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A Speech by Kno’Ledge: Vote Right Empower Your Community!

Another Great Speech delivered to the Ghanians and immigrants in Amsterdam south east.

Hello, Good morning/afternoon
I’m very thankful for being here today with you all.
My name is Jerry King Luther Afriyie.
I represent the Political Party Bijlmer Style, list 20.
We are new and we are not new for nothing.

One beautiful thing about this country is that there’s a law that works if you know how to use it. Yesterday it was unlikely for me to stand here before you, but here I am, with a message which I hope you take seriously.
I know I don’t look like a typical politician and it might worry you a little bit. Some of you are probably asking yourself: is he serious? But I think you should be very happy, very happy to have me here. I don’t look like a politician because I’m not a politician. I am a worried resident. I’m worried about the way sometimes we are treated in our community. You are all hard working, faithful people and deserve better.

I think we should let go the old idea that we can’t make a difference, that we are not part of this community. This is no longer the community of Suriname’s and Caribbean’s but a community of all nationalities wandering here. We are in a position to make a turn around in our local politics and send a strong message to The Hague. If they won’t listen to our condition we will fix it ourselves.

Yes, I know the streets and there are a lot of things that you and I will agree on, that need to change. But there’s one thing I love about the streets, which is, you don’t look a person in the eye and make him a promise you can’t keep. You always tell someone the truth, whether the person likes it or not. And that is what I am here to do today. I’m here to tell you the truth.

The Political Party Bijlmer Style will focus mainly on the youth and young adults, who have been left in the cold for many years. We all have passed judgement along the way. But did you ever listen or tried to look further than the appearance? Most of the young adults have a job or attend school. Yet there’s this picture, even some of us believe it, that most youngsters in the Bijlmer are criminals. The Political Party Bijlmer Style wants to invest in the youth and young adults. By the time I moved back to Ghana, if I get a call from my kids, I don’t wanna hide because I know that bad news is coming. That’s how things will get if we don’t leave something great behind for them, before we return to our homeland. Your generation never thought to be here this many years, my generation is part of the community here. We should fully anticipate and fully enjoy the fruits that have come out of your hard work and effort since day one. Otherwise what’s the use of going to school, reaching university? Otherwise why even try?
The youngsters have a whole life ahead of them. They are the doctors and the lawyers, and the politicians of tomorrow. But we need to make a decision; do we want politicians who care about their carrier or politicians who got the future of our kids at heart?

Don’t vote for the Political Party Bijlmer Style because there’s Bijlmer in our name. Don’t cast your vote because they got Christianity or Labour in their name. Party of Labour; they want people to work till the age of 70. I think that is not at the interest of the labours. People are breaking their backs and will probably never enjoy their pension. Just because someone has a shoe store doesn’t make him a shoe specialist. You can ask the person something about a shoe and his answer will likely be “I don’t know, I’m just selling shoes”.
Always look further than the hand that is extended to you. Always take some time and look into the program. And ask yourself these questions: What are they selling? What is different than yesterday? Don’t vote for him because he preaches the gospel. Your pastor preaches the gospel and he’s doing a much better job than him, so why don’t we vote for him?

Our program is very clear. Invest in the youth, vacant offices in the Amstel III area should be rebuild and transformed into student and youth housing. More jobs in south east for south east residents; Amsterdam South-East has the highest rate of unemployment in Amsterdam despite the big companies in this district. We believe the big companies in the South-East area can help decrease the unemployment by soliciting qualified residents of South-East. We want a constructive dialogue between the community and police. Police is important, but the way the police treats our people sometimes is unacceptable. How is it possible when young men and women are having a good time at Grand Café and the police can just force their way in, when no fight occurred? Nowhere else do we see that. The police had nothing to do in there. My Party wants to solve the snorder problem. We have options on the table but we will like to work on a common solution with people in that field of activity. We think it would be better if they speak for themselves. Our goal is to get the police off of your back and make it possible to report misconduct, robbery or abuse by customers.

As we all can see the South-East is changing; the appearance is different, unfortunately I can’t say the same about most of our residents. Nice apartments but where are the people who used to live there? Where is sister Akose, where’s Bra Emanuel? We will be leaving one by one because they make all kind of promises and walk out with your vote, which is worth gold, with a smile that says it all. Are we as people that easy to vote for them each time, even when they don’t keep their promise? People are being evicted over a bill that dates back ages ago. It’s just now it is convenient to bring it up. They are telling you and me after the new apartment is finished we are welcome to buy an apartment. To buy! If you are doing cleaning job where are you going to find that money or where are you going to get the loan? When they told me 180 thousand, I asked him “in Cedis?”

Normally I’m a musician. People have been saying to me turning into politics is a bad choice. Why would you do it when nothing will change? Maybe you are asking yourselves why you would vote, nothing will ever change. I will not be doing this if I did not have to do it. I’m doing this because I know you have done your part and now it is up to politicians to do their part as well. The Political Party Bijlmer Style will listen, we will work with you and we will expose who ever is standing in our way. The time of complaining is over. People let’s act and do for ourselves.

Thank you and God bless you!

NOTE: This speech was written to be deliverd at churches in Amsterdam South -East during the campagne. It was prepared to get Ghanians to use their vote to empower the community. Kno’Ledge never delivered it at the churches, instead he delivered it on the 28 of Feb. 2010 at Radio Recogin.)

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