“Will you vote for Bobi wine?” I asked her as she bent down washing her clothes. She looked up, with beaming eyes, she said, “bring the ballot now, I will put my tick for my ghetto president.” You seem to like him very much. “Of course, I do,” she said, “he is our hope, I have lived in this ghetto for 15 years now, I came 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 hustle, “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.” I could see the spark of love in his eyes as he described Bobi wine.
This Wine has a vital ingredient for a revolution – charisma. The cowardly government knows that and they sort of don’t know what to do with him. The government has cancelled his concerts, they have sent social media bots and PR machinery to discredit him; make him look like he doesn’t know anything about policy; claiming that he is working with colonialists, as I write this, the 36-year-old musician turned politician has been remanded to Luzira Prison – Uganda’s main prison.
The reason for the arrest is a long forgotten case, he was arrested for leading a demonstration to protest the social media and mobile money tax in July 2018. 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 old pants. The nostalgia and age-anxiety reminds 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 – laws like the Public Order Management Act are 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 gather 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 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, he even knows how to sing.