Last week, Bobi Wine was a man to watch at all fronts; when he was not appearing before the police, he was on some radio or television show talking about the now infamous article 102b of the constitution that is set to be ‘touched’.
Then on Tuesday, October 3, the Kyadondo East MP – now more known by his real name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu – and his family were attacked with grenades hurled by unknown people and a concert he was organizing in Kasese was reportedly cancelled by police.
But somehow, the Bada singer managed to make it to the Uganda museum to be part of a symposium that addressed issues about artistes using their craft to create change.
The talk organized by Goethe Zentrum was the starter for a bigger concert that would happen the following day at the Design Hub in Industrial area.
The full-day event involved artistes including cartoonist Spire Sentongo (The Observer), poet Peter Kagayi and of course Bobi Wine. During the talk, the artistes shared the different ways they have tackled issues and how both their fans and the state have responded.
In one of the question sessions, Bobi Wine, asked if he would take a ministerial position in Museveni’s cabinet, he said the biggest mistake people make is thinking that Uganda’s problem is the president.
“I am only at war with the wrongness that is happening and to fight it we need to speak out,” he said.
The concert that was meant to start at 7pm delayed a little largely due to the unfavourable traffic that held up many revellers. But at about 7:30pm, one of the programmed DJs started playing to set the mood.
Poet and social activist Eric 1Key from Rwanda opened the performance. Draped in white, he talked about colonialism and how it presented a lie of a lifestyle to Africans. The performance was a mixture of live painting and a narration as Key’s white suit had been turned into a canvas.
His energetic starter easily set the mood for the rest of the night that saw energetic performances from St Nellysade, Lady Slyke, Slyvester and Abramz, MC Yallah and Maro, among other acts.
But it was Bobi Wine that people were waiting for, thanks to the circumstances surrounding his lifestyle.
He had been arrested as he left the talk the previous day and even as people were waiting for him, word going around was that the number of security personnel at the Design Hub was increasing.
But Bobi Wine took to the stage a few minutes past midnight; well received by the audience, he fed on their energy by setting into his boastful Bad Man From Kamwokya before going political with his post-election single, Situka.
Since joining parliament, Bobi has been very vocal on issues he has in the past articulated in his songs; today, it is hard to hear him perform his songs about love. In fact, even his Bebe Cool diss songs now address article 102b.
During his performance, he also took off some time to tell the audience that he has been a musical activist for a long time but sometimes, taking a further step is needed.
If anyone thought politics would not affect Bobi Wine’s other career in any way, well, watch the space.