Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is an Afrobeats star who began his music career in the early 2000s. It’s very easy to think about Fela while reading Bobi’s profile and accomplishments. The 36-year-old singer who was elected as an independent into the parliament in a by-election last year in Kyadondo East, central Uganda has made the message behind his music the driving force of an emerging conscious generation that may push President Yoweri Museveni out of office in 2021 after 37 years of his reign as grand commander.
Uganda’s communications commission banned his hit 2017 song Freedom, making it illegal to play on both television and radio.
Wine says he creates entertainment that educates, today he is singing about personal hygiene, tomorrow he’s protesting the social media tax with other denizens and when he sits in the parliament, he’s taking actions like pushing to scrap the constitutional upper age limit, set at 75, for presidential candidates, but all these partisanship comes with a price for the pop star, from criticisms of his alleged drug abuse to an unsuitable lifestyle and even beatings or ban on his hit singles, Conservative Uganda doesn’t seem to be taking things slowly, but amidst the power play, Bobi Wine popularity and support keeps growing day after days, assembling and sensitizing young Ugandans with a gospel of freedom, from old and corrupt system.
On Monday aug. 13, Wine was in the northwest of the country in the Arua municipality to convey his support for a new candidate in a local by-election. The president was also there to throw his weight behind the ruling party’s candidate, and without doubts, their supporters clashed as protestors pelted Museveni’s car with stones according to Uganda’s military. Bobi didn’t go unscathed, his driver was shot dead, an incident he argues was plotted to take his life. Police searched Wine’s hotel room after, arresting him along with other opposition leaders. A total of 34 people were arrested, but the others were all charged in a civilian court for treason.
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) August 13, 2018
At 36, Wine appeals to a youthful electorate excluded by the policies of their 74-year-old president. With Uganda’s median age at 15 years, Wine could emerge as the strongest opponent to Museveni in the 2021 election. He won his seat running against both ruling and opposition parties by positioning himself as the voice of the youth, scoring a landslide victory – QUARTZ