Bebe Cool (real name Moses Ssali; born on 1 September 1977) is a reggae and ragga musician from Uganda. He started his career around 1997 in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved back to his native country a few years later. Bebe Cool was one of the first artists affiliated with Ogopa DJs, a production house and record label in Kenya.

Bebe Cool
Bebe Cool at the HiPipo Music Awards in 2014
Bebe Cool at the HiPipo Music Awards in 2014
Background information
Birth nameMusa Ssali
Also known asBig Size
Born (1977-09-01) 1 September 1977 (age 46)
OriginKampala, Uganda
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, artist, record producer, actor,Philanthropist
Years activec. 1997–present

Early life edit

Bebe Cool attended Aga Khan Primary School, in Kampala, Kitante Hill School, and Makerere College School, where he attended school studies, but dropped out of school one year prior to completion. At high school, he studied Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics (PCB/M) at Kololo Senior Secondary School. Bebe Cool (formerly Bebe Bunton) started his music career right from high school when he was an entertainment prefect.[1]

Music career edit

Bebe Cool is a three-time winner of the Artist of The Year Award at the Prestigious HiPipo Music Awards[2] and won several accolades at Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards).[3] He was nominated for the Kora All-African Awards in 2003 and 2005. He has toured in the United Kingdom and the United States.[4] Two of his popular singles are "Fitina" and "Mambo Mingi".[5] Bebe Cool was elected as the finance minister of the Uganda National Musicians' Federation (UNMF) headed by Eddy Kenzo in 2023.[6]

He also collaborated with Halima Namakula, a Ugandan veteran woman musician, on their crossover track "Sambagala".[7] He released two solo albums, Maisha and Sente. His lyrics are in Luganda, Swahili, and English. Together with Kenyan duo Necessary Noize, Bebe Cool formed a reggae group known as the East African Bashment Crew. They have released one album, Fire, and two hit singles, "Africa Unite" and "Fire". The group was nominated at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2008.[8]

In 2013, Bebe Cool had a music battle with one of Nigeria's top artists D'banj in a neutral place, Glamis Arena Harare Zimbabwe.[9] The show was organized under the theme "Battle for Africa". Bebe Cool put up a great performance at the battle.[9]

In 2014, Bebe Cool’s remade Born in Africa remix song, a remake of the late Philly Lutaaya's song was voted among Africa’s greatest songs of all time.[10][11]

The song came at number 15 in Fifty anthems for the African continent. BBC World Service listeners suggested the African songs that summed up the continent to them.[10] This was to mark the 50th anniversary of the African Union – formerly the Organization of African Unity, From the suggestions, the BBC’s DJ Edu, who hosts a weekly African music show on BBC radio, compiled them into a special five-minute mix of 50 songs from 50 countries.[10]

Bebe Cool has performed in the Big Brother house twice. From 2016 to 2018, there was rising controversy against Bebe Cool for being a chief organizer for Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda who had been described by international media outlets as dictatorial. Ugandans at one time chased him off the stage in a show before he could sing.[12]

Bebe Cool won one Afrima award for the best East African male artist in 2018.[13]

Personal life edit

In January 2010, Bebe was injured when a policeman shot him in the leg.[14][15]

On 11 July 2010, Bebe Cool was performing at the Kyadondo Rugby Club when a bomb set by Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab exploded (July 2010 Kampala attacks). According to Cool, "Most people who died were just in front of me. The blast was so loud—the next thing I saw were body parts flying over."[16]

Bebe Cool is married to Zuena Kirema. In 2022, the couple celebrated 20 years in marriage.[17]

Philanthropy edit

In 2008, Bebe Cool performed for the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute in Hyde Park, London. He was also named by Nelson Mandela as one of the 46664 African ambassadors. 46664 is a campaign of raising awareness against HIV/AIDS that was initiated by the late Nelson Mandela.[18]

On 3 August 2018, at a concert called The Golden Heart, Bebe Cool fundraised to sponsor five children with heart diseases to receive medical treatment in India.[19][20]

Political life edit

Bebe Cool supported Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 presidential elections in Uganda and also a member of the MK movement project[21]

