The National Unity Platform party president Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert largely known by his music stage name Bobi Wine has gone down to the books of Uganda’s history as the first musician to appear on the presidential ballot.
Bobi Wine aged 38 began his career as a pop star popularised by his afro beat tunes and some bit of dancehall bangers. Bobi began his career in the early 2000’s as a young struggling man from the downscale low income slum of Kamwokya. Those privy to the ‘Ghetto president’ say he has been a very hard working figure right from his teen age having been born and raised in a very big family. Bobi says his father was polygamous and had several children. In a 2014 interview with The Observer Newspaper, Bobi revealed that his political conscience was awakened by the events that forced his late father, Mr. Ssentamu a Democratic Party stalwart to flee into exile during the past anti-Obote struggles.
Bobi, a born of Gomba saw himself migrate to Kampala with his mother, Ms. Nalunkuuma who raised him alongside his other siblings. Ms. Nalunkuuma was an outstanding member of the health profession categorically known for midwifery services. It is against that background that one of the streets in Kamwokya has been renamed after her as an appreciation for her outstanding contribution to the community.
Bobi’s school life was full of hustles too as he earlier reiterated but his brilliance kept his dream of reaching Uganda’s top most university, Makerere alive. Kyagulanyi was focused on his books for he believed that for one to be successful in life, books were very crucial. He consequently studied from several schools due to fees hustles. He however sat all candidate classes at a much younger age and scored the desired points to push him to Makerere. Bobi says he had intended to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences but the high tuition dues excluded him from the programme and he opted for a cheaper Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama programme that his pocket could sustain.
Bobi survived on side jigs like operating chapati stalls, running a barber salon and doing some music. He discovered his music abilities and his concentration on this dream made him one of Uganda’s most influential and successful artistes of all time. Bobi’s music put him on the national scene. His melodic composure and lyrical maturity especially while preaching against the follies of the regime made him a darling among the youths. It is of no wonder that when he made his first political shot in 2017, he amassed commendable unprecedented support for the Kyadondo East polls. Three years later as the leading protagonist of Uganda’s revolutionary struggle, the popstar went down into the books of history as the first musician to stand for presidency following his successful nomination on November, 3. Bobi is married to his longtime partner Barbra Ithungo who he also met on stage during a high school drama in the early 2000’s. They are married with four children and a magnificent mansion in the Kampala outskirts. Kyagulanyi is tussling it out with the 76 year old despot, Gen. Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni who has led Uganda since 1986.