What inspired you to do the Coronavirus Alert Song:
Bobi: Well, I will say; fear, panic responsibility and many other things. Most importantly, I noticed that the people from my side of the world, myself inclusive we had not taken the coronavirus scare as serious as we should have taken it in the first place. It was until myself and my friends actually started seeing people dying in crazy numbers in Italy and other places and yet these places have a massively developed healthcare systems. So, I and myself imagined what kind of mess it would be if the coronavirus pandemic hit Aftica or Uganda in particular and because we know that music is a very powerful weapon of mass sensitization, we decided to do our part because we know in our case, prevention is much more safer and better than cure. So we use the music to reach out to the masses, to reach out to humanity and in that we were able in a very short time to communicate musically.
Do you feel that the message you are giving there is a public health message as well?
Bobi: First of all, my inspiration musically comes from people like fela Kuti and one time said music in times of need it will not be used just for entertainment but for revolution and for education and that explains why I for the last 10 years called my music edutainment. I know that many times very serious terminologies tend to bore people but again through entertainment, noble messages can be passed to all ages and to all classes. I’m only glad that even children are taking it on and yes, I was very deliberate targeting by the loudness because I know that the corona scare is the first time where everybody regardless of age or gender is a potential victim and yes a potential solution. I’m only glad that people including children took it on and that explains why I personally have my own contribution as Nubian li and myself contribution to humanity and yes opened it to anybody edit it, to remix it because it was our humble contribution. I’m just glad that peope are taking it on and yes I want to encourage fellow artists and creatives all over, don’t limit it. Let us not be limited because the gifts we get from God are supposed to be for the benefit of humanity. So, while I play my part, you could play your part. Remix it even better because you guess what, I like the version of the children even more than my version.
As a politician in Uganda, what do you say of the people concerned about easing the lockdown for them to get a living?
Well indeed, I must thank the government for responding very quickly and indeed thank the Ugandans who have been responsive and have played a every big role. About the lockdown, much as it was a good step to combat the spread of Covid-19, it was just the restrictions. We needed much more than the restrictions. We needed to put measures to help our people well knowing that the majority of our population is living on less than a dollar a day and yes, many of them work for a daily meal. Now for the last more than 39 days of lockdown, many people are struggling to find a daily meal. We had challenges like high mortality rate and yes some other challenges that we think, they would have been better addressed if we had measures. So while we are fighting the coronavirus, our people are dying of hunger and other diseases and other causes that are associated with the lockdown. So if I were president Museveni which I am not, I think it would be very important to put measures that would make life affordable and make life movable forward by the people of Uganda.
How do you think of president Museveni coming out and start exercising in this period:
Bobi Wine: President Museveni came out to exercise which was very good entertainment for the people of Uganda but for the head of state, I think he needs more than just entertainment. It needs to be relevant and connected to the people considering that we have a population that lives mainly in the ghettos. The president was advising people against exercising from public places, jogging on the road which I partially agree with but i would rather give examples to people that are relevant to their daily lives. Indeed there was a joke on social media comparing the president with luxurious and specious offices to the living conditions of the people who are living in squaped up rooms and have no areas to exercise. While we are giving guidance to people, it should be relating to their realities, the realities that they live through everyday.
Can you brainstorm on what is going to happen in 2021 since you have already declared you gonna run for president?
Bobi Wine: I have declared that I’m going to run for president but I must also add that we are having a constant effort of bringing all the forces of change together so that this is just not about me or the movement I lead but it should be about all Ugandas that want a better country. For a long time, we have been talking about the health care and indeed the five things that we take so serious is the health care and this situation has even ignited it the more. For the long time we have been calling on the authorities in Uganda and indeed in many countries of Africa to improve the health care system. Unfortunately, the political class have been always been flying abroad to developed countries for their health care.
Talk about the welfare of the citizens in the lockdown.
Bobi Wine: We have always been saying that it should not be only the work of the politicians. Our effort now or if I should call it success, our ability for our growing numbers to have been at a certain pedestal in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic is not only accredited to the politicians but to the people as well. So it has been everyone of us, the citizens and the politicians and the same way it will work.
Beyond Coronavirus, talk about Human rights violation, corruption and the huge list:
Bobi Wine: While we’re fighting the coronavirus pandemic, we’re looking far ahead it and far before it. Uganda has been facing human rights violations. As we speak right now, the fellow member of parliament Hon Francis zaake who is representing Mityana is nursing wounds of torture because he has been tortured by the security operatives simply because he gave out food relief to his constituents against president’s order. You see, we have a president who is a dictator and he’s milking the coronavirus pandemic to get political milage, to set scores with the opposition. Right now no one is allowed in Uganda to extend food aid to a neighbor and yet our people are so poor and they need help. So, because it is a military dictatorship, President Museveni has gotten an opportunity to crack down on opposition and to abuse rights in the name of fighting coronavirus, in the name of controlling the spread of coronavirus.
Why are you doing an online concert yet people are in the lockdown?
Bobi Wine. We do music because music is a healing. Our people are stressed. Right now we have women that are carrying themselves, their children to police stations demanding to be arrested because they are so hungry. They would rather feed on the prisoners food and servive other than dying in their houses.