With the March 3 date set for the District Assembly elections fast approaching, many of the candidates aiming to win seats across the country are feverishly campaigning. One of such persons is Mavis Ayinpoka Atinga, an unemployed single mother of three who despite being visually impaired, is upbeat about her chances of winning the Tongo-Beo electoral area seat in the Talensi District.
Tongo-Beo is a small electoral area, South-East of the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga. The area is a scattered settlement characterized by brown houses built from mud. The indigenes here are mostly peasant farmers and petty traders.
There were no visible signs of the impending District Assembly elections at Tongo-Beo except for two campaign posters Joy News sighted on trees in front of the house of Mavis Ayinpoka Atinga.
Mavis is one of two persons contesting the assembly seat for the Tongo-Beo electoral area in the Talensi district. She is 35 years old, a senior secondary school certificate holder and unemployed. Mavis is also a single mother with 3 children and is visually impaired. It is her first time, contesting in any election.
She told Joy News’ Upper East correspondent, Albert Sore that she was motivated after participating in a capacity building workshop organized by Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC) and decided to contest in the District Assembly elections as her way of ending the dominance of the men in her community when it comes to leadership positions.
“I also want to see what I can do for my community” she said.
Mavis lives in a small locally-built house alone with her three children and despite her visual impairment, she does her household chores and cooks by herself. She believes firmly that her physical disability is not an impediment to her chances of winning the election and eventually contributing to the development of her community. She said “people should not think that we the visually impaired people cannot do anything! We can do even better than the sighted people”.
Mavis Ayinpoka Atinga told Joy News that her main objective if given the nod, is to liaise with NGOs to support girl child education as well as orphans and widows in Tongo-Beo. Without financial resources however, Mavis finds it very difficult and is yet to hit the campaign trail due to unavailable funds.
Some men and women at the Tongo-Beo electoral area believe in Mavis’s capabilities and are in full support of her campaign. Patience Akayuure and Anamsigna Adachina, told Joy News that Mavis is a hardworking person and someone who “likes people” and that is why they support her campaign. They do not see Mavis’ visual impairment as an impediment.
Her only contender is 40-year-old Cletus Musah Anaduko, a businessman who was out of the region at the time Joy News visited the area.