That #BobiWineOnlineShow

Bobi Wine on Sunday held an online show.

His must have been like the twentieth after we have been attacked with a number of them since Museveni effected the lockdown.

It is hard to say this show was highly anticipated – being an active politician, Bobi Wine basically spent the week talking about as many things but the concert; he has issues with parliament thanks to his statements about that Shs10b on other days, he would be talking about his friend Zaake that was in hospital, or receiving taunts from fans after one of his supporters and vlogger Ashburg Kato received aid from famous promoter Balaam.

Basically there was no time to concentrate on marketing the show – the artwork was out with well-wishers or paid influencers taking it around but you could hardly feel the vibe – in fact, it is easy to imagine some people had even forgotten the show was happening.

Yet that’s the beauty of technology, you don’t dress up or plan for transport and drinks, you simply charge a phone, load a data bundle and just like that, you’re plugged in.

Bobi Wine’s concert was not necessarily a Covid-19 lockdown show, it was hinged on the Mothers’ Day celebration that was on the same day. People in Kamwokya have for long told stories of Musawo Margaret Nalunkuuma, some have said she was a dedicated supporter of the Democratic Party, a midwife and an entrepreneur. Of course what people in Kamwokya say then and now about Musawo may differ, but there’s one constant, she was Bobi Wine’s mother.

On this day, her more than anyone, even when departed, was being celebrated by the son – you should have seen his soulful performance as he did Super Woman, the emotions he invested in the song and live performance.

Aptly titled Ensasage Mu Nyumba, Luganda for chaos in the house, we started with a shot of his house with Nubian Li his friend and singing partner outside, then Bobi Wine walks out and takes a seat just next to his friend and the stage was set.

Not an ordinary lockdown session, he wasn’t performing in front of a random camera as it is usually with these things, he was living this moment. It was a production, the cinematography – from the aerial views, safely timed shots of girls at the fireplace with a bow harp soundtrack, then the lighting that played well with the white walls of his Magere palace.

Then the sound and the music direction was another story – everything was well planned, for instance, everything in his compound was part of the production and thus calculated to carry the story, a hanging Ugandan flag in the rear, probably some even missed it, the fireplace, the almost ready maize on that fire, the traditional music orchestra that fused beautifully with Solid Band which is said to have been under the musical direction of Myko Ouma and Paddyman.

This same band had received lots of ridicule after Jose Chameleone’s show of a kind and yet, even less than two weeks later, they were sounding different, tighter than many of them have heard them before.

But why was Bobi Wine’s show special?

Well, Bobi Wine is a politician, probably the first artiste to become a politician and continue being an active artiste.

Since joining the parliament, he has had one sold-out concert and all the others have been blocked. In 2019, the only times Bobi Wine took to the stage was at other people’s shows; you could argue that keeping Bobi Wine away from the stage made him marketable, created thirst among music lovers.

In the same way, the absence made Bobi Wine miss what he really loves doing, not just a passion but a profession; he must have used the time away to improve his art and connect with the conscience material he has written over the years.

When Covid-19 happened, it presented solutions for many artistes in his position. For a man that has not been able to perform since December 31, 2018 at Enkuka, It was clear he threw his weight behind the show, the sleek production was better than anything any Ugandan artiste or company has done during their respective lockdown shows, the attention to detail and the story that lay within the performances and transitions.

It was a show that met an audience and artiste that were both ready for each other, and even those that may disagree with him or simply dislike him too wanted something to probably hinge their hate on for the future, but they were blown away.

So, was the show a missed opportunity for local TVs? Yes and No.

Yes, if he gave them the rights and they turned him down. But if people think TVs can pull off what Bobi Wine and team did, it’s because they forget he’s not an artiste by mistake, he studied Music, Dance and Drama, some of the things at his show, even with a budget twice his, an artiste with a bigger ego or size, without a like mind, they could still fail to pull it off.

TVs are safe with the DJ mix shows, for now.


Written by Kaggwa Andrew

Ugandan Arts and Culture Journalist. Film and theatre enthusiast. Photojournalist.

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