There seems to be a bleak acceptance or resignation by many Seychellois that we cannot push through the ceiling that has been erected atop our heads, that we cannot succeed unless some higher authority wills it.
Perseverance is the telling of oneself that you can make it, against all odds, and pushing onwards even when others try to tear you down and trip you up. This applies across all journeys through life, whether it be a young child striving to make it through the school term with their chin up while being relentlessly bullied, a young mother trying to be the pillar of her family while struggling to make ends meet, or a politician elbowing his way into the arena between two entrenched and well-funded rivals.
With a month to go to the elections, insults, threats and callous mocking are de rigueur for a handful of bored voters from an opposing political camp. They tell us that we cannot make it in October. They tell us that we are kidding ourselves. To them, we say that if their chances of success next month were better than ours, their party would have won the Presidential election at least once during the past 30 years. But, their party has failed time and time again, until 2015 when frenzied amalgamations of opposition parties (something they will not have the benefit of in the upcoming elections) and a drastic rebranding of their political party tipped the scales in their favour. Their arrogance, under the circumstances, is misguided and unmerited.
While the red camp headed the Executive branch, and the green camp controlled the Legislative branch, both sides quickly proved that they were incapable of working together on anything during the honeymoon period of their “cohabitation”, even when their interests aligned. Both Parties have had the requisite power to effect positive changes in the lives of Seychellois during the past four years, but little of substance has actually been achieved.
While LDS activists are quick to defend their MNAs by blaming their inaction on their “lack of power”, excuses such as these hold little water since MNAs have the power to bring Private Member’s Bills (which they did to bring change for the offshore businesses). The public, whom these politicians were elected to serve, were left wondering why this discretionary power was never exercised in their favour?
People are angrier than ever and countless Seychellois are grappling with unemployment, substance addiction and poverty. Diehard voters from one main political camp are calling for ONE SEYCHELLES to bow out of the coming race, accusing us of diluting the opposition vote. They call for us to bow out, without calling for an end to the conditions that made our entry onto the political scene necessary. This makes them hypocritical.
In the lead up to the pivotal National elections, we may not get to choose what we inhale (the toxic racial slurs, abusive social media messages, threats to our security and safety) but we certainly get to choose what we will exhale (positivity, mindfulness and, when necessary, fire – because we did not come to the arena to play nice. We came to play fair). If the handful of individuals who troll our members, activists and candidates on a daily basis want to make an example out of us, we will gladly oblige.
It is hoped that we can be an example of courage, perseverance, and commitment.