Saturday July 1 2017

MP Bobi Wine thrills fans at night club

Kyaddondo East MP-elect Robert Kyagulanyi

Kyaddondo East MP-elect Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine (C) on stage at club Guvnor on Friday night  

By Monitor reporter

Kyaddondo East MP-elect Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine made a surprise appearance at city night club Guvnor last night.
In a surprising turn, the 35-year-old reggae star, who was just three when President Museveni took power at the head of a rebel army -- on Thursday won a landslide victory in a city by-election to become the country's newest lawmaker.
Fresh from his victory, the self-proclaimed Gheto president sent fans screaming as he entered the club at about half past midnight. They reached for their phones trying to take his photograph and steal a selfie moment with him.

An equally thrilled Kyagulanyi danced with some fans before making his way to the stage where he was urged to greet voters. He cheekily started by speaking rhythmically, typical of his music style then cheekily told the audience he will always be an artiste although now he is a member of parliament. He thanked them for voting him and expressed optimism for a bright future.
He also revealed that his wife Barbie Itungo was unwell so she couldn't be part of the night out. However, the crowd couldn't allow him to leave the stage without singing. Yielding to their request, he sang two songs backed by Afrigo band who were the night's theme act.

The club went wild as they danced to his music and demanded he performs more. But honorable Kyagulanyi said he was simply out to have fun with his friends whom he later joined for the rest of the night in a comfortable VIP booth in the club.
Wine is a spectacularly popular Ugandan entertainer.
For many, he embodies the struggles, frustrations and hopes of the young, poor and marginalised in a youthful nation whose often elderly rulers can seem dismissive of their plight.
The by-election in the teeming capital Kampala was called due to voting irregularities during last year's general election.
Standing as an independent, Wine defeated established candidates from both Museveni's ruling NRM and the main opposition FDC parties.

Musician turned politician, Robert Ssentamu

Musician turned politician, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi commonly known as "Bobi wine" (C) talks to his supporters in a suburb of Kampala on June 30, 2017. Agencies photo

His election marks a remarkable personal journey for the charismatic reggae star from brash, dreadlock-wearing, slum-dwelling youth to a sharp-suited and savvy political operator.
Wine rose to prominence about a decade ago with catchy, upbeat tunes in African reggae style with lyrics that often touched on issues of poverty and social justice.
Growing up in Kamwokya, one of Kampala's poorest slums, Wine worked as a backing singer before making it to university where he studied music and drama before launching his solo career.
The party-loving popster grew dreads and dubbed the swampy slum of his youth 'Uganja'.
He could be seen cruising the capital in his ostentatious Cadillac Escalade, a marijuana leaf symbol adorning the personalised numberplate.

'He understands our situation'
Bobi Wine quickly became a tabloid sensation, his love life a source of endless, lurid speculation, and his somewhat trumped-up beefs with fellow musicians Jose Chameleon and Bebe Cool a mainstay of the gossip columns.
But Bobi Wine gradually removed himself from such frivolity, styling himself a champion of ordinary Ugandans and a crusader against the social status quo.

A supporter holds a political poster of

A supporter holds a political poster of musician turned politician, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi commonly known as "Bobi wine" as he greets his supporters in a suburb of Kampala on June 30, 201

When other Ugandan stars took money to sing for Museveni's 2016 election campaign, Wine refused the cash and withstood the pressure.
Instead he released a song 'Dembe' (meaning Freedom in the local Luganda language) calling for non-violence in a country where elections are a time of teargas, gunfire and heavy-handed police.
On Friday morning, after his by-election win, 'Dembe' blasted from the speakers of a bootleg DVD shack in Kamwokya market, about 10 kilometres (six miles) from Bobi's new constituency, Kyadondo East.

People thronged the dank, narrow alleyways where corrugated iron sheets shut out most of the strong sunlight while, under-foot, rotting hessian sacks were laid over slime-covered pathways.
"Bobi grew up here, he's been on the ground and understands our situation," said Hamidu Mubiru, a market trader.
"I feel as if I know him somehow and I appreciate the things he has done for us. He's been singing about the dictatorship and their brutality," says the 27-year old, describing Museveni's rule in terms that, as a shrewd public figure, Wine would be unlikely to claim.

But as the singer makes his move from 'Ghetto President' to real-life MP he will have to work hard not to disappoint the impoverished, urban youth who look to him for hope and change.