A Ugandan tour operator has given City Press exclusive insight into Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's visit to Uganda this week. The rapper apparently lifted his daughter on his shoulders and tried to touch a giraffe, and claimed to be the best living recording artist with the spirits of Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur running through him.
Fresh out of stirring the “race pot” back home, controversial US rapper Kanye West sought out Africa to “clear his head” and record some new music.
Kanye, in the company of his socialite wife and reality TV star Kim Kardashian, daughter North West and rapper Big Sean, was recently at the Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda for a few days.
Guests who had booked into Chobe Safari, a luxury lodge on the banks of the Chobe River, were given a full refund and the lodge was out of bounds to the public.
Kanye, also known as Ye, and his nearly 50-person entourage, spent days setting out into the open savanah to commune with nature.
William Olobo-Lalobo, a Ugandan tour operator and proprietor of Heritage Safaris, Kanye’s tour guide in the park, described the US celeb as a very passionate man.
“In the middle of his game drive, he requested that I stop and that a member of his entourage join him,” Lalobo said.
[Kanye] wanted his Bob Marley music; he specifically wanted to draw inspiration from the song Buffalo soldier.
Once they brought the Bob Marley music, Lalobo said, Kanye insisted that the “bravery and fighting spirit” line be replayed several times.
It was clear to everyone that Kanye was trying to channel the wild and he was going all out.
“The most emotional time of the game drive was watching him lift his daughter on to his shoulders and run towards a giraffe,” Lalobo said.
[Kanye] wanted to touch [the giraffe]. He wanted his daughter to also feel it. Kanye had come to bond with nature.
Lalobo said Kanye also spent some silent moments in the open savanah and could be seen bobbing his head and taking it all in.
On Saturday night, however, while still at the lodge, Kanye burst into a rant on video about media control, his mental status and music.
“I am not crazy. I can ramp up if I suffer from sleep deprivation,” he said.
He claimed to be the best living recording artist with the spirits of Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur running through him.
However, Seun Kuti, son of singer Fela, was quick to distance his father’s name from Kanye.
“On behalf of the Kuti family, I want to state that the spirit of Olufela Anikulapo Kuti isn’t anywhere near Kanye West,” he tweeted.
Kanye also spent time with Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, who said in a tweet: “I welcome American entertainment stars Kanye West and Kim Kardashian to Uganda.
“I held fruitful discussions with the duo on how to promote Uganda’s tourism and the arts. I thank Kanye for the gift of white sneakers. Enjoy your time in Uganda. It is the true Pearl of Africa.”
Somehow, Ye, also fresh out of a contentious visit to the White House, was now at the Ugandan State House.
No one saw this coming. If it weren’t for pictures of him and wife Kim, rubbing shoulders with the first family, it wouldn’t have been believable.
The gold digger singer gave the elderly statesman an autographed pair of sneakers.
In return the president gave Kanye and Kim copies of the book, Sowing the Mustard Seed, his autobiography.
Before their meeting ended, both Kim and Kanye had new names: Kanye was Kanyesigye (I trust) and Kim was Kemigisha (one with blessings from God).
Soon, Kanyesigye and Kemigisha and their daughter, were visiting an orphanage founded by the first lady Janet Museveni.
They donated sneakers and T-shirts to more than 100 children and Kanye made some important promises just before they left.
We’re going to get supplies, resources, architects, doctors, teachers, guides, musicians. I am gonna go get some resources and come right back
Kanye West to the people of Uganda
However, the Museveni regime critics were not having it. Many called it a family affair and some just couldn’t comprehend Kanye’s decision to be around the president.
“He is hobnobbing with a president who has been in power now for 32 years and restricts any freedom in a country where opposition activists are tortured and imprisoned,” popular Ugandan opposition politician Bobi Wine said.
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