For the last decade Ugandans have known two presidents: Yoweri Museveni, the country’s long-time ruler, and musician Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine, a.k.a. His Excellency the Ghetto President.
But in a surprising turn the 35-year-old reggae star — who was just three when Museveni took power at the head of a rebel army — on Thursday won a landslide victory in a city by-election to become the country’s newest lawmaker.
Wine is a spectacularly popular Ugandan entertainer.
For many, he embodies the struggles, frustrations and hopes of the young, poor and marginalised in a youthful nation whose often elderly rulers can seem dismissive of their plight.
The by-election in the teeming capital Kampala was called due to voting irregularities during last year’s general election.
Standing as an independent, Wine defeated established candidates from both Museveni’s ruling NRM and the main opposition FDC parties.
His election marks a remarkable personal journey for the charismatic reggae star from