A few weeks ago, a group of local artistes under Uganda Musicians Association and the newly formed United Musicians Super Stars Association had a meeting with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) boss General Salim Saleh at his office in Gulu City.
This meeting which became a hot topic of discussion raised uproar on social media where the artistes got a lot of criticism from people, especially after rumours made rounds that they had gone to ‘beg for handouts from the general’
Amongst the people who used social media to castigate these local artistes is musician-turned-politician Bobi Wine who is also the former presidential candidate in the January 2021 Uganda general elections.
Bobi who referred to these artistes as ‘beggars’ expressed a lot of disappointment in their move to go meet Saleh who works for the ruling government, which he blames for allegedly ‘destroying the music industry’ and that its objective is “to divide artistes and cause them to fight against each other”
Much as it was his opinion which he is entitled to, it rubbed some artistes the wrong way. While asked to say something about Bobi’s comment, veteran singer Jose Chameleone who was one of the artistes to went to meet Saleh, revealed that he isn’t happy about it.
According to Chameleone, calling them beggars yet in actual sense they hadn’t gone to beg (as he claimed) was so disrespectful to the music fraternity.
“He is in America so he might not be in the know of what is going on here. What he was told is wrong. Calling us beggars was disrespectful to the entire music fraternity. It is this music industry where he came from to be an important person in this country” Chameleone said in an interview with NBS TV
The Leone Island went on to say that Bobi Wine who apparently has also met General Saleh before shouldn’t have called them beggars yet during presidential campaigns, he also moved around the whole country begging people to vote him.
“How can he call us beggars yet he himself moved around begging people for votes, he was then supposed to have sat home and not begged for votes. I saw photos of Bobi Wine and Salim Saleh, what had he gone to do at his office? Salim Saleh is my fan, he is Bebe Cool’s fan, he is Sebatta’s fan. Remember he is the president’s brother. May be our voice as united musicians could go through him to the president”
Chameleone also asked Bobi Wine to make it clear whether he quit music for politics or if he is still a musician.
“What does he think of this music industry? I need him to make it clear, is he still a musician or did he abandon music for politics. If he is still one, there are a lot of burning issues in the music industry where we need his input, let him also come and join the many bricks which build the Uganda music industry”