The biggest challenge in politics is preparing the speech. While in foam two, one of the aspirants walked onto the stage only to fall into shame after failing to greet the audience. “Give us sample,” shouted the students. He did not know any chorus from the famous songs. He was ashamed. The student was nicknamed ‘the sample’. This further distanced from school politics.
At school, leaders came from senior three and senior five. Assistants and head prefects were represented by form three and form five respectively. Elections were held in second term. Election pressure started piling towards the end of first time. Names would be flying around and the post one is aspiring for.
From the previous elections, I noticed bright students were elected for the post of Academics. I had to think twice given my class performance. My friends were already suggesting to me to pick the nomination forms for the post. “This is an easy win for us,” noted Bruno who was my closest friend. Experience had shown that aspirants who seemed obvious to win were always disappointed by students. The fear within me grew further.
It was two weeks to close of nominations. I secretly picked other forms. My interest was dorm captain. I wanted to control my fellow students outside school compound.
Names of aspirants who filled in forms were displayed on the notice. All my friends were so sure I had filled in for the Academics prefect. To their surprise, the assistant Academics post was vacant.
“Why did you apply for this post?” shouted the class teacher. “Why don’t you want to be a top leader in school? You are always the best in class. This is a huge opportunity for you,” added the Physics teacher. I picked the nomination forms. That evening, I had rumours that someone else had picked the same forms.
From the last final list that came from the head of school affairs, I had a competitor. Things had now changed. I thought I would go unopposed. The pressure was too much on my side.
My opponent was moving class to class soliciting for votes. I did not follow his tactics. I stayed cool. My class mates asked me to introduce myself before any group of students especially at lunch and break time. I was now shivering.
Students from the boys section knew me for one thing; watching movies and football matches. I used to escape a lot from school. I never wanted to attend evening preps. I had a bad record with the security master.
Contesting for the academics prefect was a huge burden on my side. I wanted to lose the post.
The final campaign had finally knocked. Students were shouting at the top of their voices. I did not hear anyone mention my name. I was still calm. By luck, my opponent had to make his speech first.
“My name is Denis. I am requesting for your votes,” he started with a lot of energy. I felt low. My turn was now to prove myself the best candidate for the post.
“Do you want to enjoy the rest of your academic life while at school?” Yes, replied the students. “I have the answer to all your academic issues. I will open doors for everyone to excel.” This was my simple speech. Votes were cast. I emerged as the winner. The excitement was high.
Simple tips to consider
Avoid being too close to teachers. Students will not vote for somebody who informs the teachers
Do not talk for so long. Have a one minute speech. Keep it short.
Know the pain of the students. A good leader is one who is able to identify and fix problems immediately.
Stay calm during the election time. Do not bother students by disrupting their conversions to ask for votes. Be official.