Under House Arrest, Bobi Wine Releases Song on Brutality by Police

Bobi Wine being arrested after Police blocked his concert in Busabala (Photo: Sqoop).

Remember the proverbial phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’? That’s what would best explain the making of singer Bobi Wine’s latest single ‘Afande’ released this week.

The singer and opposition politician had been placed under house arrest at his home in Magere after Police blocked his concert at his One Love Beach in Busabala.

He says the concert which was scheduled for Easter Sunday is the 124th concert organized by himself that has been blocked by Police.

Despite being denied freedom to leave his home, Bobi Wine saw an opportunity to tell a story out of the sad incident. And guess to whom the message was targeted – the Police officers.

The music video opens as the singer is pleading with a Police officer who was mishandling him during his most recent arrest.

“Why are you hurting me? I have no problem with you. do you people want to break my hand? Why are you people beating me? You’re breaking me officer. I’m not fighting you my brother, I am fighting for you,” Bobi Wine is heard yelling as a number of Police officers drag him from his vehicle to a waiting Police truck.

From the visuals displayed in the music video, the Kyadondo East MP captures a series of events and his nasty encounters with the Police. Some of the incidents relate with his political activities, activism, while others are involve his music.

The song ‘Afande’ highlights the brutality meted on opposition politicians and ordinary citizens by Police. The video captures scenes of activist Stella Nyazi and opposition figures like Norbert Mao, Kiiza Besigye and Mugisha Muntu being manhandled by Police officers.

In a tweet posted this week Bobi said; “I used the past two days under house arrest to compose a song which I now dedicated to our men and women in uniform”.

The video also features graphic images of the so-called Sweet Pepsi who was hit by Police during one of the protests by Bobi Wine within the city, leaving his head soaked in blood. Another scene that is highlighted many times is one of Akena, a photojournalist kneeling down raising his camera as military personnel repeatedly battered him using sticks, while he covered riots in Kampala agitating for the release of Bobi Wine in 2018.

Two days after its release, the song had 161,000 views on YouTube.

The multilingual song has Bobi Wine singing in Kiswahili, Luganda, English and Luo among others. The key message he is passing on is that his struggles (the issues he advocates for in his music and politically) are not for his personal benefit but for the benefit of the security officers that brutalize him as well.

For the large part of the song, Bobi Wine employs Kiswahili, a language best understood and used by all Police personnel.

“I want our children to go to good school, families access better hospital and live decent lives,” he sings as the video captures an over lay of ramshackle housing units at different police stations.

Bobi Wine has had man run-ins with security agencies and in 2018 accused the Police of torturing him during his arrest and his subsequent detention. He uses ‘Afande’ to acknowledge that security officers work under orders but is quick to add that they must have personal consciousness for the actions they take.

The song is his second release after
‘Tuliyambala Engule’, initially a religious song but which Bobi Wine redid to tell the political situation in the county while giving hope for a better state of affairs once the current government has been changed.

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