KAMPALA – National Unity Platform principal Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu will forever be remembered for having laid a fertile ground for Ugandan entertainers to join politics. The Kyadondo East legislator’s political success inspired many of his fellow artists to vie for different political positions.
When he formed a political party, many of them ran to it in hope of securing tickets to run as the party flag bearers in the different political positions they hoped to take on.
The 14th January general elections saw four people from Uganda’s entertainment industry win parliamentary seats to the 11th August house. These include Racheal Magoola (NRM) for Bugweri Woman MP, Hillary Kiyaga (NUP) better known by his stage name Dr Hilderman for Mawokota South, Geoffrey Lutaaya (NUP) for Kakuuto Constituency and Solomon Kayemba (NUP) for Bukomansimbi South.
The battle lines between the ruling NRM and the opposition were finally drawn in the highly contested Mawokota South. The race was tight between Trade Minister Hon Amelia Kyambadde and Dr Hilderman.
Dr Hilderman who subscribes to Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu’s National Unity Platform party finally ousted incumbent Mawokota North MP, Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde.
Before becoming political foes, the two (Kiyaga and Kyambadde) were friends and in 2010 and Kyambadde, paid generously for Hilderman’s album launch, named after her. She went on to use the song (Amelia) in her rallies while campaigning in the 2011 elections.
Since declaring his intentions to stand, Hilderman accused Kyambadde of always making empty promises to her constituents simply to win votes.
“I feel offended when the voice of a Mawokota voter is not felt on the floor of Parliament. The only times I see my MP say a word is when she is asked about ministry business”, Hilderman said in an interview then.
Dr. Hilderman, who is a therapist by profession, started singing in 2002 and had his first hit, Mazongoto, in 2006, which pushed him higher on the local music charts. The singer was also not left behind in the wave of politics that hit the Ugandan music industry.
Legendary Racheal Magoola famed for her song ‘Obangaina’ has also graced Uganda’s entertainment industry for quite a number of years in the legendary Afrigo Band as one of the top females in the band to reckon with. Magoola’s song Obangaina was at one time also used by Amb Wasswa Birigwa in his campaigns in the early 2000s. She will now take on the mantle as the legislator for the women in Bugweri in the 11th parliament.
Solomon Kayemba who will be representing the people of Bukomansimbi South has had his footprints in the entertainment industry as an artist manager. He has had his hands on artists like Chris Evans, Rema Namakula.
Geoffrey Lutaaya on the other hand has had a successful musical career that spans a decade. The soft spoken singer was one of the founding members of the legendary Eagles Production band before ditching it to form his own Da New Eagles band.
The ‘Nice and Lovely’ singer has been able to succeed on his first shot to the political space after having just his singing as his sole career over the years.
Lutaaya upon getting through the NUP Election Vetting Committee for the position of Member of Parliament for Kakuuto County revealed that he attributes his positive results to his loyalty to the party, not just his education.
“I can confirm that my opponent is more educated than me. People should therefore understand that it is not about education but the loyalty to the party. I have been a people power supporter and I have made sure my support is not in the dark. I am sure this is the exact reason why I managed to get through,” he said then.
The four entertainers will now take after Judith Babirye, Kato Lubwama and Bobi Wine who have been legislators in the 10th parliament.
Other artists who had their eyes on the 11th parliament include Hon Kato Lubwama and Sadat Mukiibi (Khalifa Aganaga) who were both vying for Rubaga South before the latter chickened out leaving the race for the former who was also trounced by NUP’s Aloysious Mukasa, Eddie Yawe (Bobi’s elder brother) who also had his eyes on the Kira Municipality Seat that was won by Hon Semuju Nganda (FDC) and Jose Chameleone who now has his eyes on the Kampala Mayoral slot.
Ronald Mayinja had also earlier on expressed his intentions to represent the people of Gomba constituency before he ditched his dreams to parliament and crossed over to the ruling NRM where he recorded the campaign theme song for the president that has since made him the darling singer in the party. The song dubbed Mzee Akalulu also won him an accolade in the recently concluded Museveni Election Music Awards (MEMAs).