To Top

Respect to Bobi Wine: Coming from the ghetto, to the ballot

Coming from the ghetto, to the ballot, deserves some respect

As a young boy, I always lived for the sound.  I loved music so much that I had started memorising songs and later writing them on pieces of paper.

As the vice grew, I moved from writing them on random blank paper to blackboards. If you can only imagine what a teacher would think when she walked into P.5 on Monday morning only to find the whole board covered in something that looked like italics, only this time, they were saying something about unleashing a dragon somewhere.

My teachers knew about my love for music, they usually called me out to lead both the national and school anthem, little did they know that later I stopped writing lyrics on class boards and took it to a more discreet space – the Social Studies book.

You know, unlike Science, Mathematics and English, Social Studies was really wordy. There were many things to write about Sayid Said, the Bachwezi and that story of the first Muganda and his cow. Irony right? How a first Muganda actually had cattle and not a banana plantation!

While writing notes during class, I would intentionally miss two pages facing each other, and I would later return to fill the blank pages with lyrics. The trick worked until a teacher collected the books for marking and found herself singing to Destiny’s Child’s Say My Name at the time Sayid Said was transferring the capital to Muscat.

They summoned me and that’s when they asked to look at all my books, they were shocked the others were actually clean. When that trick was busted, I moved to taking song lyric pages out of newspapers in the library. But I was permanently chased out of the library after a month.

When Bobi Wine broke onto the scene at the beginning of 2001, I was still at my newspaper stealing antics, in fact, his “Kagoma” lyrics may have been the last newspaper clipping I stole before my expulsion.

I did not care that much about Bobi Wine, in fact, I did not imagine he’d stay around for long. But he somehow stayed around, made us pay attention to him, his wife, fights, brothers and his ghettos in Kamwokya.

Compared to his peers, Chameleone and Bebe Cool, Bobi had the least appeal. Yet, with a song or two, he started preaching healthy living, togetherness and before we noticed, he was onto social justice.

There are many boxes Bobi Wine may not tick as a presidential candidate, he may not have a fiscal policy or can’t answer a question about numbers, but coming from the ghetto, to the ballot, he deserves respect.

His name on the ballot is proof that anything can happen and all dreams are valid. For the three years Bobi Wine has been in Parliament, people have questioned his contribution to both the ghetto and the constituency. But that’s not true, Bobi Wine has inspired his generation, the ghetto and for the first time, he has showed artistes that not only do they matter, they have influence.

Leave a comment

More in Columnists

  • What’s the Ugandan dream?

    You need a car. You run to the bank and get the loan. TRUE UGANDAN: There is a way many Ugandans...

    Maxela MugishaFebruary 26, 2021
  • No one knows it all, after all

    How the bayaye missed Mr Wine’s car, we’ll never know! A wasp waist. That’s what I had in mind for January...

    Jan NapioFebruary 26, 2021
  • Go all out and live life

    One of the things I tell people is that it’s important to work through your extremes. Whatever you think is a...

    Ian OrtegaFebruary 22, 2021
  • Interview with a slay queen in these covid times

    I am Shantel, I am waiting for my graduation. KLA CHICK: Anyone else wonder what life is like for the slay...

    Ian OrtegaFebruary 19, 2021
  • There’s more to life than Netflix

    I saw Kwiz Era’s art and I was roused – too bad I can’t afford it… yet! I found inspiration in...

    Jan NapioFebruary 19, 2021
  • Valentine’s is here, where’s your lover?

    VALZ DAY: We believe that song has been an earworm for many and the radios can’t stop haunting us about it....

    Ian OrtegaFebruary 12, 2021
  • In love? …Small doses at a time

    I used to think love was a fairy tale. Now I know it’s weed… I used to think that love was...

    Jan NapioFebruary 12, 2021
  • Kenya says “Nyanza” not welcome

    A Ugandan woman seeking asylum in Kenya has been given three options: “Return to Uganda, be deported to Uganda, or go...

    sqoopadminFebruary 8, 2021
  • In praise of potholes

    Why do Ugandans complain about potholes? BE PATRIOTIC: What is it about Ugandans that blinds them to the eighth wonder of...

    Ian OrtegaFebruary 5, 2021