East African music stars turned politicians for high notes in parliament



Music and politics both command huge followings in East Africa, as players in the two spheres enjoy immense fame. And lately, the lines have been blurring between the two, as these countries see a trend for musicians wading into politics.

In Uganda, one of the most popular musicians in the East African region, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, last week won a parliamentary seat after emerging victorious in a by-election.

The musician and his wife Barbara have been supporting art and education in the slums of national capital Kampala, as well as water and sanitation projects across the country.

In Kenya, another well-known musician, Charles Kanyi alias Jaguar, is eyeing a parliamentary seat in the country’s capital.

In elections on August 8, Jaguar will run for the Starehe Constituency parliamentary seat under the ruling Jubilee Party, though he will have to defeat famous activist Boniface Mwangi and fellow young politician Steve Mbogo among other candidates.

Kyagulanyi and Kanyi follow the success story of Tanzania’s Joseph Haule, popularly known as Professor Jay.

After being in the music industry for more than a decade and rising to become one of his country’s top entertainers, he won the Mikumi Constituency parliamentary seat in 2015.

The award-winning musician cum politician is however not out of the music industry, as he is still releasing songs.