Bobi Wine is Living His Dream
Bobi Wine - I am a rich man. But let me put this straight. Fame and fortune are aspects of life but life is bigger than both are. You cannot compare life to money.
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First published: May 1st, 2009
Ask anyone in Uganda who the most successful music artist in Uganda is and the answer will most likely be Bobi Wine. Despite coming from the Ghetto, Bobi Wine is arguably the most successful artist in Uganda today.
He was born as Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert to Mr. and Mrs. J.W Sentamu Bulaya of Gomba, Kanoni in Mpigi district. He is from the Mbogo clan. Like most successful people, Bobi Wine had a difficult childhood. His father was poor and had many children.
"Even having enough food at home was a problem. I grew up a struggling boy with limited resources. I learnt how to survive on my own while I was still a young man and this has helped me in my music career," Bobi says in an interview.
The 28-year-old musician is the President of Uganja Republic (formerly the Fire Base Crew), a team of young musicians who say they are dedicated to fight for and improve the lives of the ghetto people around the world.
A few years ago no one could imagine that Bobi Wine, famed for smoking bang and fighting people, would become a famous and accomplished musician in Uganda. His Excellency Bobi Wine is today adored and glorified from the slums to the most affluent places in Uganda. He is one of biggest East Africa Dancehall musicians.
Like all successful people who have taken risks to achieve their goals, Bobi Wine escaped many times from home to attend dances and to go singing while growing up.
"I loved music and I always looked for an opportunity to sing or dance. My love for music showed itself during primary school because from the tender age of eight I was already head of my primary three-class choir, then I headed the school choir in my primary six," reminisces Bobi.
In 2006 Bobi Wine was named the Pearl of Africa Musician of the Year. He has churned out some of the most popular songs in Uganda, making music success his first name. Bobi Wine has 10 albums to name. His first, Namuleme was released in 1999; Kagoma (small drum) in 2001 Funtula, (2003) Bambam in (2003) and Mwekume (Protect Yourselves). In 2004, he released Taata W'abaana, Wendi (2005) album Bada (2006), Kiwani and Mazi Mawanvu (2008). He is one of the big items when it comes to live performances, which has enabled him to make money-real money.
Because of his successes in music, Bobi Wine is signed to MTN, Centenary Bank, HEPS, Aqua Safe, Life Guard Condoms and Ministry of Health among other corporate bodies. This means more money in addition to what he gets from selling music albums and performance. Bobi Wine says he is also engaging in farming and real estate business.
Today you can rightly say Bobi Wine is living his dream. He is happily married to Barbara Itungo with whom they have two children, Kampala Solomon Walakira and Shalom Nairobi. He is the President of Uganja (formerly Firebase Crew), a group that truly believes in him and adore him. He lives in a magnificent mansion in Gayaza and has driven all the vehicles he wants- including a custom made Cadillac Escalade, which he recently donated to Nakivubo Market Yard traders after they lost their business in a fire. He says he is in advanced stages of procuring himself an aeroplane.
Bobi Wine has managed to build himself a winning brand name. He is the true picture of a person rising from the most challenging situations- the ghetto to high levels of achievement.
"I am a rich man. But let me put this straight. Fame and fortune are aspects of life but life is bigger than both are. You cannot compare life to money," he says.
More than anything else, Bobi wine's story is one of dreaming big, working hard and persistently so. He started calling himself the "President", when even many ordinary people were unwilling to associate with him. Today, everyone wants to associate with him.
Bobi says he has earned a huge fan base across the world. He has been invited to perform in Zambia, Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Burundi, US, Canada, Sweden and several European countries. He has performed with leading artists like Beenie Man, Boys II Men and several others during shows in UK, Canada, the US, among others.
Bobi Wine says he is living his dream. He has already tried his hand at acting (starred in award winning movie- Divizions) released in 2006. "Divizions was a stepping-stone for my acting career and I am ready to take on the world by storm. Watch this space," he says. Bobi Wine recently launched into his other dream of boxing. He is a registered boxer and had already fought (and won) one fight.
But many people have come to know and like Bobi Wine not just for his good music but for his ability to spot and development talents of others.
Many of today's great musicians have benefited from his inspiration and support, especially the members of Fire base Crew like Buchaman, Nubian Lee, Toolman, Master Parrot, Black Boy, Banjoman, Mickey Wine (my little brother), Fantom, and even Julian Kanyomozi.
Though he has made a lot of money from music, Bobi says he joined the industry to exploit his talents and to put his university degree to good use. Bobi holds a bachelor's Degree in Music, Dance and Drama, making him one of the few educated musicians.
This has further made Bobi Wine one of the most inspiring Ugandans for both young and the old. "I keep seeing people join the music industry and struggle to rise to the top. But if you do not have the perseverance and patience, then you are bound to fail. They should try to learn to earn success, not copy it. Most upcoming artists imitate existing musicians and this leads to their failure," he advises.
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First published: May 1st, 2009