For the last several hours, since Wednesday, the internet has been buzzing as a section of Ugandans had their say after CNN named Bobi Wine as one of its COVID19 heroes and newsmakers in Africa as the continent battles with the coronavirus.
“We are excited to introduce CNN Covid heroes and newsmakers, a social media series where we will be speaking to Africans on the frontline and key players driving strategy as the continent faces #COVID19,” CNNAfrica tweeted on Wednesday with a poster of Bobi Wine alongside other influential Africans, that’s, Timie Giwa-Tubosun (founder of Lifebank), Niyi Akinmolayan (Nigerian film-maker, director and media consultant), Wawira Njiru (Kenyan entrepreneur, human nutritionist and philanthropist) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos state governor and #Covid19 incident commander).
According to CNN, the Kyadondo East MP, real name, Robert Kyagulanyi, released a coronavirus song that has garnered over 1 million views and recently announced plans to airlift Africans out of China in light of the recent xenophobic coronavirus attacks.
Temie Giwa-Tubosun has successfully launched two drive-through coronavirus testing centres in Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria.
Shortly after the CNN post, senior presidential press secretary, Don Wanyama reacted insinuating that there were better choices for CNN than Bobi.
According to him, the choice confirms “the fake news label” perpetuated by US president Donald Trump.
“Just confirming the fake news label. A little research would tell you who the key frontline players in Uganda are. Or is it just about pushing a certain agenda?” he said.
Just confirming the fake news label. A little research would tell you who the key frontline players in Uganda are. Or is it just about pushing a certain agenda? https://t.co/jMiqr9gBG1
— Don Wanyama (@nyamadon) April 23, 2020
Some Ugandans also wondered why medics at the frontline of the virus fight, including the Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and president Museveni who has been guiding the nation on the virus fight, were left out.
To the Kyarenga singer’s fans however, this was good news worth celebrating.
Julius Muchunguzi said: “It would be wrong and unfair to put say Dr Jane Aceng or the President in the same category of this kind of line up. Hon Bobi Wine fits in the lineup well here.”
CNN said that every Wednesday and Thursday for the next couple of weeks, “we will unveil a new hero and newsmaker, getting the chance to ask key questions and gain critical insight as African nations race to stop the spread of COVID19.”
Bobi worked with fellow artist Nubian Li to release the song last month laced with East Africa’s signature rhumba melodies about the importance of personal hygiene.
“The bad news is that everyone is a potential victim,” Wine sings. “But the good news is that everyone is a potential solution.”
The pair exhort people to regularly wash hands, keep a distance and look out for symptoms such as a fever and cough.
We are excited to introduce CNN COVID HEROES & NEWSMAKERS, a social media series where we will be speaking to Africans on the frontline and key players driving strategy as the continent faces #COVID19.#cnnafricacovidheroes pic.twitter.com/1M7LXM6I81
— CNN Africa (@CNNAfrica) April 22, 2020