Bobi Wine Has Been Released On Bail

The artist is being charged with holding an "illegal" anti-government protest last year. He will appear in court again on May 23.

UPDATE: 05/02/19:

Bobi Wine has been released on bail, after being sent to a maximum security prison on Tuesday. He is being charged with "unlawful procession" stemming from a demonstration last year in protest of the Ugandan government's controversial social media tax.

He pled not-guilty to the charges brought against him via a video testimony that was shown in the courtroom, during which he called out the government once again for their consistent efforts to silence him. "If standing for what is right is going to hand me my freedom, I will thank God for it. If standing for what is right is going to keep me in this prison then I will thank God even louder," he said.

The artist and activist is set to appear in court again on May 23, as CNN reports.

Bobi Wine Granted Bail| NBS

Continue for the original story:

After being placed on house arrest last week at the hands of the Ugandan government, opposition leader Bobi Wine has now been sent to a maximum security prison.

The artist and activist has been sent to the prison following charges stemming from last year, when the artist held an anti-government demonstration in protest of a controversial media tax, which the Ugandan has claimed was held without authorization.

Wine née, Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, appeared in court on Monday, where he made a brief statement about the charges being brought against him. "Indeed it is not me being put on trial," he said. "It is the court itself that is on trial, because I have not committed any crime." He is due back in court on May 2, according to The Guardian.

The government has been targeting Wine relentlessly over the past couple months, tracing back to last year when he was arrested on charges of treason from an alleged attack on President Yoweri Museveni motorcade during an election rally. He was subsequently sent to prison where he was beaten while in police custody.

The activist shared a video just 4 days ago for the song "Afanda," which opens with footage of armed security forces taking him into custody. The video is interspersed with images showing rampant abuse at the hands of police. "I am not fighting you, but I am fighting for you" sings the artist on the upbeat track.


Wine was set to hold a concert last week before police forcefully circled his home on Tuesday, cancelling the show. At the time, authorities claimed that the production lacked "adequate safety measures."

Fans and supporters of the artist showed up to his court hearing on Monday and chanted his tagline "People power" as he was whisked into a police vehicle. Authorities fired tear gas and bullets at those protesting his arrest in Kampala on Monday, reports Al Jazeera.

Many online continue to express support for the artist, using the hashtag #FreeBobiWine to demand justice for the musician and activist.

Arts + Culture
Image courtesy of Desange Kuenihira

Desange Kuenihira Is Living Life on Her Own Terms

We spoke with the 22-year-old CEO, author, and recent graduate on finding meaning in a world determined to silence you.

For much of her life, Desange Kuenihira’s closest companion was fear. Fear and hatred accompanied the now 22-year-old author and CEO as she escaped civil war in her home country, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and entered a Ugandan refugee camp at the age of two. Fear continued to tug at her sleeves as she battled the ignorance that comes with xenophobic ideologies. Having survived abuse — to her body and character — and multiple instances of sexual assault, Kuenihira prevails. Now, the founder and CEO of the Nonprofit organization UnDefeatedhas made that fear her power, as she pushes to empower those around her. Her autobiography Undefeated Woman,released in 2022, tells the story of a little girl who clawed her way out of the black hole life tried to bind her to.

Keep reading...Show less
Photo Credit: Frank L'Opez

Exploring the Streets of Kampala with Ratigan Era

OkayAfrica spent some time with rising Uganda dancehall star Ratigan Era as he explored all his favorite places to eat.

I’m in between the boda boda driver and Ratigan Era — Uganda’s rising dancehall star, tearing through the lunchtime chaos of Kabalagala, Kampala on a motorbike. We are weaving through traffic with food on our minds. “Nobody is hungry in Uganda,” he says, yelling over the engine and heavy traffic. “It’s hard in the city, you have to hustle but as a roots man I come from the ghetto. I know how to stay alive”.

Food is in abundance in Kampala. On the street you will find the Rolex (a finger scolding, rolled chapati with fried egg, fresh tomato, and red onion) and buzzing away from traffic we pass by the smoke plumes of charcoal grilled chicken and goat on wooden sticks, vendors piling up fruit and vegetables on sheets and long stems of sugarcane chopped by machetes that catch a vicious sun.

