Up until last week, my knowledge of Bobi Wine was limited to passing mentions in joints where I often found myself holding the dubious title of oldest patron.
Such joints are all over the CBD, where even casual conversation is impossible. The Boom! Boom! Boom! from the speakers rattles the rib cage as ruthlessly as it does the window panes.
At the invitation of younger colleagues, I have patronised such joints a few times in the last year, and I drive home half deaf and listening keenly in case a lung, or kidney or even the ageing heart has been shaken out of place. But let’s talk about that another day.
So I learnt that the bloke, Bobi, is also an MP. I reckon he sang his way to Parliament but that is neither here nor there. By the way, if his singing prowess was responsible for his change of fortunes, then it is okay to say he got his job for a song. No?
I tried to download a few of his songs for future reference but just like his fortunes, which are on the downswing, I was unable. It could be that I am not tech-savvy enough (there is the little matter of age, you know!) or our office Internet ‘refused’, just like the cow.
And his songs got me thinking if he has been having a premonition of his current woes. Listen to the titles: Bam Bam, Situka, By far, Timebomb, Paradiso, and Freedom, just but a few. It’s a sort of pattern if you look closely, with freedom coming much later than the other concepts.
Bobi must be getting a hundred and one ideas for his next songs, come to think of it, so perhaps what is happening to him is not really bad.
Suppose he does Bam Bam Part Two and sings about the gunshots and tear gas that has become his staple for a few days? He could even do a collabo (if you do not know what that is, you are decades older than I am, sorry for you!) with another battle-hardened consumer of Ugandan tear gas, one Kizza Bessigye.
The pair, if they have a keen nose for detail, should tell us in their potential hit single precisely what flavour of tear gas Ugandan police are using at the moment.
Bobi was reported to be in pain on Thursday but was laughing at the same time. See? What sort of fellow does that? All that is fodder for his songs. I could even do the lyrics for him. Like, macho yanacheka, moyo unalia blah, blah, blah.
By the time of writing this article, Bobi had just been released but chances were that he would be re-arrested just as happens around here. You see, the cops are the same, everywhere.
Now, that is material for even more hits. Think of a song that goes something like Now you see me, now you don’t, as he narrates his experiences in police custody. Even the poetry is amazing.
Being a young fella, the bloke may be in need of a marketing guru to take him to the next level, and that is where I come in. I have never done marketing, of course, but who says I can’t start now, especially now that the opportunity is golden?
And if I can spot the content and talent, who says I cannot get the marketing bit just right for Bobi and I to make a fortune?
Meanwhile, to start us off, Bobi needs a few tactics to outmaneuver good old Museveni and his rather zealous henchmen. Bobi will need, for starters, a residence with secret tunnels through which he can make a quick escape when he is put under house arrest.
Either that or he will need a bloke who looks exactly like he does, like make guys see double. Even literally. That way, he can go wherever he wants, and dispatch the look-alike as a decoy to fool everyone. Genius, isn’t it?He could do well to ignore the likes of Babu Owino, calling for his release and jumping onto the bandwagon.
The bottom line is that I will be helping the lad more than I will benefit. Of course, I am not the Red Cross, to work for free but that is beside the point. It is the intention that matters. Didn’t a bloke called Socrates say something like that? Or was it Plato?
So, once this Bobi guy recovers sufficiently from the clobbering and tear gas, he and I can talk.
Of course, I will not manage a bloke calling himself Wine, so that is the first things he will have to drop. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me pause. Have a musical week, folks! – The writer is Special Projects editor, People Daily