Ugandans on social media are engaged in a fierce debate over the justification of an action by revelers at a music concert who blocked a popular musician from performing at a concert on Friday, accusing him of aligning himself with the oppressive government of president Yoweri Museveni.
Bebe Cool, real names Moses Ssali, one of the leading Reggae musicians in the East African nation, was slated to perform at a concert headlined by Jamaican Reggae star, Tarrus Riley, in the capital Kampala.
However, just 30 seconds into his performance, revelers started booing, throwing bottles and other items at the stage, shouting that they would not be entertained by someone who has chosen the side of ‘their oppressor’.
When a 20 year old youth is arguing politics...he should know that his brain is not yet that mature to understand the entire situation.
To everyone asking for the video ? pic.twitter.com/wyf77RPuHT— MARIAT .C. NASASIRA (@Mariat987) 31 août 2018
Bebe Cool is a vocal supporter of president Museveni, and was one of the leading artists who campaigned for the 74 year old president ahead of the 2016 elections.
They produced a music video dubbed ‘Tubonga Nawe’, endorsing Museveni’s 5th presidential bid. The hit was widely popular and controversial as the fans of the artists described it as betrayal.
Museveni has on several occasions graced the concerts organised by Bebe Cool.
Bebe Cool also made headlines this week when he told a local television that ‘the brains of many young people in Uganda have not matured enough to understand politics’.
‘‘When a 20 year old youth is arguing politics…he should know that his brain is not yet that mature to understand the entire situation,’‘ argued Bebe Cool.
Guys, Bebe Cool has something to say about you young people who argue about politics ???????? pic.twitter.com/sSpMKcel3h— ands Jeff HARDY (@andsjeff) August 29, 2018
He is also on record for criticising the popular musician and legislator, Bobi Wine, real names Robert Kyagulanyi. As Ugandans used the hashtag #FreeBobiWine to rally the world to advocate for Bobi Wine’s release from military detention for the past two weeks, Bebe Cool routinely mocked their efforts using the hashtag #FreeBebeCool.
So, on Friday, the same day, Bobi Wine was finally granted permission to travel abroad for specialised medical treatment, having suffered severe injuries at the hands of Museveni’s soldiers, anger over the human rights violations was brimming, and Bebe Cool was at the receiving end.
As the videos and pictures of Bebe Cool being escorted off the stage by police, having been rudely denied a chance to perform, debate quickly started on whether the actions of the concert goers was justified.
Bebe Cool deserves the humiliation
On one hand, many people argued that Bebe Cool deserved all the hate and abuse he recieves, because he consistently praises the oppressors of his rival Bobi Wine.
Bebe Cool legitimises oppression, our people respond with civil disobedience..why cry foul? ??♂️— Thomas Ddumba (@tomddumba) 1 septembre 2018
No more jokes!
We are not mad at Bebe Cool for expressing a different political view, we are mad at the way he did it…— NicK (@nicolarucogoza) 1 septembre 2018
When will we stop belittling the youth, their voice & opinions matter too.
These kinds of takes have to be debunked!— #NotYourMwijukuru! (@RosebellK) 1 septembre 2018
Bebe Cool was not trying to hold a procession
He was not refused an appearance on radio
His music was not banned.
He was refused a stage people paid for.
Bebe Cool was not refused to perform at a public funded concert. https://t.co/xLuYejw1Jt
Not that I condone violence against Bebe cool, but people demanding that we(the cockroaches as he refers to us) be the better people, and accord him some humane treatment are also too idealistic.— yo momma's fav? (@tandeka_mutebi) 1 septembre 2018
We are humanly disposed to be angry, to be disappointed and to react the way we did.
‘When they go low, you go high’
Others however argued that the opposition must not behave like the oppressors they are trying to get rid of.
May be if Ugandans learnt to respect everyone’s differences in opinion and political affiliation will have a shot at a transition of a different government… that BS doesn’t make you any better than the person you presume evil#BebeCool— Patricia (@patriciakayondo) 1 septembre 2018
— Shawn Mubiru (ShawnMubiru) 1 septembre 2018
MichelleObamamade it even better when they go low, you go high. The change we want is for all Ugandans regardless of their opinion, creed, tribe, social status. Let us be the change we want to see.
Naye Bana Uganda #PeoplePower is not causing violence but maintaining of #freedom and #peace in the country”“am still asking myself why— Echkart Ian Benny (echkart_ian) 1 septembre 2018
BebeCool_UGwas hit on stage with bottles #twebereremu #respectUgandan music and politics #PeoplePower our power #FreeBobiwine #FreeUganda pic.twitter.com/H2ZuE1QQnr
I strongly not support what happened to Bebe Cool coz i see no reason y we shud start fighting amongst ourselves only coz we have dfrnt political views. I dnt think Bebe Cool is the only supporter of M7 and most importantly that show wasn't in anyway Politically Affiliated.— Emmy Delucas (@EmmyDelucas) 1 septembre 2018
Barbaric violence against— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) 1 septembre 2018
HEBobiWineand other opposition figures by the Kampala govt, and the pelting of BebeCoolUG by intolerant fans for his pro-regime stance, are two faces of the same coin. Repression has radicalized politics; and Uganda could be hurtling off the cliff pic.twitter.com/i5jtjX7ERn