Nomination day was challenging

Part of the crowd that accompanied me.

(Jeffrey Mane Febi – candidate for the Lufa Open Electorate Seat, 2012 Nat elections)

Something heavy had settled on my head, I thought I felt my brain inflate and deflate rapidly, I didn’t know I wasn’t thinking, then I heard a sweet voice that cuts through this wall of dense confusion; “Mane!”. I turned and saw my concerned mother. The wrinkles around her eye have grown, her hair more grey, and in her frail extended arm, a kaukau clutched firmly in her palm. “You must eat”; her concerned voice sounded more alarming.

The scene was more of a successful gathering than one of failure but I, with less than zero experience in crowd control and management, seeing orderly confusion, was more worried than every other person who approached to greet me.

After I nominated to officially become a candidate to run for the Lufa Open Electorate seat in Eastern Highlands, I met the crowd that accompanied me. They didn’t come in hundreds; there were over a thousand of them. Men, women, boys, girls, children and babies; some have walked hundreds of miles, taking them days to arrive at Lufa government station to witness this event. Others have flown to Goroka then caught rides on Public Motor Vehicles (PMV) to Lufa. They are the people of remote rural Lufa; those who sing: ‘They call use camels; they call us white horses; they call us semi-trailers; …’.

The ensuing excitement and much perceived confusion as I see it and over a thousand voices to listen to or innumerable hands to shake and many more bodies to hug was overwhelming.

I thought there was no order, and something was brewing. Any moment from now it would burst and someone will be hurt. A child, a man, a woman, anyone!

To feed such a crowd was no easy task. A group of men and women in their mid 30s made it seem less arduous. They, young and untested, worked on not without crests and troughs, some of which almost derail their efforts. But at the day’s end, not a single hungry sole was found.

I on the other hand, with less village experience and  knowledge, couldn’t envisioned a successful ending, and this coupled with the day’s heat and smell of the crowd, almost laid the foundations for a brain explosion.

As the election days unravel their latent challenges, I am hoping and praying I’d be able to cope.

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About febijefwhispers
I love reading and writing poetry!

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