Election in Africa is a Culture.

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Editor’s note: Education plays a major role in our daily lives. Even how we react during electioneering period. Polly Okaron writes an opinion piece on the culture called election. The question I pose is does one’s educational level influence the decisions during election? If so then why does polarization occur during every election cycle? Enjoy the read as you ponder these questions and let’s have a discussion in the comments section.

Culture is that which is passed down from one generation to another. One thing that makes the masses stop thinking with their brains and start reacting with their emotions, is the election. It is with closeness that you would discover the following trends in Africa:

1. The nation comes to a stand still 2 years before the elections a few events to say the least.
2. Investors keep off from banking into the economy. In the banking sector, customers literally stop taking loans because of the unpredictability of the economy.
3. The times are usually characterized by high emotional voltage that many end up relocating to their native homes where they are accepted and safe.
4. A cloud of uncertainty and fear hovers upon these nations, leading to irrational suspicion of among each other.

Electoral culture in Africa is a mindset from external factors that the masses can regulate.

Various narratives are set by influential entities such as leaders and to some extent the media, which the masses believe and take every step as led. This I can liken to the ‘Sheep being led to the slaughter without questioning’ This is the gullibility of the African masses during the election period.

These entities set agendas of tribal, political or religious intolerance, peace or violence, verbally thereby leading to spontaneous reactions from the masses. It is after the interracial, inter-religious, inter-tribal existence that we’re usually and repeatedly reminded of the ‘otherness’ among us.

After the elections it is a tradition that the losing and the winning team come and dine together leaving the masses more confused and emotionally unstable.

I know this time tomorrow will for sure come when:

  • We have awakened nationalists that are able to dictate their reactions without any influence despite what the media and leaders say.
  • People will vote and go home to wait for results later to accept the results.
  • The common citizen will go about their daily businesses in search of daily bread during the campaign and after.
  • Learn from historical events which have occurred and endeavoring to make better experiences.
  • The leaders we chose will be our own decision and not the opinions of our informants.When the masses are led in the right way, they never stray. We are a reflection of our leaders. The most that matters to a citizen is what they will eat!

Cross posted with permission from Polly Expressions.

About the author

Polly Okaron is our Quality Assurance lead. A teacher by profession, Polly is passionate about children empowerment through education. With more than 1,900,000 users, Eneza plans to expand to 50 million by 2022. 

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