Today, we are eating our way through Ratigan’s localities and the first stop is Lawafu, a small neighborhood close to the recording studios where Rattigan creates his storming dancehall tracks. With a second album on the way and more tours in Europe planned, 2023 may take this young Kawempe born star further away from home, to places he has found at times bewildering. “It was hard for me, I don’t eat pork and didn’t recognize the food," says Ratigan. "It took a while before I ate something... and then it was KFC”.

A collection of snacks from Enhanced Food in Lawafu, Kampala.Photo Credit: Frank L'Opez

Leaping off the bike I get a closer look at the man who was just in my ear. He has the swagger of being in his environment‚ made real by solid recognition. We are at Enhanced Food, a stand run by Sado, an events manager turned chef that Rattigan trusts. Everywhere we go today is extended family. The kitchen sits attached to a bar that serves us bottled beers as we await Sado’s speciality: the Lusaniya—an East African dish popular amongst the Islamic community. Before the main dish arrives, we sample a plate of snacks. There's an absurd custard yellow French Toast cut thick as a door step; a smoky beef sausage that tastes like it isn’t really there; a hand-mashed mincemeat kofta riddled with parsley; a "half-cake"—a kind of rectangular donut bread; a traditional samosa; and the "Irish potato," which is a a boiled egg hidden inside a large round fried ball of mashed potato.

The Lusaniya is an East African dish popular amongst the Islamic community. The dish features rice that has been cooked with onion, garlic, ginger and cloves.Photo Credit: Frank L'Opez

The Lusaniya majestically arrives on a metal platter. Instead of using a table we place it on a white plastic garden seat and delve into it with our hands. Between huge mouthfuls of pilau rice that has been cooked with onion, garlic, ginger and cloves I ask Rattigan about his faith. “I am a Muslim and a Christian," he says. "My parents are Christian but they let me decide.”

I pour beef stock over everything, the light catching its oily sheen as it gives life to the Matooke made from boiled and mashed green plantain. We pull chicken apart and mix it into thick mushroom looking G-nut sauce. G for satisfying groundnut. "When you start eating you already feel your belly full,” Rattigan says contentedly. We finish by sitting in a small corridor behind a closed door, laughing through more vapours of smoke.

"When you start eating you already feel your belly full,\u201d Rattigan says after digging into the the Lusaniya."When you start eating you already feel your belly full,” Rattigan says after digging into the the Lusaniya.Photo Credit: Frank L'Opez

A friend arrives to drive us to Legend Production Studios in Salama Road where Rattigan often records. During a break I check for what the artists are digging into. I approach Rattigan’s spar, who goes by the name Machete. There is a double carb on his plate of spaghetti and chips accompanied by a tiny amount of tomato beef sauce and some sliced avocado on the side.

Soon we are on our way to the notorious Kabuuma district. (Machete reassures me: “Don’t worry, we are ghetto Vikings".) Our car rumbles to a halt at a desolate market. Meat scarcely hangs on hooks as a woman spoons up piles of rice and more Matoke or Ugali—a maize flour mash. We relax by a tiny shack made from haphazardly nailed pallet-wood. New Paradise Happy Vibes is scrawled upon it with marker pen but today this bar is closed. From here, the ground all around us into the distance is saturated with water. The open horizon and distant bird calls making it feel safely remote. Rattigan buys a small cellophane bag of drinking water and some herbs. “This here are local herbs. They keep me in my musical space and help me meditate," Rattigan says. "They keep my appetite for food.”

Outside a market located in the Kabuuma district.Photo Credit: Frank L'Opez

Driving back across town we stop for what is being prepared roadside. By a roundabout, a man expertly slashes at sugarcane that falls in lumps into a plastic bag. It is overwhelmingly succulent, a flood of nectar that is hard to contain in a closed mouth.“ This is sugar! Original sugar! For natural energy and for blood regulation and dehydration! It kills cancer and malaria!” Ratigan yells, his outburst is a glorious eulogy to what tastes and feels like a miracle.

Along the way a woman smiles as she carves sweet and fleshy jackfruit. It brings back wistful memories from Ratigan’s childhood of climbing trees with his friends: “We would smash them open on the trunk," he says. We spit out the large black pips into the gutter as school children filter home.

