Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu commonly known by his stage name Bobi Wine is a Ugandan politician and musician who joined politics in July 2017. He serves as the Member of Parliament representing Kyadondo East constituency in Wakiso District, Uganda.
He was born on 12th February 1982, in Mpigi District and grew up in the Kamwokya slums. He attended Makerere University in Kampala, where he studied music, dance, and drama, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In February 2018, Kyagulanyi enrolled for a course on Leadership for the 21st Century at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
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Bobi Wine started making music under the Fire Base Crew in the early 2000s with some of his first singles being Akagoma and Funtula, which brought him into the limelight. He continued singing and after joining politics he released “Situka,” a song which challenges Ugandans to do something about corruption and injustice in their country.
He met his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi while he was at Makerere University, their wedding took place in August 2011. They have four children together Solomon Kampala Nyanzi, Shalom Namagembe, Shadraq Shilling Mbogo, and Suubi Shine Nakaayi
In April 2017, Bobi Wine announced his candidacy for parliament in an upcoming by-election for the Kyadondo East Constituency which he won by a wide margin, beating the two candidates Sitenda Sebalu of NRM and Apollo Kantinti of FDC.
In 2018, Robert Kyagulanyi gained more fame when he was an active participant in the “Togikwato” campaign which was against the extension of Presidential age limit. He was also on the front line of the protests against the taxes which were imposed on social media and mobile money.
He has also championed the winning of most by-elections by the candidates he campaigned for, beating the candidates of the political party in power, the National Resistance Movement as well as the major opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change. He sided with Hon. Asuman Basalirwa who won the Bugiri by-election, Kasiano Wadri an independent candidate in the recent by-election in Arua Municipality to replace the late Honorable Ibrahim Abiriga, as a member of Parliament.
Kyagulanyi was arrested right after the campaign on suspicion of inciting his supporters to attack the Presidential motorcade, which resulted into the shattering of the glass of one of the vehicles in the convoy. Amdist the chaos, Bobi Wine’s driver Yasin Kawuma,was shot dead by a stray bullet. All in all, 33 individuals including MPs like Kasiano Wadri who won the by-election of Arua Municipality, Gerald Karuhanga of Ntungamo Municipality and Francis Zzake of Mityana Municipality were arrested and detained by Uganda Police, assisted by the Special Forces Command (SFC).
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Bobi Wine was arrested due to illegal possession of fire arms, and inciting violence. He was detained by Police and transferred to Gulu town. While in detention, he was allegedly beaten and tortured. This led to discontent among his supporters and sympathizers who staged a number of riots and demonstrations that spread to different parts of Kampala city and the world demanding that Bobi Wine be freed using the slogans , “FreeBobiWine” and “PeoplePowerOurPower.”
On 23 August 2018, the state dropped the charges of possession of fire arms against Robert Kyagulanyi in the court Martial and he was handed over to the civilian court to be tried for Treason. He was remanded to return to court on the 30 August 2018. However, Robert Kyagulanyi’s lawyers did their best towards his bail application and on 27 August 2018, he was released on bond. From the court cells, Robert Kyagulanyi was taken in an ambulance for medical attention. But he together with other suspects are expected to appear before court on 30th August 2018.