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Portrait. A Hero of Our Time

Bobi Wine

Series, 3rd place
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Bobi Wine, wearing his signature red beret banned by the Ugandan government, addresses the press at his recording studio on November 26, 2019 in Kampala, Uganda. In September 2019, the government of Uganda banned the wearing of red berets adopted by Wine and supporters of the People Power campaign. Wine and his supporters continue to defy this controversial law.
People react as Bobi Wine drives past in his car on September 31, 2019 in Kampala, Uganda.
Bobi Wine with his daughter Suubi in their home on September 31, 2019 in Kampala, Uganda. Wine and his wife Barbara have four children together: Solomon, Shalom, Shadraq and Suub. When asked what his children think about the work he does, he said, “My children are very much aware that I am involved in politics, but I have tried hard not to let my work issues affect them. When I am at home, I am a father to my children.” In the run up to the January 2021 election, Wine sent his children to stay with friends in the United States after claiming to have uncovered evidence of a plot to kidnap his children.
Bobi Wine's raised hand is seen through the hands of a clapping supporter as he parades though streets thronged with supporters on November 3, 2020 in Kampala, Uganda. The presidential nominations, where presidential aspirants register as candidates, were held on November 2-3, 2020. Two opposition candidates were detained, including Bobi Wine, who was dragged from his car after dozens of security officers surrounded the vehicle carrying him and his aides. In a series of live videos on his Facebook page, a security official can be seen using a lug wrench to break a window of the vehicle, and after a scuffle with the car’s passengers, officers open the door and drag off Mr. Wine. “Jesus, this is what the police are doing,” he could be heard saying before being pulled from the car. “We will not be violent.”
Bobi Wine drives through Kayunga district, central Uganda, while campaigning on December 1, 2020 in Bukolooto, Uganda.
Bobi Wine takes his injured music producer, Dan Magic, to a medical center on December 1, 2020 in Nazigo, Uganda. Dan was injured by teargas fired by police.
Bobi Wine points to a bullet hole, allegedly caused by police, as he was travelling on December 1, 2020 in Jinja, Uganda. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, says police fired through the wind shield as he attempted to pass a roadblock.
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, otherwise know as Bobi Wine, attends the funeral of 26 year old Elijah Mukiibi on January 13, 2021 in Bowa, Uganda. Wine claims Elijah was shot in the stomach as unidentified security agents raided his Kampala workplace on January 12, 2021. Mukiibi, a childhood friend of Bobi Wine, was a mechanic and one of Wine’s drivers. Kyagulanyi said, “He was murdered in cold blood by the military yesterday when they stormed his workplace at Kiseka market and shot him. Like many innocent Ugandans that have lost lives to state inspired violence, his crime was being a Bobi Wine supporter. One day, justice will be served.”
Bobi Wine raises a fist after voting in the Ugandan presidential election on January 14, 2021 in Kampala, Uganda.
Ugandan security forces are visible in the background outside Bobi Wine's property (image taken from inside his property) on January 15, 2021 in Kampala, Uganda. Wine alleged that the authorities beat a member of his staff shortly before the media arrived, and a uniformed solider also pointed a cocked rifle at reporters. This was the start of what turned out to be Wine’s eleven-day house arrest.
Close up of Bobi Wine's hands as he addresses the media with security forces surrounding his home on January 15, 2021 in Kampala, Uganda.
Bobi Wine with his wife Barbara Kyagulanyi after voting in the Ugandan presidential elections on January 14, 2021 in Kampala, Uganda.

Repeatedly beaten, arrested and harassed by security forces, Bobi Wine gave hope to thousands of Ugandans while running against the president of 35 years, Yoweri Museveni, in the 2021 election. The election campaign was marred by violence – at least 54 people were killed by security forces during protests against Wine’s arrest in November 2020. And since then, there have been countless reports of opposition figures and supporters being arrested and tortured. Mr. Wine even started campaigning in a bulletproof vest midway through the campaign after his car was shot at in Jinja, with a bullet piercing the windshield. In an interview with the New York Times, Wine said “I know they want me dead as soon as yesterday, we are campaigning every day as if it’s the last." Museveni was declared the winner of the election. Wine insists he won, and accuses the military of stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for other people and chasing voters away from polling stations.

 

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