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Pastor Ssempa accuses Bobi of “distorting” a Christian song for politics

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By Male Marvin

KAMPALA – On 31st December Kyadondo East Member of Parliament and singer, Robert Kyagulanyi unveiled his new song titled ‘Tuliyambala Engule’, loosely translated to mean ‘We shall wear a  crown.’

While the 36-year-old received positive response from his supporters when they heard it – with the video trending at number one on YouTube by Wednesday morning in Uganda – a section of Christians including Pastors condemned the singer for “turning a gospel worship song into a political party song.”

The original and english version of this Christian song was released years back, and has over time been translated into several languages including luganda. 

Bobi’s version features musicians; Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Irene Ntale, Nubian Lee, Ronald Mayinja, Hillary Innocent Kiyaga aka Dr Hilderman and politicians like Bugiri Municipality, MP Asuman Basalirwa, among others.

Speaking out on this new release, Pr Martin Ssempa, a renowned activist and founder of the Makerere Community Church said let the Kyarenga singer compose new political songs for his campaigns and desist from distortion and mutilation of “our collective balokole heritage.”

“As a pastor, I am glad Bobi Wine is now singing Balokole Revival song “Olutalo Nga luwedde”, my problem is how he is changing the meaning/message of the song. What is the impact of turning a gospel worship song into a political party song?” Pastor Martin Ssempa wrote on Twitter. 

“The song talks about a believer’s good fight as a Pilgrim headed for heaven… the Biblical “new Jerusalem”. Now Bobi Wine tells us that the new Jerusalem is not heaven but when he becomes Uganda’s president! He holds himself as the future messiah who replaces Jesus,” he added.

Pastor Martin said the crown of glory talked about in the original version of the song is the Victor’s crown given by God to those who overcome. 

“Bobi Wine says its the crown every Ugandan will get when he is president! While his song of medical services for women is good, having good healthcare is not heaven! It’s a right,” Ssempa said.

“The battle or Olutalo is a the Balokole song of battling against the Satan and his demonic minions of the world. Bobi Wine says its now his battles with Police tear gas has at his rallies. Our battle is firstly spiritual then rewards will be given to the Victor by God,” he added. 

Ssempa was quick to emphasise that he wishes Mr Kyagulanyi well, noting that he should compose “another rap” suitable for the “battle”.

“The politicization of our sacred worship songs is not good. Adding the rastaman “Yagayagayo” to the sacred texts of our sacred song distorts their meaning and mutilates its holy dignity! Bobi Wine can compose his own songs from the Fire base studios,” he said.

As for the appearance of Wilson Bugembe in the song, Pr Ssempa said “forgetting the true Jerusalem for another is such a horrible thought.”

“I can only say that singing holy songs for political ends is what the psalmist said in Psalm 137,” Dr Ssempa said.

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