Awards edit



  • 2003 Kora Awards – Best East African Artist[35]
  • 2007 MOBO Awards
  • 2011 Tanzania Music Awards – Best East African Song ('Kasepiki')[36]
  • 2013 HiPipo Music Awards – Best Reggae Song (Ntuyo Zange), Best Dancehall/Ragga Song (No Body Move), Best Musician on Social Media[37]
  • Nominated in Afrimma Awards 2014
  • Australia Radio Afro Song of the Year 2015
  • Nominated in Afrimma Awards 2018 " Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa and Best African Rock categories" .[38]

References edit

  1. ^ New Times Reporter (2000). "Celebrity Central: Bebe Cool". New Times (Rwanda). Kigali. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  2. ^ HiPipo (3 August 2013). "Music For Nature | Videos | News | Uganda | East Africa". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ Joseph Ssemutooke (7 November 2010). "PAM Awards: The Winner Is." New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ Steven Tendo (2004). "Bebe Cool by Steven Tendo". Kampala: Music In Uganda. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 5 September 2012) on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. ^ MTV Base Africa (28 September 2007). "Profile of Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool". MTV Base Africa. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 28 September 2007) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  6. ^ Asingwire, Mzee (5 May 2023). "Musician Federation: Kenzo elected president; Bebe Cool finance minister". Pulse Uganda. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  7. ^ Sambagala, 3 April 2008, retrieved 18 February 2023
  8. ^ Alireid42 (8 October 2008). "MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) 2008 - The Nominees". Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 14 July 2011) on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ a b Tinotenda Samukange (28 October 2013). "D'Banj Disappoints As Bebe Cool Shines". NewsDay Zimbabwe. Harare. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Roy Ruva (24 June 2014). "Bebe Cool's Song In Top 50 BBC Anthems For The African Continent". Kampala: Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  11. ^ Born In Africa by Bebe Cool, 28 November 2000, retrieved 18 February 2023
  12. ^ "11 suspects arrested for pelting bottles at Bebe Cool". Monitor. 19 July 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  13. ^ "Bebe cool wins best male East African artist at AFRIMA awards". New Vision. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  14. ^ Monitor Online Team (30 January 2010). "Bebe Cool Shot, Rushed to Nsambya Hospital". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  15. ^ NADESKA ALEXIS (2 January 2010). "Ugandan Artist Bebe Cool Shot Following R. Kelly Concert". theboombox.
  16. ^ Peter Wonacott and Nicholas Bariyo (13 July 2010). "Militants Find Symbolic Targets in Uganda". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Bebe Cool appreciates Zuena as couple celebrates 20 years and together the couple has four children". New Vision. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  18. ^ Andrew Kaggwa (10 December 2013). "Meeting Mandela Was Better Than Music Awards - Bebe Cool". The Observer (Uganda). Kampala. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  19. ^ Eye, Big (3 September 2018). "Bebe Cool sees off kids with heart problems to India for surgery. [Photo]". BigEye.UG. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Golden Heart Concert; Bebe Becomes First Ugandan Artiste to Perform under 'Dome' at Kololo". Trumpet News. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  21. ^ Bebe Cool performing live in Soroti at Gen. Muhoozi Teso tour, retrieved 26 January 2024
  22. ^ "The Pearl Of Africa Music Awards". Archived from the original on 4 February 2005. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  23. ^ "PAM Awards". 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  24. ^ "2006 Uganda Pam Awards Winners". Uganda Online. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  25. ^ "2006 Uganda Pam Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Home of the African Music Fan". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  27. ^ "2007 PAM Awards: The Winners". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  28. ^ "Home of the African Music Fan". Musek.come. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  29. ^ "Home of the African Music Fan". Museke. Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  30. ^ [1] Archived 6 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "The Observer". 11 November 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Music For Nature | Videos | News | Uganda | East Africa". 3 August 2013. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h "HiPipo Music Awards | The Fans Decide". Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  34. ^ a b c d "Winners of the 3rd HiPipo Music Awards | HiPipo Music Awards". Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  35. ^ "Kora Awards". Archived from the original on 2 March 2004. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Tanzania: '20 Percent' Grabs Seven Kili Music Awards Nominations". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  37. ^ "Music For Nature | Videos | News | Uganda | East Africa". 3 August 2013. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  38. ^ Big Eye (12 October 2018). "Bebe Cool Nominated in Prestigious AFRIMA-Ghana Awards". Kampala: BigEye Uganda. Retrieved 28 October 2019.

External links edit