Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi, best known as Bobi Wine, was declared winner of the highly contested Kyadondo East Member of Parliament seat last week. The musician turned politician won by more than 70% and a lot has been said about this victory. We also know that his biggest challenge to deliver on his promises to the people of this constituency lies ahead but we cannot help but reflect on his journey and what it teaches us young people. Below, we summarize some of the ways in which he teaches us to do better:
The rags to riches (and now power) story: Many people love Bobi Wine because of his very relate-able story of rising from nothing to success – in whatever way one defines it. Everyone is very familiar with his story of growing up in the ghetto and striving to make something out of his musical career. Many (Ugandans), especially those from less advantaged backgrounds, are inspired and motivated by his story. He is now a Member of Parliament and has always been one of Uganda’s top musicians even before this happened.
Leadership and Civic Engagement: Bobi Wine has demonstrated to be an exemplary leader even before he joined active politics. He has led by example by using his talent for good and being a voice for the voiceless through his music and charity work. His life has not been without controversy but that doesn’t mean it has stopped him from doing more for his community. When one reads through his victory speech, they won’t help but feel inspired to rise and be engaged in issues that affect their community and county at large.
Developing a unique brand for one’s success: From his music, businesses and other social engagements to his political campaign approach, Bobi Wine has positioned himself as a charismatic people person and an entertainer who appeals to the ordinary Uganda. He has always termed his music as ‘edutainment’ because the messages in them aims to impart knowledge. For example, during the 2016 presidential elections, he released songs: Dembe, appealing to youth for a peaceful election process; and Situka, calling on all Ugandans to demand for a better Uganda for future generations. Other educative songs he has released in the past included Tugambire ku Jennifer, Akalimu, Carolina, etc.
In addition, he has been very vocal about key political, civic and social issues affecting Ugandans using both online and offline media platforms. Bobi Wine has also used his prominence to give back to marginalized communities by supporting his wife’s charity work.
By using a door-to-door approach as a campaigning approach, Bobi Wine continued to demonstrate that he was a people person. This personal branding appealed to the ordinary citizen with his message, be it about change or about encouraging youth to work hard.
Respect, Support and Love Women in Your Life: This gentleman’s family is admirable. After his landslide win last week, many Ugandans took to social media to talk about the inspiring journey he has led and a few pointed out the most important factor; he has walked this journey with his wife and many even say she has influenced his journey. Just look and see for yourself in all these media pieces online and offline…Do you notice that Barbie (his wife) is by his side through most of the appearances? Many have even said on social media that he is the first MP to campaign with his wife by his side. However, one cannot forget Bobi Wine’s role in all this; surely he must treat his wife with the respect, love and support she deserves for her to stand by his side all through this journey, right? We can’t help but learn from their love story!
Working hard towards your dreams: Bobi Wine’s story is a great example of how dreams come true when one does their best. The music career, other investments attributed to his family, and the recreational center and beach in Busabala…This shows how he has hustled through all the struggles and failures. The lesson from this is that one must always rise after any storm because life is a journey. Have faith and work towards your dreams.
The older Generation Should Mentor the Young: This new Member of Parliament has always demonstrated how those with more or those who are older should show the younger generation best ways to succeed in life. He has used his talent, prominence, and resources to inspire the young to be hard working dreamers who strive be the best they can be. In so many ways! He challenges the older generation to do better and be better for those who look up to them!
All photos sourced from the web (Matooke Republic and Anne Whitehead)