Diehards. They will appear on your screen screaming Tajjagenda, abeewo, Go Forwadi, Efu Di Si… and you will assume they are diehard supporters. But when you hear they have been teargassed or injured during a rally, it is mostly for the rice, money and rarely for the politician. Ian Ford Nkera guides you on how to be a not-so-loyal political supporter.
Politicians draw crowds everywhere they go, but we are never keen to establish what inspires these people to support some of these people with so much passion. They don party colours, sing slogans and often make a nuisance of themselves while supporting different candidates in the campaign period. They create the buzz, excitement and make us believe that life would not be the same without Besigye, Mbabazi or even Vicks Kingo.
These guys would literally ‘die’ for their candidates. They have too much kasayi (determination) that many candidates believe they have the numbers, only for the vote count to state differently sometimes. They almost worship these politicians to the point of cult status, only for some of them to ‘fox’ (not appear) on the last day. Throughout the campaign trail, they are dedicated and will chorus “Sevo oyeee” on the streets and anywhere you go. So if you ever wondered what makes these supporters so hyped and ready to shed blood for their politicians, here is your guide:
Rice my price
If you ever underestimated the power of food, now is the time to think again. The sight of many young people packing rice in NRM T-shirts was stuff you only see in refugee camps. For many of them, rice is their price. Simply promise them a feast and they will scream ‘Sevo’ to the heavens. As soon as they are served, whispers of “Mzee awangale” are heard. If you ever want to be like many of these party supporters, hint that you are needy. If you are actually a needy person, campaigns should be hope for miracles. You can sell your vote for something as cheap as toothpaste.
To be like these guys, be rowdy. You cannot just be calm when doing these things. If you have never looked like a candidate for jail in your life, this may not be your thing. At all times, look like the guy police would gladly arrest. Blow your trumpet, sound the horn in your car, scream at the top of your voice and generally look like a security threat. This gives you prominence. FDC supporters are just too rowdy. These ones can make you think there is a coup going on. To be like these supporters, you will have to be a hooligan in one way or another. These campaigns are not meant for wussies.
Shaaa… do not be fooled to believe that many of these supporters actually love these politicians. Those speeches at political rallies are just pointless, to say the least. Many of these supporters simply go with the wind and would not give a hoot what a candidate’s manifesto says. They are not foolish to forget that many of these politicians will not remember them when elections are finished. If you want to be like these supporters, make sure you are the kind of person who used to tick an answer in an exam because your neighbours had done so. If you are the person who does something because other people are doing so, then you can be like these guys.
Idah Nantaba is a simple case study of how you cannot simply rely on just people screaming your name at political rallies. The state mister for Lands’ so called supporters foxed her that she could not believe it. These boda boda chaps will eat a politician’s money without any remorse and then dump him later, mbu Go Forward. Which Go Forward? These shameless people will quickly go forward to the next candidate on the ballot paper and tick. Would you imagine that? They cannot be trusted.
I would rather be like Abed Bwanika of PPP, who is sure no one will vote him than being like Kizza Besigye of FDC, who is sure he has the numbers, only to register defeat in three elections. To be like these supporters, you should have the loyalty of an escort at Speke Hotel.
Your loyalty should come very cheap or even at no price. You should be as loyal as former vice president Gilbert Bukenya.
There you have it. Go ahead and be like the political supporters.
This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not necessarily be an objective assessment of the individual or group.