Today is the general elections and Nigerians have been preparing for this day for many months, if not a year. However, as voters, observers, agents and journalists go to the polling units, here are tips to dress right for the elections.
Dress Simple but Smart:
There are two ways to dress for the elections – simple elegance or smart casual.
If you are going for Simple Elegance, a knee length wrap dress or gown with tiny necklace, small earrings, handbag and flat shoes will do. High heels are a no-no. This is a Nigerian election not a First World one. You might have to stand in that queue for a while before you get to vote. And if you are invested in protecting your vote, by waiting for votes counting, you’d be there much longer. So, sans high heels, and go with ballet flats or flat sandals to go with your gown.
For a smart and casual look, go with jeans and a breathable t-shirt or long flowy top, though not a transparent one. You can tuck in the t-shirt for a chicer look and accessorize with a lightweight watch.
Heels are a No-No:
High heels are a no-no. This is a Nigerian election not the first world one. You know you will stand in that queue for a while before you get to vote. And if you are invested in protecting your votes, by waiting for votes counting, you’d be there much longer. So, sans the heels, and pair your gown with ballet flats or sandals.
For television reporters who have broadcast ‘live’ from the election polling units, you can carry along moderate heels to switch with your flats, but it helps if you are mobile, to store away your personal belongings while on-air.
Take Along Sun and Eye Shades:
February 25 is a set date for the nation’s general elections and is generally known to be a hot and dry season. So, as you troop to the polling units, take along sunshades by way of an umbrella. If you don’t have an umbrella, you can substitute with a face cap, or a sun straw hat, to protect your skin.
Protect Your Eyes:
For men, and women more interested in showing off their extensions, or simply want to move freely sunglasses will help protect their eyes from the sun and dust.
Refresh Your Spirit and Strength With Water:
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water is life. So, make sure to go to the pools with a water bottle, as all stores will be closed on Saturday. You don’t want a situation where you find yourself going long distance in search of water to quench your thirst or soothe your dry throat.
Grab a Snack or a Granola Bar on Your Way Out:
Biscuits, snacks such as puff-puff, egg rolls, meat pie, or a granola bar, will keep you filled while you are out and waiting to vote. You don’t want to lose your line in the queue because you’d left to eat.
Keep Your Phone Powered Up:
For those who might wish to engage in citizen journalism by giving updated throughout the voting time or your time at the polling unit, should remember to go with their power banks. The polling units are not as sophisticated or standard as we’d like them to be, so you don’t want to have your tool to ensuring free and fair elections, running out of juice.
Don’t Forget Your PVC:
Don’t forget your main tool to ensuring a free and fair elections. As @dolapoamusan’s Election Day Starter Pack Online Poster states – “Your PVC, without it, all else is in vain. Don’t get to the polling unit and realize it was an ATM card you took.”
So, lay out your election day wear and tools on the bed, double check them, and place them into your handbag or pockets. Take a deep breath and walk out stylishly to the polling units, to cast your vote. Perhaps, post a self-y of yourself performing your civic duty for your scrap book (for future reference).