Exactly four (4) years ago, my brother gave out the above artwork to the world. It was his final project work at the university before his graduation, titled “Victoria Concordia Crescit” which means “Victory through Harmony”. It’s an image of two men depicting two different tribes in Ghana, both holding the Ghana flag within the map of Ghana, signifying togetherness, and shaking hands showing respect for each other. Thus no matter the tribe each person belongs to we are one, we are all beneath Ghana no matter your status, and Ghana needs us holding it together to stand firm.
This week, and today, my specific question to my country and the people within is;
Who owns your Vote?
Is it the politicians?
Your family, or friends?
Some petty gains some people derive during campaigning? or what else?
Firstly, why do we vote at all?
The word vote means a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or a course of action expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands.
Voting is personally costly and can be seen as pointless since it’s time-consuming. Having to suspend every significant stuff so one can go join a long queue to cast a single vote. The mere waking up earlier than your normal day and then spend hours in queues sometimes amidst the scorching sun, getting dehydrated, tired and exhausted can seem so much of a waste of time and energy. Yet, when you see voting as a need, you will exercise that right/ duty to feel part of the countries decision-making process.
Voting is a person’s only chance to decide on the quality of life he/she wants for him/herself and the future generation. Therefore not doing so is indirectly giving up on your future. It’s an opportunity for change, a change that may only happen in the next four years if you fail to vote.
No person being a citizen of the country with the right to vote can be forced to vote. Yet after everything is over and set in place, each person being a voter or not would be forced to live by what was determined by the voters. The funny thing about an election is; anyone can vote for anybody, and sorry to say even the most stupid person can turn out to be known as the wisest by his vote.
The fact is, it doesn’t matter who or what you vote for, or not vote for at all. The important thing is knowing who owns your vote.
It’s about knowing that your vote is your silent voice and for that matter, you own it. Not the politician, not your family or friends, not the religious leaders, not anyone but You. Your time to vote is your own and only chance to decide for your country. To tell the world that this is what i want, not what somebody thinks i need. Your vote is what someone depends on, it’s what your community and the whole country depends on. Most especially those that are not yet within the voting age. You can decide to sell that vote out, just make sure it doesn’t end in sorrow.
When something belongs to you, let’s say a doll. You and only you have power over it. You decide where to put it, how to dress it up, or even when to wash it, and it wouldn’t matter other people’s view of how it should be since it belongs to you and not them. Even if you decide to dump it, nobody will still have a say on that. Such is our vote, it’s our only power over everything including the politicians. People can share their minds on what they think is right for everyone but in the end, only you get to decide.
As you leave your homes tomorrow, remember these and know who Owns the single Vote you carry.
Do not sell out your vote.
Do not sell out your voice.
Do not sell out your right.
Do not sell out your power.
Above all, there can only be one Ghana. Therefore, in as much as we strive to win let’s remain united and spread the message of peace. No matter who wins let’s not forget who we are. Two different people, that Ghana depends on, and can only stand firm if we stay together and hold it firmly like how its displaced it the art.
Make sure your voice is heard – Own Your Vote!!!
Art credit: Prince Badu-Botah