This article was previously published under the title “Is It Worth It?” It’s been edited for accuracy and consistency.

A Kenyan politician’s workday

Two politicians from different political parties start their day with the same goal: to win the general elections. They get to work and are busy all day…campaigning and making sure they’re visible online and offline.

They may have different tactics and use different words, but they remain committed to their goals.

At the end of the day, they take time to unwind with family, friends, or other politicians. Maybe they have TV or social appearances for the evening, which boost their goal-achievement process.

No matter where they are or what they’re doing, they never forget their common goal, which is to win.

One thing they do different, however, is that they’re able to have good times with friends from the other side of the divide…totally offline.

A regular Kenyan’s workday

You and I, on the other hand, start the day with or without our to-do lists.

We spend the day slinging mud at each other on social media. We hang out in our political enclaves and shout loudly in support of our preferred leaders.

Things heat up and we stop talking to each other. We no longer socialize and forget all the good times we’ve had together in the past.

At the end of the day, we go home. Angry. Disillusioned. Very unhappy. Wanting change and feeling so bad that it’s not here now.

  • Maybe we cleared our to-do lists; maybe not.
  • We may have met one or two of our day’s goals…if we had goals to start with.

Tell me my friends, who will be the winner and who will be the loser after the elections?

Going beyond campaigns and elections

In 2017, our politicians pitted us against each other. Tribe, which is a big deal in Kenya, was used as a weapon. The masses swallowed the poison and spread it, with disastrous results.

We’ve seen this over and over again. Sadly, over time, many have taken to spreading the poison on social media.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and choices. However, we also need to remember that there is life before, during, and after elections.

When you look at your online and offline behaviour regarding elections:

  • What score would you give yourself?
  • Are you building or healing relationships, or are you driving the wedge even further?
  • Do your words and actions reflect peace or cause pain to others?
  • Are you quick to speak up when you see injustices? Or are you afraid of being seen as promoting the person your friends, family, colleagues, church, etc favour or are against?

Politicians are doing their jobs. They wake up and go to work to agitate us so that we vote for them. That is their job and not ours.

Let’s not get caught up in the pre-election euphoria. Let’s also remember that the same people we are fighting for or fighting against, will not remember us once they’re in office.

However, our personal, professional, social, and business relationships will either be strengthened or ruined by the way we treat each other now.

Is the fight worth it?

I don’t know about you, but I am suffering from campaign and election fatigue. I just want an end to all the electioneering! Then, we can get back to life…whatever life will be like once we have a new president in place.

How will we heal and rebuild relationships that were broken due to these elections? How can we heal our nation and make our sense of brotherhood stronger, no matter our preferred political choices?

Is there a way we can work together to make sure that election years don’t end up like the ones we’ve had in the recent past?

History will judge us by what we do and what we don’t do. May we have the courage and wisdom to choose wisely.


If you’re in business, check out this article I wrote in 2017 for tips on how you can start election-proofing your business. While you may not get tangible results now, your business will benefit in the long term.

(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)

    4 replies to "There is Life Before, During, and After Elections"

    • judy

      Tired is an understatement. This fiasco needs to end like yesterday. Things will change when we begin to elect leaders not based on tribe, but on their ability to lead.

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        It’s very sad that 2017 will be a year of fighting each other. And it does get tiring when you hear, “Let’s wait until after the campaigns…” one more time. I hope that as a country, we will learn the bitter lesson tribal politics has taught us and do something totally different next time round.

    • Nyachomba Kariuki

      Such an insightful post, it’s so true how we agitate ourselves in offices, social gatherings and end up in heated debates whilst the politicians continue with their goals.
      May we remember as you say that there is life after

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts Nyachomba. A friend commented the other day that we’re fighting each other to give other people (politicians) jobs. That was a sobering thought for me. I wish more people would see politics for what it is and move on with life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.