Bobi Wine hopes his new film will draw attention to the political situation in Uganda.
The documentary, “Bobi Wine: Ghetto President,” is a behind the scenes look at Wine’s transition from reggae star to Ugandan presidential candidate.
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was the main challenger in the 2021 vote against long-time leader Yoweri Museveni – who won with 58 percent of the ballots cast.
Wine, who was detained and harassed multiple times ahead of the vote, rejected the outcome as fraudulent, claiming there was video evidence of the military stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people and chasing voters away from polling stations.
Museveni dismissed the claims of vote-rigging. While he failed to take office, Wine says the film is “an overwhelming success.”
Speaking at the Venice International Film Festival Thursday (2 SEPTEMBER 2022), Wine said he hoped the film “causes the international political community to reflect on what they are sponsoring.”
“I hope then they get to realize what exactly they are paying for, what they’re sponsoring: genocide, murder, oppression, dictatorship,” he says.
Wine says he’s “always wanted things to change” in Uganda but it was an incident with authorities 15-years ago that convinced him he needed to do more.
“I was attacked by security operatives and beaten up with impunity. Just because I had a beautiful car and girls were sending me flying kisses and it was a young man like me. So he slapped the hell out of me and asked me why I was showing off, as if I did not know that the country had owners. That challenged me to remember that so many people had been and were still going through the same thing. But I was deceitfully comfortable thinking that I am safe. That’s when I realize that nobody safe from this war.”
“After another 10 years of singing positive and politically conscious music, still it did not change so much. So I decided to take a step into politics to see that this actually changes.”
Wine has no intention of stopping his fight, although he isn’t able to say what his next step will be.
“Honestly, I don’t know, because in a dictatorship, you don’t plan. You don’t decide the next course. It’s a dictatorship that decides. I might tell you, ‘I want to do this.’ And then when I go back home, I’m kept in jail for a certain amount of time. Or even do the worst to me. So I don’t know. I just live every day as if it’s my last day. And I want to make sure every day I walk, I speak and I act like there’s no tomorrow. Yeah. For me, tomorrow is a luxury.”
“Bobi Wine: Ghetto President” is showing out of competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.