News Brief

Bobi Wine is Officially Running for the Ugandan Presidency in 2021

The artist will challenge President Yoweri Museveni on behalf of the people and champion the interests of the poor.

UPDATE 07/25: Ugandan artist-turned-politician Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, officially announced that he will be running for the Ugandan presidency at a recent event in Kampala. Wine, who has been a member of parliament for two years, is referring to himself as the "ghetto president" and says that he wants to be the voice for the poor especially, according to the BBC.


Announcing his candidacy, Wine said that, "On behalf of the people of Uganda I am challenging you [Mr Museveni] to a free and fair election in 2021." He added that, "I know the danger I am going to face to challenge Museveni but I have been encouraged by Ugandans that I am the leader they want."

While Wine is particularly popular among the youth, criticisms of his leadership have centered on how he has yet to deliver a concrete plan of action in terms of tackling issues such as unemployment, poor healthcare and education. And although Museveni has been quick to dismiss Wine as a mere "club singer", it goes without saying that this is the first time that the head-of-state's three-decade rule has been seriously challenged.

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After Ugandan artist Bobi Wine was recently arrested on charges of holding an "illegal" anti-government protest last year, he has now announced that he will be running for the country's presidency in 2021. The artist-turned-politician is the leader of the opposition movement called People Power and previously talked about how he was "strongly considering" running for president back in February.

According to Al Jazeera, Wine has spoken about the concern he has for his personal safety saying, "I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day. I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead and wants me dead as soon as possible." He also added that, "There has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation."

Wine, who was elected into parliament in 2017, has quickly built up a good rapport with the youth and his popularity has for the first time posed a real threat to Museveni's three-decade rule.

However, Wine's political endeavors have been met with great resistance by the current Ugandan government.

The artist has spoken on numerous occasions about how the Ugandan government has made multiple attempts on his life. Wine referred to an incident which occurred last year and left his driver dead, saying, "[Mr Museveni] gave an instruction that I should be eliminated. I know he will try to block me from running as he has not received any serious challenge in 34 years."

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The Best East African Songs Out Right Now

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January is the start of a new year and is a time for fresh beginnings. Music lovers in East Africa were treated to a variety of new releases in the month of January, with a wide range of genres and styles represented. From soulful ballads to upbeat pop tracks, there was something for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the best songs that were released by East African artists in January.

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Desange Kuenihira Is Living Life on Her Own Terms

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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.

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Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Photo Series: Vic Mensa's Pilgrimage to Ghana

OkayAfrica traveled with Vic Mensa as he visited his father's childhood home, Koforidua. Here's a behind-the-scenes look about what happened.

Back in December, American rapper Vic Mensa went on a pilgrimage back home. The rapper was in Accra, Ghana for his historic Black Star Line Festival, which he was co-hosting with longtime friend and fellow rapper Chance the Rapper.

But, on a hot day before the festival, the rapper traveled two hours from Accra to Koforidua to visit his extended family. There is a lot of history in Koforidua. Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy grew up there. Not only was he founder of the famous Okukuseku International Band but Sammy also had a long and fruitful relationship with Afrobeat legend Fula Kuti.

He also happens to be Vic Mensa's uncle. And part of the reason Vic took this trip is to convince Sammy to join him on stage at the Black Star Line Festival in Accra, in front of 50,000 fans. However, while there, Vic made sure he had time to connect with his extended family.

It was a special, intimate moment. One OkayAfrica was lucky enough to witness firsthand. Check out our photo gallery of Vic Mensa's pilgrimage below.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

In December 2022, Vic Mensa took a trip to visit his uncle, legendary Highlife artist Chief Kofi Sammy. It’s about a two hour drive from Accra to Koforidua. A bit longer when you factor in Vic stopping for some of his favorite snacks.

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Photo: Etan Comics

Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic is Going Global

Etan Comics is launching a kids version of the kickstarter-backed title, which will be published in 11 languages.


After the successful release of their graphic novel, Jember, Etan Comics is teaming up with the non-profit Open Hearts Big Dreams (OHBD) to launch a special collaboration. Etan is working with the Seattle-based organization, which has produced over 700 bilingual early-reader titles, to turn Jember into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel.

The release of the book coincides with Black History Month, and will be launched in 11 different languages, including Amharic, Arabic, French, Greek, Igbo, Kiswahili, Spanish, and Wolayta. Jember was first published in hardcover format in October 2022, and after its release it garnered +$12K pre-orders on Kickstarter. The comic book is designed to help emerging readers build their reading confidence, and learn more about African cultures and languages. Created and written by Beserat Debebe, it was illustrated by Yonatan Solomon and Michael Okoroagha.

Jember is being turned into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel and will be available in 11 different languages.

Photo: Etan Comics

Beginning in mid-February, the books will be available globally on Amazon and IngramSpark. They will also be available at Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and in public libraries shortly after.

With the release of Jember, Etan Comics aims to make African stories accessible to global readers. The collaboration will also help Ethiopian children, who make up 40% of the Ethiopian population, to be empowered through the story, which speaks to the rich cultural heritage of the Ethiopian history.

With this development, Etan Comics has joined the growing list of new generation of African comic book creators who are sharing African culture through comics to engage readers with various parts of the continent's history.

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