Bobi Wine

"The world is looking for somebody to do something, not explain why he did not."

These words, uttered by none other than Mr. Bobi Wine reveal one who has gone through it all. By that, I mean all the constant hardships and hopelessness third world musicians go through without any breakthrough to success. But Mr. Bobi Wine is one of the few exceptions to the rule. His story has been the most inspiring one we have heard at www.musicuganda.com.

Born on the 12th of February in 1982 in Mpigi District south west of Kampala capital, Bobi Wine was christened Robert Kyagulanyi and joined nine other siblings into the harsh life of ghetto living in Kamwokya, one of the worst slums of Kampala.

His childhood life was characterized by moving from one school to another that he lost count.
"I could only study for a term before getting expelled for fees. So the only option was to move to another."

In secondary school he experienced set backs as his problems became more complicated.
"I used to have no money for uniforms and my mother was doing her best to cater for my fees and the family. So I had to go around doing odd jobs like collecting water for money and things like that."

If his problems taught him anything, definitely innovation was one of them.
"Underground shows with a Walkman, a borrowed amplifier and a speaker was how I used to make ends meet. I would spread the word and after school charge students fifty shillings (less than half dollar) per head and we would jam! I got into trouble with the school administration but that was the way I made my pocket money."

By the end of his 'O' levels he had composed many songs but had no money to record. It was one of the most disheartening things in his pursuit of his musical dream.
"We would listen to the local songs on radio and know we could do better, but the expensive rates would just keep us from recording our numbers. I know of many good artists, some better than I who gave up because it wasn't worth it. It was so frustrating………So frustrating."

In '98 after his 'A' levels, he finally saved some money over the years to record and managed to make four tracks; Kalyonso, Doreen, Namulembe but they were of very low quality. They therefore did not receive any credit or attention. That didn't faze him. He increased his intensity of odd jobs like collecting edible grasshoppers for sale in his vacation.

Then he tried his luck again in 2000, and recorded Abakyala, this didn't do well either. By then he was in his first year in Makerere University and made mud bricks during his free time. He also did painting, while he was a porter at a building site.

I wasn't afraid of my friends disrespecting me because they understood my situation. Besides I am not after giving a false impression of myself so I could go work and perform at occasions like Karaoke in nightspots around the city."

Then finally, late last year the chance to record again came and Bobi managed to record his song "Akagoma" meaning 'the drum'.
" I had to do it within thirty minutes because I was in through backdoor connections. And when thirty minutes was up I was kicked out. I thank those guys." This song later became a hit and is now the latest radio and nightclub craze. Finally Mr. Bobi Wine has room to breathe.

With an album spanning six tracks like Angel featuring his long time musical friend, Parrot, the album is definitely a must hear. This album is the characteristic of Ugandan talent and definitely Mr. Bobi Wine is destined for greater heights.

 

" I love the reggae/dancehall style because I feel that's the best way I can express myself. And also it is the best medium to communicate content and message. It is because I have something to say and that's the best medium for it. It is music for my people, the poor where I come from.

Artists like Shabba and Bounty Killer are the major inspirations for my music. I chose music because I never had real happiness in life, it's the only thing that consoles me."
So here's musicuganda's favorite question; what has been his best and worst moment in his music career?

"My best moment is yet to come. I haven't yet reached my goals yet. Until then I won't have peace.
" My worst moment has been The Millennium Show at Lugogo show grounds. We were totally disrespected and booed down by the crowd. It was really bad. And the Sanyu Carnival last year. It was awful.

What about his best person?

" My mother and any one who loves me. Anybody who hates me is my worst person. My role models are my Mom and Dad."

So are there any new songs coming up soon?

"Yes, I have a busy work schedule coming up since I have completed my course. This time, it's really going to be the bomb."

All right we'll wait for that and until then watch this space.

Jah Bless!