A theater in London and one in Birmingham have refused to host a Ugandan rapper for his homophobic lyrics.
Representatives from the Troxy Theatre in London and the Drum Theatre in Birmingham confirmed they told promoters for rapper Bobi Wine their establishments would not allow someone who promotes discrimination.
Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has called all Ugandans in his songs to help ‘burn all the gays’ and has accused US President Barack Obama of traveling to Africa with his family to promote homosexuality.
Charles Drum, CEO of Drum Theatre, distanced his venue from the performer saying the appearance was booked by an external promoter who ‘was keen to make the connection between the UK and Uganda’.
‘Unfortunately, and we make no apology for the promoter, Bobi Wine music and views are well known in Uganda but not in the UK. Therefore the level of scrutiny that applies to general programming must now be applied to commercial hires and rules will be implemented to ensure that this unfortunate situation does not reoccur.
‘However, making honest and lasting connections with communities from Uganda and other countries has to be a positive approach and is welcomed because it fits with our intercultural art agenda – sharing between the UK, Africa, USA, South Asia, Caribbean, Europe, etc.’
The Ugandan musician has a reality TV show in his home country, a series akin to Keeping Up with the Kardashians where the cameras follow his personal and professional activities.
In spite of his violently homophobic lyrics, Bobi Wine is a sought-after celebrity in Uganda.
According to Uganda’s leading daily New Vision, the musician last year was asked to work with a ‘citizen-centered initiative to promote education’ as a parenting ambassador.
He was quoted last year as saying: ‘Education is what will ultimately change the course of our country and as an artist and a father, I believe we can all make a difference in our children’s learning’.