“Ala ka tha ni segin nogoya” (may God bless your going and coming), and off shot the canoes amidst cheering and celebration!
Thus started the canoe race that was held in Sankarani, Mali. Sankarani is the commune where the mayor Toumani Sidibe and his five councilors quit one of the largest parties to join PACP. This is just one instance in many of mayors leaving the old ways and sending a message across Mali that they want change to come. The canoe race was held to honor this allegiance and to celebrate the possibilities that could come from [my husband] Yeah winning the Presidency. Almost 500 were in attendance to watch the race and hear the message from PACP.
The canoe race was very exciting. Each canoe held about 16-18 young adults. It was organized by the young adults of the commune in the hope of spreading the message of PACP. The anticipation among the commune was priceless as they waited to see which canoe would be their champion. As the first canoe crossed the finish line, grabbed the winning flag and went off again, the crowd went as wild as Americans at a Bon Jovi concert. Then as with all matches, there was loud, jovial, arguing about whom was really the second place winner as Malians hate to lose. Yeah had the honor to present the first winner with prize money while the mayor and the secretary general presented the second-place and third place teams with prizes for participation.
Yeah spoke at this event. He pulled aside a young man in torn clothes that was barefoot and told the people of Sankarani that he was in that same position 30 years ago. He said he could relate to their circumstances because he had experienced those conditions himself. He reiterated that with good education and opportunities, these individuals and their children could rise out of the grips of misfortune and poverty. Here too, Yeah handed two Samake2012 buttons out. The first was to the Mayor of Sankarani. The second was to the Chief of the village El Hadj Mahmoud Sidibe. To both of them and to the commune, the message was the same. It was a solemn promise that Yeah would not forget where he came from or the promise of hope that he was bringing to Mali. He advised that if ever these two individuals felt that the promise was not being kept then they had a right to approach him in the Presidential palace at Koulouba and remind him of his solemn vow.
This was an exciting rally and a different way to campaign. Its unbelievable how fast time has passed since we first started these rallies. Each time, we go to a new rally, there is fresh support. There is hope for a new Mali where jobs and good education become a norm. The faith these people are putting in Yeah reinforces us as we fight for the Presidency. We are against some tough competitors that are hard to compete with because of the money they have. This is not money they have earned or raised, however this the money robbed away from the people and the country. You might think then, well people won’t vote for someone who is so corrupt. However, if you do not get your name out there in the throng of 20+ candidates, the name they know the best will win. Sometimes this is the name of someone who has reduced this country to the state it is in. We are almost to the end. Please get the word out. We need all the help we can get. We need many more rallies like these. Each of these rallies cost $1000.00. Some of these villages are 10 hours away and gas is very expensive. Please help us. You will have helped if you told 10 friends and family members about Samake2012 and encouraged them in turn to spread the word to 10 of their friends. Every dollar counts and together we can win this election. You have the ability to contribute to a country’s political future which will in turn trickle down and affect the next generation of Malians. I would hate for the next generation to be as destitute as this one with no hope for a better future. Please support Samake2012 and the hope for a new day in Mali.
Marissa Coutinho Samake is Bahraini born and educated, Indian raised, and married to a Malian for the last 7 years. She received an Information Systems BA in the U.S. and has been blessed with two inquisitive children. She and her family have returned to Mali so that her husband, Yeah Samake, can run for President. The elections are to be held in February 2012 and then a final runoff is to be held in April. He hopes to provide his country with quality education, healthcare and to also decentralize the government’s power back to local leaders. The hope is to lift Malians out of the corruption that has made their country the third poorest country.