By Paul Nyawanda
A ‘pinch of salt’ is just enough salt to fill the space between the thumb and the index finger-hence the term pinch. In addition, that pinch of salt can make a huge difference on how the food tastes, yet we hardly ever realize just how small a quantity this is. I explore what there is in a pinch of salt. Grab a spoonful; but first let me help the first time voter get his way around on elections day. Here is a simple guide for a first time voter.
If you are a first time voter, you are probably anxious; we all are. Before you make your way to your polling station remember, to check if you have carried your National Identity Card or Passport-whichever you used to register. Also, they have to be original unless you want to create a scuffle. Once you get there queue like everyone else, nothing could be more patriotic. As a rule of thumb, do not have any other engagements on the voting day. And remember to give way for the pregnant women, the disabled, the elderly and breast feeding mothers, it’s common sense. However, if you’re a stickler for the law it is one of the rules as dictated by IEBC.
At the polling station verification desk, you will present your ID or Passport for verification by the polling clerks. Your fingerprints will also be taken to confirm your identity after which you’ll be issued with the ballot papers. Here’s where things get tricky, so hear me well. You’ll be given six ballot papers, in different colours and directed to the booth where you shall vote for your preferred candidates. Once you’ve marked on the ballot papers as instructed you will then proceed to cast your ballot on the ballot boxes.
The ballot boxes have different colors symbolizing different elective offices. White ballot boxes are for presidential votes; Blue for Governors; Yellow for Senators; Green for MPs; Pink for Women Reps and Beige for MCAs. Once you cast your ballot, one of the polling clerks will paint your little finger with navy blue paint to mark you as having voted. So do not try mischief-usually the paint takes a while to come off. Give it a week. And just like that you’ll have crossed the Rubicon of a first time voter.
Having guided you meticulously through that process it’s only fair that I warn you about getting cold feet. First time voters fail to vote despite having registered for many reasons ranging from unknown fear to don’t-care-attitude; but by far the major reason is that their vote doesn’t hold much weight anyway. And that brings me back to the salt analogy and just what a pinch of salt can do.
A Powerful Presence
Take a pinch of salt from the spoonful and place it on your tongue. Be generous and make it a sizeable pinch. Even without the subsidy price tag, salt is inexpensive and readily available. You have no scapegoat. In a few minutes, a reaction will have been triggered. You either swallow the salt or spit it out. Its ‘powerful’ taste doesn’t allow you to sit pretty and ignore its presence on your tongue. The powerful presence forces you into action.
Power in Numbers
Every pinch consists of hundreds (maybe thousands) of individual salt granules. As the number of granules varies, so does the flavor of food. Eventually, this variation dictates the difference between food that’s well-salted and that which lacks such culinary courtesy. On its own, a single granule that forms part of this ‘pinch’ won’t do much for flavor in your food. The ‘pinch of salt’ relies on power in numbers for its sensational effect.
Power to Transform
A pinch of salt has the power to transform food into a meal. In the case of a meal, the transformation easily gives rise to a delicacy.
Such a small quantity is able to effect a transformation of this magnitude for one reason. Every granule of salt has several unique elements responsible for tasty or salted food. No other compound combines these elements in the manner that salt does. Consequently, no other compound (spice or combination of spices) can have the same effect on food that a pinch of salt can have.
In this election, the youth population is this powerful “pinch”. It would be suicidal for Jubilee, NASA and the rest to ignore the immense power that we wield as young voters. Power legitimized by our position as the majority of the voting population.
This power is reaffirmed by our ability to power Kenya’s economy through homegrown innovations that are creative, intellectual, and zealously ambitious. This ability being more abundant in us than it is in any other section of the population.
We have a pinch of salt that’s triple-packed with power. A powerful presence: Power in numbers, and the power to transform. Unity of purpose is the only solvent needed to make a powerful solution for this country.
You owe it to yourself to exercise this power on 8th August.
Thereafter, we owe it to our country to continue to exercise this power by holding elected leaders to account. Manifestos in tow.
This article is courtesy of Project Mchujo, running with the hashtag #ChujaSiasa