20/02/2014. Rorisang Tshabalala, mentor-in-chief of AgangSA's young blood movement. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Realising that choosing a political party to vote for was a bit like finding a life partner, Lali van Zuydam went on a dating spree with representatives of the various parties that will contest the May 7 elections. Her second date was with AgangSA.

Pretoria - I went on my second first date and I think I’m getting the hang of this “dating political parties” thing. A fortnight ago, I challenged myself to date a handful of prospective political partners before making my decision on May 7.

My first date was with the DA. Next up was AgangSA.

When I said that picking a political party to vote for is like picking a romantic partner, I didn’t expect that the decision of who to choose as my significant other would be so difficult.

I thought it would be love at first sight and I would instantly know who to choose.

I am realising it’s more about compromise than I thought, and you have to find someone you’re more or less happy with most of the time.

For all the dates, my objective is this: to find a stable partner I can commit to in the long term, a partner who is “raceless” and a partner who will provide me with sustainable opportunities such as jobs and education.

I spent a Friday afternoon with 28-year-old local, Rorisang Tshabalala, of AgangSA.

I tried to clear my mind of the recent DA and AgangSA debacle that saw two of my prospective “mothers-in-law”, Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele, kissing on the front page of almost every newspaper.

Less than a week later, they were hurling insults at each other on the front pages of the same newspapers.

Hold that thought.

Let’s focus on the date.

It wasn’t off to a great start – he was late. I was left twiddling my thumbs until Tshabalala arrived 20 minutes after the arranged time.

To his credit, he called in advance to apologise for his tardiness.

When he arrived, halfway through my virgin mojito, he said he was interested in my active involvement in our future together should I choose him.

I’m listening.

“The relationship is a two-way street and if you want it to work, you have to make it work,” he said.

He said we could hold each other accountable for shaping our future and for seizing opportunities that came our way. He also told me about his passion for young people.

“The majority of people in the country are young people. They should be driving the country,” he said.

Sounds good to me.

He wanted me to receive a quality education and he wanted to make a young leader out of someone like me.

He wanted me to have a say in what happened.

We were equals and I didn’t have to hold my tongue somewhere in a corner – I could say my piece.

He was looking for someone with talent, someone who wanted to get the most out of their lives and someone who could lead the younger generation into the future. Could that be me?

“We have enough passengers. I need someone who can shape my future,” he said.

With regard to my desire to be in a “raceless” relationship, he said he was not naïve. He had one foot firmly rooted in the struggles of the past and the other in the 21st century.

“The past is important so we understand where we are but we don’t have to represent the legacy of the past and we don’t have to fight the battles of the past. We have be forward-focused and come forward with our own fresh ideas,” he said.

We were moving into a knowledge economy which would see education at the forefront.

He was keen to reshape the education I had access to and to retool young people for the 21st century.

“It would be a tragedy if your talents are not used,” he said.

As for the recent tiff between Zille and Ramphele, he said it was a great learning curve.

He said the incident taught us to apologise when we made mistakes, to say we would correct our wrongs and to respect each other in spite of our differences.

He could not promise it would be smooth sailing, but he said we could learn from our experiences and make changes.

With two down and a couple more to go, the prospects are looking good and I am well on my way to picking my partner. But whether that partner will be AgangSA remains to be seen.

Pretoria News