molotov cocktail must stay away from the library and don't yap about wanting to emigrate because things are not turning up as you were promised.
Use your vote wisely.