LUNCH WITH THE FT: Bobi Wine, Uganda’s ‘ghetto president’, is, indeed, improving with age
At first Wine thought he could influence events through his music but slowly came to the conclusion he had to become involved in politics to represent the interests of the ghetto
“Welcome to the ghetto.” Rarely if ever can a Lunch with the FT, whose encounters more often take place in a Manhattan bistro or Mayfair grill, have begun with such words. But today I’m lunching in a Kampala slum with Bobi Wine, the self-styled “ghetto president” and bête noire of Uganda’s political establishment.
At 37, Wine has built on his fame as a rapper and musical activist to win a seat in parliament and put himself in a position to mount a credible — if as yet undeclared — presidential bid in 2021. In the process, he has been arrested multiple times, nearly beaten to death and become an icon of resistance not only for the young and dispossessed of Uganda but for youth across Africa.