Bobi Wine

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Bobi Wine
Bobi Wine.png
Bobi Wine
Born (1982-02-12) 12 February 1982 (age 33)
Residence Kampala, Uganda
Nationality Ugandan
Ethnicity Muganda
Citizenship Uganda
Education General Education
Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Occupation Musician, entrepreneur, entertainer, philanthropist
Years active 2000 – present
Known for Music
Home town Kanoni
Relatives Mikie Wine (Brother)

Bobi Wine (real name Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi) is a musician from Uganda. He was born on 12 February 1982 in Mpigi District South West of Kampala District. He was baptised Robert Kyagulanyi in the Roman Catholic Church. He went to Makerere University in Kampala. He started making music in the early 2000s. His first singles were Akagoma, Funtula and Sunda (featuring Ziggy D), which brought Wine into the limelight.[1] He was previously part of the group Fire Base Crew. Later he formed new group Ghetto Republic of Uganja, which he leads.[2]

In 2009 he toured the United States[3] In 2009 musician Bebe Cool was hospitalised after Wine beat him during a show in Kampala. Wine has also been charged for erecting a building without the permission of the Kampala City Council[4]

The Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) has given him a professional boxing license.[5]

Wine, like many other top Ugandan artists, is greatly loved, and his music is greatly embraced at the grass-roots level and he has been praised for singing meaningful music. He has had quite a number of conflicts with the famous Bebe Cool and Chameleone. He is associated to other musicians like Buchaman and Nubian Li who have sung alongside him in various productions. Wine is also a movie actor, mainly starring in a few local movies commonly known as Binayugandda. He is well known for his love of cars and has quite a fleet of them, including the famous American SUV the Escalade. Bobi Wine is also associated with a famous TV show that is filmed at his plush lake-view mansion. He has recently released a brand new song entitled "Dilemma" starring Mr.G, Cindy, and Wine himself.

Humanitarian work[edit]

Bobi 's lyrics often promote advocacy for ghetto-residents in Uganda. He has supported several practical projects to improve conditions for the poor.[6] In July 2012, he started a campaign to promote more regular cleaning in hospitals,[7] and more attention to sanitization, garbage management and hand washing to prevent disease. A YouTube video from September 2012 shows Bobi joining Kampala mayor Elias Lukwago in cleaning up Kamwokya, the slum neighbourhood where he grew up. Also in 2012, Bobi donated funds to build pit latrines and construct a drainage channel in Kisenyi II, a Kampala slum that New Vision, a major local newspaper, described as being "characterized by filth, crowded shanty structures, poor sanitation and lack of basic social facilities."[8] The newspaper quoted Wine as explaining "I am doing this because these are my people, and no matter where I go, this will always be home." He has also campaigned for malaria prevention, with donations to the Nakasongola Health Centre, and reference to the disease in his songs.[9] "Malaria is more dangerous than Al-Shabab" became a popular refrain in one of his 2010 songs.

He visited the Bundibugyo Refugee Camp in Rwenzori region in August 2013,[10] along with representatives from Save the Children [1], UNHCR and the Red Cross to deliver funds and supplies. The same year, Bobi was appointed Parenting Ambassador by Twaweza, a NGO that focuses on education and citizen engagement in East Africa; his message in this partnership was to promote responsible parenting among his Ugandan fans. "Education is what will ultimately change the course of our country and as an artiste and a father, I believe we can all make a difference in our children’s learning," he said.

In November 2013 he held what local media reported to be Uganda's first[11] large-scale free entry album launch concert, at the Lugogo Cricket Oval, a very large venue, where donations were collected by the Red Cross for victims of landslides in Bududa, in Eastern Uganda.

In 2014, Bobi Wine was appointed a Save the Children Ambassador for their EVERY ONE Campaign, and joined a team of 14 Ugandan artists who recorded a special song and video about maternal and child health. Other leading Uganda artists in the video included Jose Chameleone, and Radio and Weasel, who make up the Goodlyfe Crew. Bobi and his wife Barbie (Kyagulanyi Barbie Itungo) traveled to hospitals throughout Uganda – including Nakaseke Hospital, meeting with midwives and health workers, to popularize the campaign.[12] Save the Children also took Bobi to other regions with the EVERY ONE Campaign, including a refugee camp for South Sudanese.[13]


In July 2014 it was announced that Wine was to perform in the United Kingdom, at The Drum arts centre in Birmingham and the Troxy in London.[14] This led to calls for a ban because of his lyrics advocating violence against gay people.[15] Both venues subsequently cancelled Wine's appearances.[16][17]


Bobi Wine has won awards at the prestigious HiPipo Music Awards (HMA) and Pearl Of Africa Music Awards.




  1. ^ Saturday Vision, 12 June 2009: Your Stars - Bobi Wine
  2. ^ Guardian Unlimited, 5 January 2009: Scene and heard: Ugandan dancehall
  3. ^ Sunday Vision, 6 October 2007: Ugandan artistes invade America
  4. ^ Daily Monitor, 8 June 2009: Bobi Wine beats up Bebe Cool
  5. ^ The Monitor, 7 November 2008: Bobi Wine Secures Pro Boxing License
  6. ^ "New Vision". Bobi Wine appointed parenting ambassador. New Vision. 29 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "KoonaDance". BOBI WINE STARTS FREE HOSPITAL CLEANING CAMPAIGN. koonadance. 6 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "New Vision". Bobi giving back to the hands that lifted him up. New Vision. 6 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "bigeye". Bobi Wine In Campaign Against Malaria. 24 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bobi WINE in Bundibugyo Charity Drive". 14 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Daily Monitor". 11 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Healthy Newborn Network". 11 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "New Vision". Bobi Wine thrills South Sudanese refugees. 15 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Anti-gay Ugandan singer due to perform in Birmingham and London". Pink News. 24 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Bobi Wine UK Performance Faces Resistance". Chimp Reports. 28 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "‘Burn the gays’ rapper axed from UK venues". Gay Star News. 29 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Anti-gay rapper banned from Birmingham venue over homophobic lyrics". Birmingham Mail. 29 July 2014. 
  18. ^ HiPipo Music Awards 2013
  19. ^ List of Nominees for the 1st HiPipo Music Awards

External links[edit]