Renowned African literatus, Wole Soyinka supports Bobi Wine ahead of Uganda polls

Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian Nobel laureate, playwright, novelist, and democracy advocate, reiterated his support for 38-year-old Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, or Bobi Wine, who is looking to end the 34-year reign of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on January 14.

The Nigerian writer in an interview with Quartz said the musician-turned-politician “for me right now, represents the face of democracy for Uganda”. In Wine, Soyinka added that Uganda has the absolute best visionary to take over the government’s reins.

“Even before (we met), I’d taken an interest in his movement, his candidature, and his passion. And I share it; I share every bit of it,” Woyinka, who spent a while in Lagos with the Ugandan presidential candidate in 2019 during #FelaDebate, a symposium in memory of legendary Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, said.

Soyinka signed a statement in 2018, along with a group of celebrities, media personalities and authors, including Angelique Kidjo and Femi Kuti, condemning the arrest, imprisonment and attack on Bobi Wine.

According to Face2Face Africa, like Wine, Soyinka made his own history in Nigeria by fighting brutal and dictatorial governments. He was arrested in 1967 for visiting the secessionist territory of Biafra illegally. He met in Enugu in 1966 with the secessionist leader, military governor Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and was forced to go into hiding because during the civil conflict between the Nigerian government and Biafra, he was labeled a spy.

Soyinka was also a vocal advocate of the military ruler of Nigeria between 1993 and 1998, Sani Abacha. The first time that Soyinka met Museveni was in opposition to Abacha.

He said in the interview: “I met Museveni during the fight against Sani Abacha. At the time we met it was still possible to consider him a democratic leader. Today he’s joined the gang—the enemies of society.”

The African who won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature believes Museveni’s time has come to an end, as have many others like him. His fervent hope is that Ugandans will share his belief in Wine, reveals Face2Face Africa.

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