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From Uganda’s Filthy Cell to 100 Most Influential Young Africans List; The rise of Bobi Wine

Barely days after being released from a filthy cell in Uganda, Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine, has been named one of 100 most influential young Africans.

The musician turned lawmaker who is currently undergoing specialised treatment in the United States, was arrested last month and charged with treason on suspicion he was involved in the alleged stoning of President Yoweri Museveni’s car.

President Yoweri Museveni (ubc.)


While narrating the ordeal he underwent at the hands of Ugandan police, the lawmaker said that security officers beat him and squeezed his genitals until he lost consciousness.

They wrapped me in a thick piece of cloth and bundled me into a vehicle. Those guys did to me unspeakable things in that vehicle! They pulled my manhood and squeezed my testicles while punching me with objects I didn’t see.

“I continued to groan in pain and the last I heard was someone hit me at the back of the head with an object,” Kyagulanyi said in a 3,611 word statement he posted on his social media accounts after landing in US.

Kenyan activists and civil society groups protest in solidarity with Ugandan pop star-turned-politician Bobi Wine. (CNN.)


His continued detention however drew international attention with a number of international musicians, activists and politicians calling for his immediate release and condemning his mistreatment by the Ugandan government.

He was released on bail before being re-arrested while trying to leave the country to seek medical treatment. He was subsequently allowed to depart.

The list which was compiled in partnership with Avance Media, & Made Marketing Group presents an opportunity for young Africans to stay committed to their individual causes and continue to blaze trails across their various fields,” said Prince Akpah, founding president of Africa Youth Awards said while announcing the 2018 most influential young Africans names.

Prince Akpah, founding president of Africa Youth Awards (L) at a past startups awards ceremony. (Ameyaw Debrah)


Bobi Wine is however not alone in the prestigious list, he is featured alongside three other notable Ugandans who are making waves.

Humphrey Nabimanya, a television presenter and team leader at Reach A Hand- Uganda, Brian Mutebi, an award-winning journalist and women’s rights campaigner and Kevin Lubega, the founder of EzeeMoney  are also featured in the list.

This year’s list featured a record 90 new entrants and 43 females.

Member of Parliament, Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, tussling it out with Police during the ‘this tax must go’ peaceful demonstration. (Eagle Online)


According to Prince Akpah, this year’s honorees were listed for their individual and collective contributions towards positioning the image of Africa as frontrunners in their respective fields.

Prince Akpah urged other young Africans to emulate the footstep of the listed individuals and join them to make Africa a better and safer place for young dreamers.

Other notable African who made it to the list include; Togo’s Farida Bemba Nabourema, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Nigeria’s Davido, Guinea’s ABD Traore, Kenya’s Xtian Dela, South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest and Tanzania’s Alikiba.

One of Bobi Wine’s supporters carrying a placard bearing his banner. (CGTN)

Youngest duos on the list include Musician Nasty C from South Africa and Nigeria’s Social Entrepreneur, Wadi Ben-Hirki at 21 years.

Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana & Tanzaania all lead the list with 20, 17, 12 and 8 representatives respectively.


Written by How Africa

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