KAMPALA – Former Bishop of Kampala Diocese Zac Niringiye has said Bobi Wine’s song ‘Tuliyambala Engule’ is one of the best songs he has listened to and lashed at pastors who have criticized its political message.
The song, which Bobi Wine released at the beginning of the year, has attracted condemnation from especially, Pastor Martin Ssempa, who accused the artiste-cum politician of using lyrics of Christian song to lace it with political messages.
But Bishop Niringiye said that the pastors’ concerns imply that they don’t know the impact of music on politics.
“When I first listened to this song, it struck chords within my faith and longing for a new Uganda. I have been surprised at pastors who have recently distanced themselves from the song, because of its political message,” he said.
The retired Bishop alluded to the impact of the civil rights movement and its impact on fighting racism in US, revealing that Christian songs played a key role then.
“I wonder though, what these pastors would say about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, whose progress was anchored in Christian songs, with a clear message of hope for freedom and dignity. (And I bet they sometimes refer to Martin Luther King Jr in their sermons). Their hope was inspired by faith and their songs everywhere, propelled them in their journey to freedom from slavery and oppression. Take the music away from the civil rights struggle in America, and I don’t know what you will be left with.”
When pastors deny the efficacy of faith-inspired music, they undermine their credibility and the role that faith must play in fighting for a Uganda that’s free of oppression, he said.
Pastor Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan activist and founder of the Makerere Community Church on Tuesday night accused Bobi Wine of changing the meaning/message of the song.
According to him, Bobi Wine (in the song) holds himself as the future messiah who replaces Jesus.
“As a pastor, I am glad @HEBobiwine is now singing Balokole Revival song “Olutalo Nga luwedde”, my problem is how he is changing the meaning/message of the song. What is the impact of turning a gospel worship song into a political party song? Let @HEBobiwine compose new wine political songs for his campaign! I refuse to participate in the distortion and mutilation of our collective #balokole heritage for @HEBobiwine political campaigns. I wish him well, just let him compose “another rap” suitable for the “battle,” Mr Ssempa posted on his Twitter handle @martinssempa.
He added “The song talks about a believers good fight as a Pilgrim headed for heaven.. the Biblical “new Jerusalem”. Now @HEBobiwine tells us that the new Jerusalem is NOT heaven but when he becomes Uganda’s president!! He holds himself as the future messiah who replaces Jesus!”.
In the song containing political innuendos, Bobi Wine talks of how they shall wear the victor’s crown when the struggle is finally over.
The song features other local musicians like Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Irene Ntale, Nubian Lee, Ronald Mayinja, Hillary Innocent Kiyaga aka Dr Hilderman and politicians like Bugiri Municipality, MP Asuman Basalirwa, among others.