Musician Moses Ssali alias Bebe Cool does not seem to be having the home support from his countrymen and women for the All Africa Music Awards (Afrima Awards) 2018.
The artist was in August nominated in the category of Best male artist in East Africa. The nominees were announced at at a press conference at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria.. The final event, with “Africa is Gold” as its theme, will take place on 24th November 2018 at Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.
However, back home in Kampala, local politics seem to be getting into Bebe Cool’s way. Ssebagala Nasser, a student at Makerere University claimed that since Bebe Cool supported the social media tax, or over the top tax (OTT), he shouldn’t expect people to vote for him yet they are not active on internet
“I would very much like to vote but at the moment am not able to access internet so he should learn to appreciate the efforts we put in to see a better Uganda,” he said.
Mugalu Alex, a second year journalism student at Makerere University, had the same point about Bebe Cool's political views. “Bebe Cool has been behaving in a very unfair manner lately so he cannot get 100% support from the people he has been trash-talking about three months ago. So he should finish what he started,” he said.
Kaija Fahad, a resident of Namasuba said that he has no problem with the artist but the category he was placed in has very strong contenders. “The category has artists like Diamond Platnmz(Tanzania), Ray Vanny (Tanzania) so I don’t think he stands a chance but I wish him luck,” he said.
Recently, Bebe Cool took to his Facebook page to say something about the whole situation.
“In the ongoing Afrima Awards slated for Ghana next weekend there is only one male Ugandan nominee in all the awards so if you had digested this earlier, you wouldn't be on pressure or hurt like you are now,” he posted.
Perhaps to politicise the nominations, he added: “My president H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni together with his counterparts from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan are building one East Africa so if it's a competition between East Africans and it's an East African winning, sorry am OK with that,” he added
Artists like Eddy Kenzo and Gravity Omutujju have come out and urged Ugandans to vote for their own because this will help grow the Ugandan music industry worldwide.
Bebe Cool is currently in the UK where he opted to relocate “briefly” after he was attacked while performing on stage two months ago. Some music fans accused him of supporting the government on policies such as the introduction of a tax on mobile money and social media access. Government passed a law introducing a one-percent tax on mobile money withdrawals and a 200-shilling daily charge on access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp among others.
Bebe Cool’s views on these ran counter those of artist and politician, Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament. Bobi Wine has run a “people-power” campaign mobilising people to among others reject the taxes.