Last year, the musician-turned-parliamentarian Bobi Wine shook Uganda – and all of Africa – with his enduring commitment to democracy in the face of incredible adversity. His travails have not gone unnoticed. The Ugandan politician enters the New Year as one of the foremost political and cultural icons of modern Africa, earning him recognition in Foreign Policy magazine’s list of “Global Thinkers“.
Uganda’s firebrand singer-turned-politician grew up poor in Kampala. Today, he represents a section of the city as a member of parliament. Bobi Wine, born Robert Kyagulanyi, has rallied Uganda’s youth by arguing against a proposed social media tax and fighting for the dignity of the poor. Ugandan soldiers attempted to silence Wine in August 2018, first beating him brutally and then bringing him to trial for treason in a military court, although he is a civilian. Wine recovered, picked up attention in the international media, and his “people power” campaign continues, undeterred.