Bebe Cool

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Bebe Cool
Bebe Cool at HiPipo Music Awards 2014 Artist of The Year.png
Bebe Cool at the HiPipo Music Awards in 2014
Background information
Birth nameMusa Ssali
Also known asBig Size
Born (1977-09-01) 1 September 1977 (age 42)
OriginKampala, Uganda
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, record producer, actor
Years activec. 1997–present

Bebe Cool (real name Musa Ssali; born 1 September 1977) is an African reggae and ragga musician from Uganda. He started his career around 1997 in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved back to his native country a few years later. Bebe Cool was one of the first artists affiliated with Ogopa DJs, a production house and record label in Kenya.

Early life[edit]

Bebe Cool attended Aga Khan Primary School, in Kampala, Kitante Hill School, and Makerere College School, where he completed his high school studies. At high school, he studied Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics (PCB/M). Bebe Cool (formerly Bebe Bunton) started his music career right from high school when he was acting as an entertainment prefect.[1]

Music career[edit]

Bebe Cool is a three-time winner of the Artist of The Year Award at the Prestigious HiPipo Music Awards[2] and won several accolades at Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards).[3] He was nominated for the Kora All-African Awards in 2003 and 2005. He has toured in the United Kingdom and the United States.[4] Two of his popular singles are "Fitina" and "Mambo Mingi".[5]

He also collaborated with Halima Namakula, a Ugandan veteran woman musician, on their crossover track "Sambagala". He released two solo albums, Maisha and Senta. His lyrics are in Luganda, Swahili, and English. Together with Kenyan duo Necessary Noize, Bebe Cool has formed a reggae group known as the East African Bashment Crew. They have released one album, Fire, and two hit singles, "Africa Unite" and "Fire". The group was nominated at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2008.[6]

In 2013, Bebe Cool had a music battle with one of Nigeria's top artists D'banj in a neutral place, Glamis Arena Harare Zimbabwe.[7] The show was organized under the theme "Battle for Africa". Bebe Cool put up a great performance at the battle.[7]

In 2014, Bebe Cool’s remade Born in Africa remix song, a remake of the late Philly Lutaaya's song was voted among Africa’s greatest songs of all time.[8]

The song came at number 15 in Fifty anthems for the African continent. BBC World Service listeners suggested the African songs that summed up the continent to them.[8] This was to mark the 50th anniversary of the African Union – formerly the Organization of African Unity, From the suggestions, the BBC’s DJ Edu, who hosts a weekly African music show on BBC radio, compiled them into a special five-minute mix of 50 songs from 50 countries.[8]

Bebe Cool has performed in the Big Brother house twice. From 2016 to 2018, there was rising controversy against Bebe Cool for being a chief organizer for Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the then-president of Uganda who had been described by international media outlets as dictatorial. Ugandans at one time chased him off the stage in a show before he could sing.[citation needed]

Bebe Cool won one Afrima award for the best East African male artist in 2018.

Personal life[edit]

In January 2010, he was injured when a policeman shot at him.[9]

On 11 July 2010, Bebe Cool was performing at the Kyadondo Rugby Club when a bomb set by Somali Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab exploded (July 2010 Kampala attacks). According to Cool, "Most people who died were just in front of me. The blast was so loud—the next thing I saw were body parts flying over."[10]


In 2008, Bebe Cool performed for the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert at Hyde Park London, to mark Mandela's 90th birthday. He was also named by Nelson Mandela as one of the 46664 African ambassadors. 46664 is a campaign of raising awareness against HIV/AIDS that was initiated by the late Nelson Mandela.[11][12]

On 3rd August 2018, music lovers were treated with surprises at Bebe Cool’s music concert dubbed, The Golden Heart.[13] At the concert, Bebe Cool was fundraising to sponsor five children with heart diseases to receive medical treatment in India.[14] He reasons that Ugandans and well-wishers will throng the concert to fight for his cause. “I am happy to report that this year, in partnership with Action for Disadvantaged people (ACDIPE)[15], I was able to facilitate the travel and the successful operation of one of these children Sheila. There is however six (6) more such children that needs our support if they are to stand a chance at living a normal life” said Bebe Cool. He had announced the show was to be held at Serena Hotel but decided to change the venue two weeks to the day. “Because Serena has limited space which couldn’t accommodate my fan base this time round, there is no difference with a concert at Serena[16] only that at Kololo[17] has enough space, ample parking space and tight security’’ he added.




