Power and Politics
The corridors of power can be termed as where decisions the place where policies that change public opinion are made by statesmen who are ruled by the citizenry. My interview was with an elected council member heading the finance committee that ensures budgetary and resource compliance. The committee is a major docket in the council that requires a lot of dedication and smart power games to guarantee efficiencies in public finance. My questions were intended to find out the descent of the respondent, experiences, challenges, incentives to become a political leader, and how he ensures delivery on the promises assured to his constituents during the electioneering period.
The councilman states that he has always wanted to become a politician, but poverty and rampant abuses from his father threatened to derail this dream. His father was a drunk who often abused his mother, him, and his siblings, and at age ten they had to run away from the dad. His mother had been a housewife, and finding a well-paying job was hard. Were it not for his basketball talent, determination, and good brains that saw him earn a sports scholarship, he probably would not have attended college. It was at college that he became active in politics, first through campaigning for financial aid to poor students and the rights of minority students, and then as a campaigner against discrimination of all students. When I asked him whether the plight of the disadvantaged is what drove him into politics after college, he states that no, he just wanted to be famous and prove his abusive father wrong. He, however, cares deeply for his constituents and his son who lives with the mother. On querying him about his son, he states that he sees him when he can, but due to his schedule, he barely has time to attend even his play days. Not being there for his young son is his biggest regret, he melancholically states. Another difficulty he faces is how fast his friends come and disappear. He states that the major contributing factor is that political friends are always strategic and subject to manipulations. As such, he states that he only knows of two friends whom he can call genuine.
The councilman states that he considers his constituents as part of his family, and always aims to do right by them. He has invested heavily in the youth whom he considers as pivotal to ensuring the sustainability and continuity of communities through the promotion of skills and education. The main challenge he faces in conducting his work is finding funding for his projects as well as the bureaucratic nature of the government that makes it hard to convince other people to get on board with his plans. He then laments on the slow implementation of policies. At times, he states, amendments have to be made in law or by-laws formulated to actualize some of the political promises and require a lot of lobbying that is no easy task. Politicians who continue to plunder the public coffers are the biggest menace to society, he adds. On asking him how he invests in education, he states that he has offered numerous scholarships to high schools in his area, but most of these are for his former high school.
The councilman leads through taking action and lobbying. He states that he is a no-nonsense man who detests people who cannot keep their promises. He believes he is a good leader who leads his team with all it takes (time, commitment passion and hard work). Additionally, he always tries to be present for his constituents and avails himself for occasions whenever possible. He, however, states that he tries to limit these interactions since, “you know, they always want something from you.” He reiterates that the most successful leaders are born, not made. In conclusion, he states that he has great plans for the future, and we might one day see his name on the presidential ballot box.