Music goes beyond entertainment. It educates, it empowers and even acts as a tool of criticism against social evils including bad governance.
Since the beginning of August, Africa and the world has had a front seat to the treatment of Ugandan MP and Musician Bobi Wine, also known as Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. Bobi Wine was not only arrested and beaten up, he was also set up to be charged in a military court even though he is a civilian. Even though the charges in the military court were dropped, he still had to be charged for treason. His appearance in court had many people worried because of the state of his health: he was not able to walk and had to use crutches to aid him.
He was given bail and many thought it was the end of his ordeal. However, he was re-captured at Entebbe Airport as he tried to fly out of the country for treatment in the United States. The uproar caused forced the authority to allow him to travel for medical attention.
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Safely arrived in the US where I’ll be receiving specialised treatment following the brutal torture at the hands of SFC soldiers. We thank the world for standing with us. I will soon tell you what exactly happened to me since 13th August and what is next. #peoplepower Power pic.twitter.com/0IcA3wUAQd
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) September 1, 2018
Bobi Wine joins the long list of popular musicians jailed or mistreated by governments because of their criticism.
Here are other popular African musicians who have suffered the same, or even worse fates.