The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Bobi Wine Disproves Critics

There has always been debate of who won the battle of champions:

The Bobi Wine versus Bebe Cool concert broke Kyadondo rugby grounds records, which filled up for the first time, with hundreds of fans locked out. Early this month, Bebe Cool took the lead, returning to Kyadondo with his Kamwako concert, which reportedly burnt promoter Balaam Barugahara's fingers with a loss of over Shs 90m; Bebe Cool's fans were swallowed up in the extensive grounds.

Last Friday was Bobi Wine's turn with the Tugambire Ku Jennifer concert. And if the yardstick for a successful concert is numbers, then he beat Bebe Cool hands down as Kyadondo roared with a sea of people. Bobi knows his fans well; he chose a small VIP section where seats were only availed on demand.

The rest of the grounds were left to his ghetto people who have been the main 'victims' of Jennifer Musisi's recent developments in Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). By 8pm, the VIP section was yet to fill up, but by 9:30pm, you could hardly find a seat.

Among the patrons who had already arrived were Bobi Wine's wife Barbie Itungo, Juma Seiko, Godfrey Nyakana, and singer Jose Chameleone, who came as a guest.

There was a string of artistes, from Leone Island's King Saha, Papa Cidy, Young Mulo, AK47 and Fire Base's Dicanio, Banjo Man, as well as Big Talent Entertainment's Gravity, Big Eye, and Chris Evans. However, the defining moment came at 10pm with the arrival of Col Kizza Besigye in the company of Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Kawempe division mayor, Mubarak Munyagwa.

Everyone was on their feet screaming and waving the V-sign. Later, Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, quietly arrived and took up his seat at a reserved table. There were no speeches. The show kicked off with Fire Base's Micky Wine doing Majyambere, a song that hits at Bebe Cool.

When David Lutalo stormed the stage with Engumba Zange, fans went crazy. Aziz Azion forgot what makes him unique, turning up without his guitar and opting to do what everyone was doing - miming. Coco Finger's energetic performance on My Miss was memorable, before the Goodlyfe boys put up an awesome performance.

At 10:30pm, Solid band came on stage. It was the moment everyone had been waiting for. In a white jacket, white trousers and red T-shirt, Bobi Wine made his grand entrance, amidst cheering from his fans. He started with Nyimbira Kabaka Wange, a song that defines him well as Omubanda Wa Kabaka.

However, the glitches in the sound left his fans that had risen up to dance, stranded. You could hardly hear Bobi sing. Once the sound was sorted, Bobi entertained his fans for over an hour before taking a break. He followed up Nyimbira Kabaka Wange with Mr Katala, Mazzi Mawanvu, Kiwani, Carolina - before taking off the jacket.

He took fans down memory lane, sampling songs like Akagoma, Kadingo, Bad Man from Kamwokya, Kabaseke, Wesotinge, Bad, Kicomando, Wendi and Aneeganye, where he was joined by Henry Tigan.

He left the stage to Tigan who was joined by Dr Hilderman who kept the interlude lively before Bobi Wine returned for a second session wearing a black jacket, white T-shirt and trousers. This session was carefully arranged to bring out the different sides of Bobi Wine as a musician; the band, especially the bassist and keyboardists, were wonderful.

Bobi rolled off the session with Matyansi Butyampa, following it up with Number One that brought Nubian Lee who had been backing him. This was before we went into a love chapter where he did songs such as Adam Ne Kaawa, Singa and I Promise, which he dedicated to his wife.

Bobi Wine then did his rendition of Paul Kafeero's Dipo Naziggala. The singer then introduced Kabaya, with whom they did Ayagala Mulaasi, before ushering us into a political session. Although, Bobi Wine kept reminding us that he isn't a politician, this session received great attention.

He started off with Ebibuuzo, a song that raises so many questions without answers. He then did Ekirooto where he dreams of a day when Besigye and Museveni, Lukwago and Musisi will be at the same table talking peace - before crowing it with Obululu Tebutwawula.

The singer then took another break after assurance from Kaweesi that he could perform past midnight. He returned at 12:20am with Mr Money, a song where Bobi Wine took time to shake hands with his guests.

South Africa-based businessman, Ivan Ssemwanga (husband to Zari Hussein) Ivan lived up to the message in the song that "man made money but money made man mad" when he caused havoc in the VIP section by dishing out Shs 50,000 notes.

Security had to intervene, as all the attention had turned to the businessman as people fought to have a share of the money. Bobi Wine capped his performance with the eagerly-awaited Tugambire Ku Jennifer, ending the show at 1am.

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