Ugandan music legend and now leading opposition figure, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) traces the very genesis of his enormous music career to around 1996.That was when as a teenage boy (he’d just sat his Senior 4 exams) he started hitting night clubs to showcase his rising talent. Although he hadn’t released any real music of his own yet, he was fast sprouting from the trenches as a freestyle rapper in the then very popular Karaoke nights.
In the running docuseries about his life which is airing on BBS TV, Bobi Wine recounts that he and his teenage friends’ performances involved mostly rapping over Jamaican riddims, which earned them a name “the Ugandan Chaka Demus and Pliers.”
The group, which included Master Parrot, Bebe Cool, Viboyo and many others, eventually found its home at Pub Texas which was located at Park View in downtown Kampala. The club was owned by the late DJ Jim.
In the interview, Bobi Wine made a rather surprising revelation of some of the boys with whom they were grinding during the talent nights at Pub Texas.
Many of these didn’t manage to take off in music and resorted to doing other businesses; some left the city, some passed away while a few others shaved off their dreadlocks, cleaned up and pursued successful careers in the white-collar world. He named some of these as follows.
Muhammad Nsereko: He is now the Kampala Central Member of Parliament which he has represented for three consecutive terms. He’s also a fully fledged lawyer. But back in the day, Bobi Wine says the Kampala MP was “such a great performer” who used to go by the stage name “Menton Prince.”
Luyimbazi Elias Nalukoola: You might have seen his face in courts law representing the opposition Democratic Party (DP) as lead counsel or making appearances on televised talk shows, but this bright legal mind used to get the crowd going during the Karaoke nights. Going by stage name Dr Dandee, Bobi Wine says Nalukoola was very good with Ragga and his performances were inspired by Jamaican superstar Shaggy
Amooti Omubalanguzi: Although he’s stayed the course with music to an extent, Amooti has mostly made his name in comedy. At Pub Texas he used to go by the names “Boogie Woogie”.
Other persons who hustled with the “Ghetto President” during this time include the late top comedian Paddy Bitama who called himself “Menton Paddy;” Edward Sebuufu, now his head of security and better knowns as Eddy Mutwe, Peter Bazanye who became Rudeboy Devo, as well as the would-be legend Bebe Cool, among others.