Politics
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

Bobi Wine parades through crowds of people in Kayunga District on December 01, 2020 in Jinja, Uganda. Presidential candidates are campaigning in Uganda ahead of the elections scheduled for the 14 January 2021.

Kuti Family, Wole Soyinka, Chris Martin, Bono & More Sign Petition For Fair Elections In Uganda

The petition calls for "the African Union, US, UK, EU and all people of conscience to condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing assault on Uganda's opposition and commit to support a safe free and fair election for all Ugandan citizens."

Uganda is holding elections today January 14, 2021. Ahead of them, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly banned all social media and messaging applications in the country and opposition politician Bobi Wine has had his home reportedly raided by the military. The petition below, signed by the likes of Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Wole Soyinka, Keith Richards, Roger Waters, and Chris Martin, calls for free and fair elections in Uganda. Read it in full:

———————————————————————————————————————

Uganda is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on January 14, 2021, but no one expects them to be free or fair. President Museveni, who has enjoyed strong Western backing for 35 years-and tens of billions of dollars in military and financial assistance will contest his 6th term in office.

His main presidential challenger, musician/legislator, Hon Robert Kyagulanyi MP, better known to us as Bobi Wine, as well as another opposition candidate Patrick Amuriat, have both been repeatedly arrested by security forces, and scores, perhaps hundreds of their supporters have been tortured and killed.

Thousands of other opposition supporters are detained, many without access to lawyers, doctors or their families. On December 30, Wine's entire entourage-security detail, media team and medical team was arrested. Some of them, all previously in good health, appeared in court on Monday, limping from injuries sustained while in police custody. They were given bail but have not been released. Since then, with a fresh team, Bobi continued his campaign. That team, as well, have all been arrested.


Wine's campaign in particular has reached nearly every corner of the country, where massive crowds have braved teargas and bullets to cheer on his candidacy. But every mile of that journey has been fraught with danger. In November, demonstrations broke out across Uganda when Wine was detained for two days incommunicado, supposedly for violating COVID 19 regulations. The last time he'd been so detained, in 2018, he'd emerged on crutches. In response to the public outcry, Museveni deployed his private army, known as the Special Forces Command to "restore order". At least 54 demonstrators and bystanders, including children, were gunned down and killed, and scores of others were severely injured.

This is Museveni's "democracy" that carried him victoriously through multiple elections over 35 years. Bobi still ventures forth to meet his constituents, following the itinerary provided by the Electoral Commission. But with his entire security team in detention, his only security is international media coverage, shining a harsh light on the regime's excessive use of brutal force. Museveni claims Bobi's support comes only from "foreign homosexuals" The world is watching.

We the undersigned call upon the African Union, US, UK, EU and all people of conscience to condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing assault on Uganda's opposition and commit to support a safe free and fair election for all Ugandan citizens

ADAM CLAYTON - Musician U2 Ireland
ADAM SHATZ - Writer London Review of Books UK

ALAN KEMP - Marketing Executive UK

ALEXANDER STILLE - Professor at Columbia University USA
ALFIE BENGE - Artist UK
ALFONSO CUARON - Filmmaker Mexico
AMANDA DE CADENET - Filmmaker and Photographer USA
AMIR AMIRANI - Filmmaker UK
ANISH KAPOOR - Artist UK
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU - South Africa
BARONESS ROSIE BOYCOTT - Journalist UK
BELINDA ATIM - Uganda Sustainable Development Initiative UK
BETTE ADRIAANSE - Artist The Netherlands
BIYI BANDELE - Author, Film Director Nigeria
BRENDA GILBERT - Film Producer USA

BONO - Musician U2 Ireland
BRIAN ENO - Artist, Musician, Producer UK
BRONAGH GALLAGHER - Actress and Singer Northern Ireland
CATIE GINSBURG - Partisan Records USA
CHARLOTTE CHURCH - Singer Activist and Founder of the Awen Project UK
CHRIS MARTIN - Musician Coldplay USA

COSMUS ZAVUGA - University of Manitoba Canada
CORNELIA PARKER OBE - Artist UK
DANIEL KRAMER - Founder/Director The Visceral Glitch USA
DANIEL LANOIS - Musician/Music Producer Canada
DAVID MITCHELL - Novelist UK

DAVID KAU - Comedian and Filmmaker South Africa
DIANA NESLEN - Retired UK
DR NISHANT JOSHI - Doctor and Activist UK
DR MEENAL JOSHI - Doctor and Activist UK
DR PAUL WILLIAMS - Doctor and former MP - UK
EMILY YOUNG FRSS - Sculptor UK
FEMI ANIKULAPO KUTI - Musician Nigeria
FEMI FALANA - Human Rights Advocate Nigeria
FOLARIN 'FALZ' FALANA - Entertainer Nigeria
FRANK RYNNE - Senior Lecturer France
GARETH DAVIES - Publicist (retired) UK
GARY LUCAS - Musician USA
GEETA DAYAL - Writer UK
GEORGIA BYNG - Children's Author UK
GUY BERRYMAN - Musician Coldplay USA
HARDI YAKUBU - Fighter-General The Economic Fighters League Ghana

