Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine is the leading opposition candidate in the January 2021 Uganda elections. A man of many parts, a musician, an actor, a member of parliament and a consummate politician. Now that’s a feat and a half for a 38-year-old. These achievements and Bobi’s cult followership make the focus of this piece an inevitable eulogy. In a time when the youths are rising all over Africa, the famous EndSARS protests in Nigeria, Bobi Wine in Uganda challenging a Junta and a sit-tight megalomaniac; it’s indeed a beautiful time to be alive. The cymbals of youth uprising in Africa are now audible to the deaf and the rage is visible to the blind and Bobi Wine’s candidature in this election further underscores the determination of young people to take charge of their own affairs through all non-violent means.
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The politics of Uganda, a nation of 46 million people has mostly centred around 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni who has ruled the country for about four decades. Over the years, Museveni has faced opposition and in the overwhelming majority of the time, he triumphed and consolidated his grip on power. On four different attempts, Dr. Kiza Bezigye a medical doctor turned politician, challenged the incumbent but on every occasion, Bezigye came out scathed by the storms of persecution, the venom of police brutality and the winds of outright decimation. The story has not been so different for Bobi Wine who had to campaign in bulletproof vests and helmets. Like Bezigye, Bobi Wine was incarcerated and hounded severally at the behest of the government of the day for daring to challenge the status quo.
The demography of voters in Uganda shows that young people between the ages of 18 and 39 make up 80% of the voting population in the 2021 election in Uganda. However, at the time of writing this piece, there are strong indications that the sitting President Museveni will most likely be declared the winner of an election, which was characterized by violence, fraud and brigandage. One begins to wonder if it’s ever possible to have a true government of the people in Uganda because as at today, it’s just the government of a strong man for a strong man and by a strong man. The will of the Ugandan people may have been thwarted but the towering profile and popularity of Bobi Wine cannot be wished away. This election is by no means a defeat for Bobi Wine but a testament of his gumption and political gravitas, an unequivocal expression of the people’s choice in Uganda, a vote of no confidence against a sit-tight junta and a veritable testament of a looming youth uprising in Africa.
I am neither an astrologer nor a necromancer but I can tell you for sure that Bobi Wine is the Star rising in the East and the beacon of hope has never been brighter for the African youth!
Barr. Onyedikachi .D. Okorie