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The Crack Magazine


Bobi Wine: The People’s President

Directors: Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp

Inspirational and horrific in almost equal measure, this comprehensive documentary charts the remarkable career trajectory of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

Growing up in a slum in Kampala, Uganda, Wine managed to secure a place at Makerere University to study dance, music and drama, where he met his wife-to-be Barbie. Hailing from a well-to-do family, Barbie clearly played a part in the musician’s political awakening.

When the autocratic long-standing President Yoweri Museveni changed the constitution so he could run again, Wine, already a big Afrobeat star, made a record to protest the changes. He became the MP for the Kyadondo County East constituency, but in a horrifying incident his driver was shot after being mistaken for Bobi. Seemingly undeterred, Wine led the opposing National Unity Platform party during the notorious 2021 election where Museveni’s ruling party not only refused to enact any of the recommended safeguards, but banned EU and US independent overseers and disabled the internet.

Director’s Bwayo and Jones draw extensively on news reports to tell Wine’s story as well as genuinely shocking ground level footage of the security forces opening fire on the populace. In a moving sequence Bobi and Barbie explain to their children why they must be sent to the USA for their own safety. Seeing Bobi’s transformation from charismatic, dapper and righteous artist to a hollow-eyed and exhausted figure after being arrested and tortured by police, is genuinely harrowing, but his spirit evidently remains undimmed.

Bobi Wine: The People’s President is released 1st September

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm