Ugandan Singer turned politician, Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi), this week unveiled his latest political song, laced as most of them have, with sharp political messages targeting the current regime under President Yoweri Museveni and his NRM government. The song, titled Tuliyambala Engule , in which the Kyadondo East Parliamentary representative promises a utopia-like future Uganda after his People Power movement is finally in charge, is on course to become yet another hit.
The song, however, is not sitting well with some of the members of the Born-again Pentecostal church, from where it was lifted. One such member, Pastor Martin Ssempa of the Makerere Community Church thinks Bobi Wine attempted in the new song to equate himself to Jesus.
The pastor accuses the singer of changing the message of the original church song and wonders what the impact is of turning a gospel worship song into a political party song. The old song, Ssempa says, talks about a believers’ good fight as a Pilgrim headed for heaven — the Biblical “New Jerusalem”. “Now Bobi Wine 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!” “The crown of glory talked about is Victor’s crown given by God to those who overcome. Bobi Wine says it’s the crown every Ugandan will get when he is president! While his song of medical services for women is good, having good healthcare is not heaven! It’s a right!” charged the man of God. “The battle or Olutalo is a Balokole song of battling against Satan and his demonic minions of the world. Bobi Wine says it’s now his battles with Police tear gas at his rallies. Our battle is firstly spiritual then rewards will be given to the Victor by God.” “This song was composed and is owned by our Balokole. My late mother, a fearless evangelist asked that we sing it at her funeral. It was most meaningful to reflect on the great sacrifices of a single mother raising 8 children and battling to keep the faith.” The pastor advised Bobi Wine to “compose new wine political songs for his campaign,” adding, “The politicization of our sacred worship songs is NOT good.”
“Adding the rastaman “Yagayagayo” to the sacred texts of our sacred song distorts their meaning and mutilates its holy dignity!” The new song is also a likely target of government censorship according to some industry experts, due to its direct political undertones with calls to the masses to take action. In the song, the singer rallies Ugandans to obtain their national identity cards and to speak for themselves, and change what’s oppressing them. The song however features an array of other parties including Irene Ntale, Dr. Hilderman, King Saha, Irene Namatovu, Nubian Lee, Pastor Wilson Bugembe, and Ronald Mayinja, leading some observers to doubt whether the government will target all of them.