The “Freedom Fighter” Bobi Wine

This article examines the use of populist performance as a political strategy, by the Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine, through a video analysis of his campaign events, music videos, and speeches. By identifying the key recurring elements in his strategy, it is demonstrated how populism is manifested through performance.

Populism and conflict

Populism has become a buzzword in popular and media discourses in recent years. Academic debates on the concept of populism—what it is and isn’t, where to look for it and its normative prescription—has been highly contested. From minimal definitions to vernacular descriptions to propositions to drop the concept all together, a considerable but disparate field of study has emerged.