A popstar from Uganda has been denied access to a UK visa for his upcoming tour due to accusations that he has been pushing a homophobic agenda.
Reports from This is Africa confirmed that Bobi Wine was refused the UK visa for a visit to Britain this August after gay rights campaigners drew attention to the anti-gay agenda in his lyrics. A change.org petition read: "Ugandan artist Bobi Wine writes songs with blatant homophobic lyrics and calls for gay people to be attacked, or killed… allowing such an artist to appear in public is clearly going to raise tensions."
Among the lyrics highlighted as inciting homophobia were: "Burn all the batty man. All Ugandans get behind me and fight the batty man."
Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, had two concerts scheduled in London and Birmingham which he was forced to cancel after his UK visa application was refused.
The news comes as the Constitutional Court in Uganda has overturned a ruling that would have resulted in homosexuals facing life imprisonment. While homosexuality remains illegal in the country, the decision has been seen as a victory for human rights campaigners.
Wine, however, suggests that his views are simply representative of his country. He told Ugandan paper The Daily Monitor: "I am personally not out to threaten the life of any individual based on their sexual orientation, I just do not agree with them [homosexuals]. This is my opinion and happens to be that of 99 per cent of Ugandans."
The decision to withhold a UK visa from Wine has been questioned since the particularly offensive lyrics are in fact from an unreleased track and homophobic lyrics in his existing music are few and far between. However, response from within the UK has been largely positive at the decision not to hand out the visa.