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Museveni vs Wine: Uganda’s bitter election causes rift in music scene

By Musinguzi Blanshe
Posted on Thursday, 18 November 2021 10:47

Elections billboards for Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, and opposition leader and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, are seen on a street in Kampala
Elections billboards for Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, and opposition leader and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, are seen on a street in Kampala, Uganda January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Uganda's January election that saw President Yoweri Museveni defeat pop star-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi (aka Bobi Wine) has left Uganda’s music scene deeply divided.

Three groups emerged in the industry during the election season: One stuck with Bobi Wine, another joined Museveni’s camp, and a third stayed out of politics. It’s now an open question whether their divisions will ever heal.

So who are the famous names in each group?

  • Musa Ssali, aka Bebe Cool, a reggae musician who has been in the industry since the late 1990s, is a known Museveni supporter.
  • Joseph Mayanja, aka Jose Chameleone, ran for mayor of the capital Kampala this year. He oscillated from one opposition group to another before rejoining Museveni’s camp after losing the election.