“I’m a ghetto yout’ and this is ghetto food... I've been eating it all my life".Photo Credit: Frank L'Opez

On the way back to the car we grab corn on the cob off red hot charcoal. Rattigan chants out to his own music as we pull out wildly into oncoming traffic “I’m a ghetto yout’ and this is ghetto food,” he says.”I been eating it all my life".

News Brief
Photo by C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images

Baaba Maal Releases New Single 'Agreement'

Senegal's Baaba Maal shares a new song ahead of his upcoming album, Being.

Renowned Senegalese singer and guitaristBaaba Maalhas shared a new single called "Agreement." The song is the fourth track on his upcoming album Being, which is slated to be released on March 31st, 2023.

"Agreement," a percussion-heavy record produced by Johan Hugo, fuses both ancient and modern rhythms, and continues Baaba Maal's ongoing musical quest to connect the past and the present, while making lasting cultural and emotional connections through music.

While discussing the record, Baaba Maal dissects the meaning of the song and explains that it draws inspiration from day-to-day relationships.

“Agreement is about the relationships you make in your life, whether they are with friends, musicians, neighbors, people you love,” says Baaba Maal. ”When you say to people, we are going on this journey through life together, through good times and bad, you should be very sure that you mean it.”

The Senegalese legend continues breaking down the meaning of the song by explaining it through a cultural lens.

“It’s based on a proverb from my community — to say no at the beginning to the idea that we will always be together is much stronger and more noble that beginning a relationship and then cutting it short later, maybe forty years later. Be mature enough to take seriously an agreement you make with someone about the future, about your souls being connected,” says Maal.

After a seven-year music hiatus, "Agreement" is one of Maal's new releases, and he will continue to share his music in the coming months with fans. In addition to releasing his upcoming album, the Poor-born icon will be performing at the Barbican in London, for the first time in 20 years on May 30th, 2023.

Maal'sBeing is a riveting extension of his pioneering, transcendent, and inspiring four-decade legacy that has blended the traditional and the innovative, the acoustic and the electronic over the years. For being, Maal reportedly partnered with long-time producer Johan Hugo, and recorded the body of work in Brooklyn, London and Senegal. Watch the visualizer for "Agreement" below.

Listen to Baaba Maal "Agreement" below.

News Brief

Rising Star Khaid Shares New Single ‘Jolie’

Nigerian music newcomer Khaid comes through with a new love song.

Khaidshares "Jolie," an Afro-infused love song that marks his first music release for the year. The record is a rhythmic and melodic offering that is complete with an infectious hook and Khaid's captivating vocals. In the song, Khaid describes his admiration for a girl that he is pursuing, but equally expresses the challenge that he is having getting her attention.

At the age of 12, Khaid, who was born and raised in Ojo in Lagos, Nigeria, began to freestyle and shoot videos in the streets of Ojo, which is where he was eventually discovered and signed by Sydney Walker, the owner of Neville Records, and a prominent Nigerian comedian.

At the beginning of 2022, Neville Records announced Khaid as a new signee, and since then, he has continued to make waves in the Nigerian music industry. His debut single "With You," was released only eight days after the announcement, and went on to become a commercial success. The song became one of the country's top hits, which now has over 3.7 million views on YouTube and 5 million Spotify streams.

Khaid went on to a release a 6-track album called Diversity and continues to push the envelope at only 17-years-old. The young talent has an EP on the way in the near future, and was recently featured on Okay Africa's 12 Nigerian Artists To Watch In 2023.

Listen to Khaid's "Jolie" below

get okayafrica in your inbox


A TV Show About Ethiopia's Queen Sheba is in the Works

During a presentation on at the Sundance Film Festival, Onyx Collective announced that a Queen Of Sheba drama is in the works.

12 Nigerian Artists to Watch in 2023

We highlight Nigeria’s best emerging talents set to make their mark this year.

Tems Bags Oscar Nomination for 'Wakanda Forever' Song

Nigeria's renowned Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, scored a nomination at the 2023 Oscars for co-writing ‘Lift Me Up’, one of the songs on 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.'

Burna Boy, Asake, and More to Hit Afro Nation Portugal Stage

The Afrobeats music festival is set to bring the biggest names in Afrobeats and amapiano to the sunny Portuguese coast.


Through an Immigrant Story, Adura Onashile Brings a Mother's Love into Focus

The writer-director is making her first foray into feature filmmaking, with the intimate 'Girl,' which is debuting at the Sundance Film Festival.