Musicians shift into politics a common trend in East Africa


Music and politics both command huge followings in East African countries, as players in the two spheres enjoy immense fame.

There however seems to be a change in trend as the regions musicians veer off from their act to wade into the waters of politics.

A success story in this trend is Tanzania’s Joseph Haule, popularly known as Professor Jay. After being in the music industry for more than 10 years and rising to become one of his country’s top entertainers, he vied for the Mikumi constituency parliamentary seat in 2015, and was successful in his bid.

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

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

The musician and his wife Barbara have been involved in supporting art and education in the Kamwokya slum, 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.

Jaguar will run for the Starehe Constituency parliamentary seat under the ruling Jubilee party, but will have to defeat famous activist Boniface Mwangi, fellow young politician Steve Mbogo among others.

Others have however not been so successful in this quest to shift from music to politics, including Kenya’s Gospel artiste Ringtone Apoko aka Ringtone and Uganda’s Daniel Kazibwe aka Ragga Dee.