Uganda: Pop Star Bobi Wine’s Walk to Presidential Bid

During the preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007, police deployed Special Police Constables (SPCs), who had recently returned from training, to maintain law and order in the city.

At that time, many kiosks on Entebbe Road and other slums around the city were razed. People were arrested on charges of being "idle and disorderly". Others lost money and property to SPCs patrolling, especially in the night.

Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, later released a song Ghetto which highlighted injustice on the downtrodden citizens who he said were the typical voters leaders run to during election time but turn their backs to after assuming public offices.

Bobi Wine had been crowned Ghetto President by his fans in Kamwokya, a city suburb, his music centre because of his unwavering exposure of the plight of slum dwellers.

Bobi Wine in an interview last week said: "Since I had a voice through my music, I grabbed the microphone and started voicing them [issues] out. Many leaders didn't like it but I was just not about to stop telling them their wrongs."

In the 2011 General Election, he composed a song Obululu Tebutwawula which directly highlighted the need to avoid divisionism, violence and conflict in elections.

Entering active politics

Bobi Wine did not contest in 2016 but later decided to run as an Independent candidate when the chance presented itself in 2017 after court nullified the election of the incumbent MP and ordered fresh polls. He won the seat in the by-election.

"If the politicians refuse to bring the Parliament to the ghetto, we shall carry the ghetto to Parliament. I will go to the floor of Parliament and tell them the message from the ghetto. If they don't listen, I will sing it," Bobi Wine said on his campaign trail.

During the celebration after his victory, Bobi Wine called his wife, Barbara Intungo Kyagulanyi, to the podium and before the glaring eyes of the mammoth crowd, he told her: "One day you will be the first lady." People took it as a political joke.

"I was serious when I said these words and I still mean them," Bobi Wine said during an interview last week ahead of his nomination as presidential candidate yesterday.

In August last year, Bobi Wine declared Bobi Wine, 38, is seeking to succeed a man twice his age. He is among Africa's youngest presidential contenders after South Africa's Julius Malema, 38; Mmusi Maimane, 39; Zimbabwe's Nelson Chamisa, 41; and Rwanda's Diane Rwigara, 38.

In preparation for his presidential ambition, Bobi Wine formed a political pressure group, People Power, that later morphed into a political party National Unity Platform (NUP) .


Born on February 12, 1982 in Nkozi, Bobi Wine started school in 1986 at St Mary's Gorreti Nursery School in Kamwokya and later joined City Primary School (now Arya Primary School) in Kamwokya in 1987, Kanoni UMEA, Kasaka Primary School and St Aloysius Bukalagi Primary School completing Primary Seven in 1992.

He joined St Maria Goretti Katende for Senior One in 1993 but later joined Brain-Trust Academy in Rubaga, Kitante Hill School and Alliance Advanced Secondary School in Kamwokya. He completed Senior Six at Lubiri Secondary School in 1998 and joined Makerere University for a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences in 1999. But he later dropped out of the course for lack of tuition fees and pursued a Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama (MDD), graduating in 2003.

Source: The Monitor


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