Interview

'I’m Proud to Be Persecuted For the Truth:' Bobi Wine on the Fight for Freedom in Uganda

OkayAfrica spoke to the musician about his time in prison and what it means to be a freedom fighter as he awaits the results of his medical tests and prepares to return to Uganda.

Stories about the brave actions of revolutionaries can sometimes feel like chronicles of the past—cautionary tales of when the world was in such disarray that people had to step out in unimaginable acts of bravery to uproot corrupt systems. It's Toussaint Louverture leading a group of enslaved Haitians against stiffly armed French colonizers, it's Winnie Mandela being forced into a precarious life of fear and isolation for daring to oppose the apartheid regime, and Fela Kuti watching as Nigerian military juntas dropped his equally revolutionary mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti to her death from a three-story building.

The story of Uganda's "Ghetto President," musician and opposition lawmaker Bobi Wine reminds us that the struggle is very much here and now—and that the extreme valor of everyday citizens is what it will likely take to fight it. Since mid-August Wine, born, Robert Kyagulanyi, has been brashly and consistently persecuted by the Ugandan government, stemming from an alleged attack on President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade at a by-election rally in Arua, where they were supporting opposing candidates. The ordeal led to the musician being arrested and rearrested twice, and tortured while in military custody.

Since the alleged attack, Wine's driver was shot dead by Ugandan forces and 32 opposition leaders, many of whom still remain in custody, have also been arrested on charges of treason. According to the artist, some have sustained permanent injuries at the hands of officers. Ugandans who took to the streets for anti-government protests clashed with police forces who arrested dozens of people and dispersed tear gas and bullets on numerous occasions. All of this signifying a new phase of Museveni's attacks on the opposition.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Bobi Wine Holds International Press Conference Live In Washington D.C.

Watch the full press conference here.

Bobi Wine held a live press conference this morning in Washington D.C. with his lawyer Robert Amsterdam.

International press gathered to ask pressing questions surrounding the artist and lawmakers arrest. Wine spoke about Uganda's current political situation, and about the abuse he suffered while under police custody, stating that he was present despite orders from his doctors to rest.

Both Wine and his lawyer speak out against Museveni's repressive administration and its treatment of Ugandans and the

Watch the full press conference down below, Wine comes in around the 12-minute mark.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

'No Part of My Body Was Spared,' Bobi Wine Recounts Torture By Ugandan Troops

The artist and politician took to Facebook to recount the torture he endured at the hands of military troops, and thank his supporters.

Ugandan lawmaker and pop star, Bobi Wine has spoken out about the events that led to his arrest on August 13 and the state of his health for the first time, in an open letter entitled "What Exactly Happened in Aura? My Story!"

The artist who is currently in the United States seeking medical treatment for injuries he sustained while in military custody, took to Facebook to share a post, detailing his own account of what happened during the bi-election rally in Aura. He recounted the events prior to his arrest, which left his driver Yasin Kawuma dead, gave an update on his health, and thanked his many international supporters for the well wishes he's received.

"I am sorry I have taken a bit long to write to you about the trials and tribulations, for which you all stood with me," wrote Wine. "It's been tough days, as I recover form the physical and mental trauma I endured. I am overwhelmed by your support and words of encouragement. I cannot pay you in any other way except by sticking to those values that bind all of us together-justice, equality and human dignity."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.