When I first saw that there were several independent candidates on the SRC list I was excited. That, to me, meant there were Witsies among us who were so brave and so passionate that they would go through the difficult process of running without an organisation or a big support structure behind them.
But my excitement was short- lived.
Firstly, most of the independent candidates did not make it to a lot of the circuses. As they are doing this on their own, I do understand that they would probably not be able to make it to all the circuses. But I really felt they missed way too many and they needed the platform more than all the other candidates running under well -known groups. I am not unsympathetic to their challenges, I realise that running for office and keeping up with school work can be challenging. But I do wonder, if they are unable to keep up now, how will they cope if they make it onto the SRC? The demands will surely be as bad, if not worse. What will they choose then?
Tell me who you are
But this is not even my biggest problem. It might be okay to miss circuses but it is certainly not fine to come ill-prepared. Some of them were either ill -prepared or really had nothing to offer students.
If a candidate from Daso or the PYA or Project W messed up, there would be someone else from their group to pick up the slack and at least try to redeem the situation. When an independent candidate messes up, they’ve done just that and that is the end of the story.
One of the advantages of being an independent candidate is that they can connect with students on a personal level, students can identify with a fellow student better than they can with a group. They have the opportunity to get students to feel as if they know them, to get students to like them and trust them.
But some independent candidates waste their precious circus time on what the SRC has failed to do and spend very little or no time at all on what they want to do.
“If you want change, vote for me,” said one candidate.
“Who on earth are you?” I just wanted to scream out; he didn’t even mention his name at the beginning of his SRC-bashing speech.
Do you want it badly enough?
The last thing that saddened me about this year’s SRC independent candidates is the lack of fire. The reason the other groups fight is because they are passionate, they want to get onto the SRC and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get in. You never leave a circus with any doubt that the PYA, Daso or Project W candidates want to win. You might be uncertain about why they want to win but you will have no doubt that they want to win.
Last year Welcome Lashivha ran as an independent candidate and he made it onto the SRC, the only non-PYA member to do so. I think one of the main reasons he won was because of the passion he displayed while campaigning. Even if you were not impressed with his manifesto, you still remembered him. You remembered the guy who stood in front of you and gave you his best.
Because if you are not going to give this your best, why even bother?