Bobi Wine has a vital ingredient – Charisma

Bobi Wine has a vital ingredient – Charisma

“Will you vote for Bobi wine?” I asked her as she bent down washing clothes in a blue basin. She looked up, with beaming eyes, she replied, “bring the ballot now, I will my tick for my ghetto president.” You seem to like him very much. “Of course, I do,” she replied, “he is our hope, I have lived in this ghetto for 15 years now, I came from the village to live with my auntie but she has since passed on. I am here hustling; I wash people’s clothes for a living. We don’t have a government school in the Ghetto, we don’t have a hospital, we don’t have running water in our homes, no road, we line up with Jerrycans from a spring well that was built so many years ago” She suddenly stopped looked at me suspiciously, “Are you a spy? do you want to arrest me?” I laughed, “do spies look like me? No, I am a storyteller, I just want to hear your thoughts about your ghetto president. Eavesdropping our conversation was a cobbler with a stash of old shoes, punching his needle in a sole of a shoe one stitch at a time. He smiled revealing the wrinkles of his life’s burdens, “Madam, you see, we saw this young man grow up, he too lined up at the spring well to fetch water, we saw him go to school, start out his music career and become what he has become, I can assure you that a week doesn’t pass by without him coming to the ghetto to check on us.” There was a spark  in his eyes as he described Bobi wine.

This Wine has a vital ingredient for a revolution- Charisma and the cowardly government knows that but they sort of don’t know what to do with him; they have cancelled his concerts, they have sent social media bots and PR machinery to discredit him to  make him look like he doesn’t know anything about policy, claiming that he is working with colonialists, on Monday 29th April 2019, the 36-year-old musician turned politician was remanded to  Luzira maximum Prison- his crime? a 2018 case long forgotten for leading a demonstration to protest the social media and mobile money tax in July 2018 – a tax that researchers have found out is regressive and widening the digital divide. Even a toddler can see that these are trumped up charges to weaken his spirit – a bridle in the horse’s mouth by the whisperers.

Last year, Bobi Wine was tortured and his balls squeezed, he went quiet a little bit, healed, now he is back with more resolve and the regime is trembling in its 33-year- old patched pants. I guess he sparks  nostalgia and age-anxiety reminding them of their olden days, the zeal that took them to the bush in 1986 to fight against an oppressive regime. The tables have turned they are now the oppressive regime- rule of law is in the trash bin- resorting to laws like the Public Order Management Act as their tools of oppression- where one or two are gathered, there shall be police in their midst with teargas making sure that people don’t assemble and do anything that threatens the junta. I have learned this from dating, once someone is over you even if you moon-dance on a needle, you cannot make them love you again no matter what. On that note in my observation, I think this relationship ended a long time ago, we are sorry looks like we have found a new love that knows how to sing.

The elephant

The elephant

To tame an elephant, catch it young or make sure that it is born in captivity, she will never know her power. You will use her in the circus to entertain humans, You will ride on her the safari to see other animals, You will use this elephant as crane for construction projects, and you can use her in religious festivals like the Asians do.

This elephant will never know the power her African cousin wields.

She will not know that her African cousin is the real king of the jungle. She will not know that her African cousin’s one kick is enough to knock out  that preying lion that is trying to eat her calf, She will never know how the Matriarch of the savannah gracefully leads the herd.

This story of the elephant reminds me of the free expression story of Uganda.

The suppression is steady but sure. From the banning of the ebimeeza (citizen forums) and the birth of disclaimers on radio stations that the ‘views aired on this radio station are not necessary those of this radio station.’ I chuckle every time that statement comes through my radio after a heated political debate. Those that make up the largest percent of the Uganda’s population probably scantily remember or not at all the ebimeeza.

This same generation that was brought up by a bunch of cautious individuals.

I was watching a Jesus movie with my father recently when he told me that the Kiboko they gave Jesus reminded him of his own by the Obote 11 army at Makekenke barracks in 1980.

“Can I write your story dad?”

“No, please don’t.”

“But it is an amazing story.”

“No.” He sternly said.

The topic closed and our eyes were glued back to the movie we were watching but I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want me to write the story.

So, we were brought up by a generation that didn’t sleep. The trauma of constant coups and conflict lives with them. They will do anything to have that good night sleep. A thing that millennials cannot comprehend.

When the Ebimeeza were banned, life moved on like normal.  But After the walk to work protests, and the Buganda riots, the 9th parliament passed the Public Management Order Act passed with ease in 2013. For public interest was the reason, this law gives power to the Inspector General of Police to use his discretion to allow a public gathering. What if the IGP is in a bad mood?

That meant that Ugandans could no-longer access the city square without permission. You know this is the only green area in the Kampala central business district. The city has no parks where lovers hold hands to muse over their new love on a bench in the evening as they gaze at the stunning Kampala sunsets.  When the Kampala afternoon sun is fierce and you want to catch a breath on a park bench, this green area is no place for you. We quickly got used to the fact that the square doesn’t belong to us but rather to the Kalolis and the police guys.

Who needs the green grass and the sunset over Mapeera house when this is the digital age? We can make as much noise as we want nn our phones, after all, the digital age had dawned on us. We convinced ourselves that we would tweet, Facebook, WhatsApp all we wanted only to realize that can only happen on other days apart from days like the election day.

Ugandans are dull, Ugandans are terrible at active citizenship, why are Ugandans docile? are some of the harsh indictments that I hear from people of other nationalities and Ugandans alike. Before you judge us, understand us. We are on a leash. Our locks cut like Samson, our fangs removed, our will stripped like the Asian elephant.