HELEN EPSTEIN - Author and Journalist USA
HENRY LOUIS GATES - Harvard University USA
HENRY PORTER - Writer UK
HUGH CORNWELL - Songwriter USA
IAIN NEWTON - Marketing Consultant USA
IAIN OVERTON - Investigative Journalist, Author UK
JAMES THORNTON - Lawyer Client Earth UK
JEAN-MICHEL REUSSER - Music Producer France
JEFF SMITH - CEO Vanguard Africa USA
JESSE RIBOT - Professor at American University USA
JIM MCCARTY - Musician UK
JOE BOYD - Author and Record Producer UK
JON MCCLURE - Musician Reverend and the Makers UK
JONATHAN REEKIE - Arts Administrator Somerset House Trust UK
JONATHAN ROSENHEAD - Emeritus Professor London School of Economics UK
JOHN CARRUTHERS - Music Executive UK
JOHN GONCALVES - Musician Portugal
JOHN REYNOLDS - Music Producer UK
JONNY BUCKLAND - Musician Coldplay USA

JOSEPH NDAWULA - LAWYER UGANDA

J. PETER SCHWALM - Composer Germany
KALUNDI SERUMAGA - Journalist/Activist Uganda
KEITH RICHARDS - Author UK
KERRY SHAW - Impact Journalist - UK
KUNLE ANIKULAPO KUTI - Chief Curator The Kalakuta Museum Nigeria
LAURIE ANDERSON - Artist USA
LISE MAYER - Comedy Writer UK
LIVIU BABITZ - Being Myself and Entrepreneur UK
LUCY DURAN - Professor of Music SOAS UK
MARC RIBOT - Musician USA
MARCIAL PORTELA - CEO Kimac Brazil
MARGARET MARISSEN - Music Management Canada
MARK GETTES MD - Physician USA
MARK LEVINE - Professor at University of California USA
MARK LYNAS - Author, Journalist UK
MARY EVERS - Osteopath and Fellow of In Place of War UK
MARY ROBINSON - Former President of Ireland
MARTINA CONNORS - Arts Manager UK
MATT JONES - Principal Designer Google AI UK
MATTHEW OHIWEME OHIO - Entrepreneur and Producer Nigeria
MARTIN GOLDSCHMIDT - Chairman Cooking Vinyl Group
MARTINA CONNORS - Arts Manager UK
MELANIE PAPPENHEIM - Musician UK
MICHAEL ENGELBRECHT - Psychologist & Journalist Germany
MICHAEL UWEMEDIMO - Director Nigeria
MILTON ALLIMADI - Publisher Black Star News USA
MIRANDA PENNELL - Filmmaker UK
MUHAMMED LAMIN SAIDYKHAN -Coordinator Africans Rising The Gambia
NAMATA SERUMAGA-MUSISI - Architect/Activist Uganda
NIGEL HOUSE - Director Rough Trade UK
NIRIT SUMMERFELD - Actress/Musician Germany
NUNO GONCALVES - Musician Portugal
PAUL INGRAM - Senior Defence Policy Analyst UK
PETER GABRIEL - Musician UK

PETER SCHWARTZ - Senior VP Salesforce UK
PETRA BLAISSE - Interior and Landscape Architect Netherlands
PHIL HARVEY - Coldplay USA
RANDALL GRASS - General Manager Shanachie Records USA
REGGIE WATTS - Musician The James Corden Show USA
RICHARD-MARTIN BYAKULEKA - President CLOUD USA
RICHARD KUPER - Independent Researcher UK
RICK HOLLAND - Writer and University Professor UK
RIKKI STEIN - CEO Kalakuta Sunrise UK
ROBERT WALSH - Editor UK
ROBERT WYATT - Musician UK
ROGER WATERS - Musician UK
ROGERS OKOT-UMA - Chartered Physicist UK
RUTH DANIEL - CEO In Place of War UK
RUTH MACKENZIE - Artistic Director France/UK
SAHR NGAUJAH - Actor USA

SHIVUM SHARMA - Composer UK
SEUN ANIKULAPO KUTI - Musician Nigeria
SHELDON SHEPHERD - Actor and Poet Jamaica
SHIVUM SHARMA - Composer UK
SOL GUY - Activist and Filmmaker USA
STEPHEN BUDD - OneFest/Africa Express UK
STEPHEN HENDEL - Kalakuta Sunrise USA

THERESA BODEN - Writer UK
URI FRUCHTMANN - Producer Israel
VIKAS SHAH MBE - CEO Swiscot Group - UK
VINCENT MAGOMBE - African Affairs Analyst UK
WILL CHAMPION - Musician Coldplay USA
WILLIAM SIEGHART CBE - Writer UK
WOLE SOYINKA - Nobel Laureate NIGERIA

YANIS VAROUFAKIS - Member of Greek Parliament Greece
YASMIN SHARIFI-YAZDI - Co-Founder A Space Between UK
YENI ANIKULAPO KUTI - The New Afrika Shrine NIGERIA
ZENA WHITE - MD Partisan Records - USA

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: JAE5 Is Crafting London's Distinct Diasporic Sound

We talk to the buzzing producer about his Grammy win alongside Burna Boy, his work with J Hus and the ever-looming influence of Ghana.