With the last votes cast before dusk in various polling stations across the country , the 2017 national elections have seen candidates employ different strategies to clench political seats. With the fear of post election violence looming over the nation, it is clear that Kenyans have learned their lesson, embracing a more mature take on politics and the electoral process. Instead of behaving like spoilt children throwing tantrums over their political failures, some political aspirants have graciously conceded and vowed to work towards involving themselves in collaborative efforts with the incumbent officials.
Activist turned politician Boniface Mwangi and aspiring Member of Parliament for Starehe constituency accepted defeat in the wee hours of the morning of Wednesday 9th August in a tight race against popular musician and philanthropist Jaguar. In a heart-felt Facebook post on his account, he shared the highs and lows running up to the polls and expressing a willingness to work with the elect MP Jaguar.
Boniface famed as a man of the people, due to his down to earth demeanor found that his strong political beliefs were not enough to win over enough voters. With a strong race, he hoped to make a better future for the area he called home in his youth. Taking a step back after being confronted with the results of the ballot, Mwangi’s thought out letter to the constituents of Starehe presented a reflective and clear message. Basically it was dope.
But the main lesson to be learned from Mwangi’s political aspirations is that one must and should prepare for failure, and when failure is evident, concede graciously.
Here are the top 3 lessons any other political aspirants could learn from Boniface Mwangi’s concession speech:
Thank those you hoped to lead, those who voted for you and those who did not. Be kind and express your appreciation for those who helped you work on the campaign trail. It is vital to present the same energy even when conceding defeat, as you did when on the campaign trail. Consistency is one of the hallmarks of a great leader.
In the eventuality that one does not win, apart from acknowledging defeat, offering a helping hand could be a great way to see some campaign promises come into fulfillment. Burying the hatch with your political opponents and offering to help in whatever capacity shows true leadership and proves that the people’s welfare is more important than one’s political aspirations. Politics is a dirty game, only if the players play dirty. This election saw many young political aspirants come to fore, and though many did not make it to the August House, their willingness to work with the elect could be the difference between more inclusive policies for the youth or a continuation of the prevailing narrative.
Kendrick Lamar’s track “Humble” is the perfect appeal for the proud politician. “There’s levels to it, you and I know… be humble, bi*tch be humble,sit down…” Boniface Mwangi is a proud man, but it takes courage to accept defeat. Being among the first aspirants to concede defeat, he clearly takes the L and is humble enough to admit it. In fact it could be said that many respect him for his candor. For any politician who may have seen his political aspirations dashed after going to the polls, it is time to be humble.