  • 2003 Kora Awards – Best East African Artist[31]
  • 2007 MOBO Awards
  • 2011 Tanzania Music Awards – Best East African Song ('Kasepiki')[32]
  • 2013 HiPipo Music Awards – Best Reggae Song (Ntuyo Zange), Best Dancehall/Ragga Song (No Body Move), Best Musician on Social Media[33]
  • Nominated in Afrimma Awards 2014
  • Australia Radio Afro Song of the Year 2015
  • Nominated in Afrimma Awards 2018 " Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa and Best African Rock categories" .[34]


  1. ^ New Times Reporter (2000). "Celebrity Central: Bebe Cool". New Times (Rwanda). Kigali. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  2. ^ HiPipo (3 August 2013). "Music For Nature | Videos | News | Uganda | East Africa". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ Joseph Ssemutooke (7 November 2010). "PAM Awards: The Winner Is." New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ Steven Tendo (2004). "Bebe Cool by Steven Tendo" (Archived from the original on 5 September 2012). Kampala: Music In Uganda. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. ^ MTV Base Africa (28 September 2007). "Profile of Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool" (Archived from the original on 28 September 2007). MTV Base Africa. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  6. ^ Alireid42 (8 October 2008). "MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) 2008 - The Nominees" (Archived from the original on 14 July 2011). Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b Tinotenda Samukange (28 October 2013). "D'Banj Disappoints As Bebe Cool Shines". NewsDay Zimbabwe. Harare. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Roy Ruva (24 June 2014). "Bebe Cool's Song In Top 50 BBC Anthems For The African Continent". Kampala: Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  9. ^ Monitor Online Team (30 January 2010). "Bebe Cool Shot, Rushed to Nsambya Hospital". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  10. ^ Peter Wonacott and Nicholas Bariyo (13 July 2010). "Militants Find Symbolic Targets in Uganda". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  11. ^ Coke Studio Africa (2017). "Profile of Moses Ssali, Also Known As Bebe Cool". The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  12. ^ Andrew Kaggwa (10 December 2013). "Meeting Mandela Was Better Than Music Awards - Bebe Cool". The Observer (Uganda). Kampala. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Golden Heart Concert; Bebe Becomes First Ugandan Artiste to Perform under 'Dome' at Kololo". Trumpet News. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  14. ^ Eye, Big (3 September 2018). "Bebe Cool sees off kids with heart problems to India for surgery. [Photo]". BigEye.UG. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Home". Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  16. ^ " - Deals & Discounts for Hotel Reservations from Luxury Hotels to Budget Accommodations". Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Home Hippo". Home Hippo. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  18. ^ "The Pearl Of Africa Music Awards". Archived from the original on 4 February 2005. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  19. ^ "PAM Awards". 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  20. ^ "2006 Uganda Pam Awards Winners". Uganda Online. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  21. ^ "2006 Uganda Pam Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Home of the African Music Fan". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  23. ^ "2007 PAM Awards: The Winners". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Home of the African Music Fan". Musek.come. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Home of the African Music Fan". Museke. Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  26. ^ [1] Archived 6 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "The Observer". 11 November 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Music For Nature | Videos | News | Uganda | East Africa". 3 August 2013. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h "HiPipo Music Awards | The Fans Decide". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  30. ^ a b c d "Winners of the 3rd HiPipo Music Awards | HiPipo Music Awards". Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  31. ^ "Kora Awards". Archived from the original on 2 March 2004. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  32. ^ "Tanzania: '20 Percent' Grabs Seven Kili Music Awards Nominations". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  33. ^ "Music For Nature | Videos | News | Uganda | East Africa". 3 August 2013. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  34. ^ Big Eye (12 October 2018). "Bebe Cool Nominated in Prestigious AFRIMA-Ghana Awards". Kampala: BigEye Uganda. Retrieved 28 October 2019.

External links[edit]