Bebe Cool has been in the music industry for more than a decade. His approach to reggae, ragga and dancehall changed the music landscape in Uganda. Despite coming from a poor family, he overcame his difficulties to become one of Uganda’s most respected artists. Here is Bebe Cool’s biography.
Bebe Cool, whose real name is Musa Saali was born on 1 September 1977 in Kampala, Uganda. He comes from a family of 10 children, all raised by a single mother. His father abandoned them for his other family. Bebe Cool is now 45 years old.
Bebe Cool schooling
Despite growing up in a poor home, Bebe Cool received at least his O- level and A- level education. He started his schooling at Agha Khan Primary School before he moved to Kitante Hill School for his secondary education. He then joined Makerere College School. He did not finish his university studies.
Bebe Cool now aged 45 has been in the music industry since 1977. He transformed the reggae & ragga scene in his home country but he kick-started his music career in Nairobi. Bebe Cool was part of the now-defunct Ogopa DJ’s, a production house and record label. He teamed up with the famed Kenyan duo Necessary Noiz and formed the East African Bashment Crew. The group produced one album which carried two hit songs “Fire” and “Africa Unite”.
In 2013, Bebe Cool challenged one of the biggest musicians in Africa, D’Banj in a musical battle dubbed “Battle for Africa” which took place in Harare Zimbabwe.
In 2014, Bebe Cool did a remake of the late Philly Lutaaya’s “Born in Africa”, a song thought to be one of the greatest songs from Africa
Bebe Cool sings in Swahili, Luganda and English which means listeners across the continent and beyond can enjoy his music. Some of Bebe Cool’s most popular songs on YouTube include ‘Wire Wire’ with over 6 million views, ‘Love You Everyday’ with over 5 million views, ‘Mbozi za Malwa’ with over 2 million views, ‘Kabulengane’ and ‘Easy’ with over a million views.
Bebe Cool has collaborated with artists across Africa, the likes of Kenya’s award-winning boy band Sauti Sol on ‘Mbozi za Malwa’. The song is about conversations people have when having drinks with friends. He has also worked with Nigerian artist Rudeboy on the song “Feelings”, Tay Grin for the song “One More Touch’’, Halima Namakula in “Sambagala” amongst others.
In 2014, Bebe Cool made a second appearance at the Big Brother house after his first stint with Kenya’s ‘Necessary Noiz’.
Bebe Cool is also known for his philanthropic work. In 2018, Bebe Cool opened the Amber Heart Foundation to bring all of his charity work under one roof. The Amber Heart Foundation partnered with the TB Reach initiative to help find missing tuberculosis patients in the country. As a result of that, it received a $400,000 grant to facilitate the process.
Bebe Cool has been married to his sweetheart Zuena Kirema for almost two decades. How often do you ever say that when talking about celebrity couples? They celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2022 and Bebe Cool was generous with his tribute.
“Zuena I am nothing without you and everything with you. 20 years of loving me ain’t easy but you have done it and I pray it doubles and triples on and on.”
But, it has not been without its challenges.
Bebe Cool and his wife Zuena met in the early 2000s. According to Zuena, Bebe Cool promised to marry her after her 18th birthday as she was underage at the time. They tied the knot in 2003 in a civil wedding.
The lovebirds have six children. Allan Hendrick Ssali, Caysan Ssali, Alpha Thiery Ssali, Deen Ozil Ssali, Beata Ssali and Eman Ssali. Some of Bebe Cool’s children – Ozil and Thiery have been named after ex-Arsenal players as he is an ardent Arsenal fan.
Bebe Cool and his family have been captured in adorable photos online. When Bebe Cool celebrated his 40th birthday, his entire family wore Arsenal jerseys.
Bebe Cool wife photos
Bebe Cool was unfortunate not to have a complete family like he’s built. His mother raised him and his nine siblings after his father, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali left them for another family.
Jaberi Bidandi Ssale was a wealthy man. He worked with the government but he never supported Bebe Cool, his mother and his siblings. Bebe Cool trekked to and fro school while his mother ran a small business with which she used to support her family.
Bebe Cool chooses to look back at such moments with grace. He says that seeing his mother struggle to raise them inspired him to work hard.
A brush with death
In 2010, football fans packed the Kyadondo Rugby Club to watch the world cup finals between the Netherlands and Spain. The second half of the match was just starting, right after Bebe Cool’s performance when bombs exploded in different parts of the ground. The musician survived the incident.
In the same year, Bebe Cool was shot by drunk police identified as Anthony Achikan. This left him hospitalised for several months with serious limb injuries. Three years later, a Kampala High Court awarded him sh 14 million for damages suffered. The musician initially demanded Sh 29 million to cover his loss of income when he was hospitalised.
Bebe Cool is a snitch
Two Nigerian artists Temilade Openiyi and Omah Lay along with their manager Muyiwa Awomiy were arrested in Uganda for breaking COVID-19 rules. Temi alleged that Bebe Cool called the police on them. She stated that she found him in the DPO’s office relaxing and laughing with them. She further alleged that Bebe Cool bribed the police for their release.
Bebe Cool did not respond to the allegations. However, a Facebook post he made raised eyebrows. He questioned the invitation of Nigerian artists over Ugandans who were struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temi and Omah were in the country and performed at an event at Speke Resort in Kampala.
Support Wine’s arrest
Bebe Cool made news when he supported the arrest of Robert Kyagulani alias Bobi Wine in 2020 ahead of the general election in 2021. Bebe Cool who publicly supports the leadership of Yoweri Museveni, said that Bobi Wine’s supporters were chaotic, which resulted in the attack of a police officer. In the aftermath of his comments, Bebe Cool was booed off the stage. He responded by urging the crowd to use the ballot box to voice their concerns.
Comparisons with Diamond
Bebe Cool shut down comparisons between him and Tanzanian superstar Diamond Platnumz. He took a swipe at Diamond on several things. First, he claimed that Diamond buys YouTube views to make his songs seem popular.
Secondly, Bebe Cool alleged that Diamond hired four cars for baby mama Tanasha Donna and not bought them as thought.
Thirdly, he also alleged that he has produced bigger numbers in concerts than Diamond can ever produce.
Bebe Cool also bragged that his houses are far bigger and cooler than Diamond’s.
For an artist that has been in the game for more than a decade, it’s expected that Bebe Cool will be rolling around with some of the best cars. The musician owns a Mercedez Benz reported to cost 500 million Ugandan shillings and a hammer said to cost him around 150 million shillings. He’s also owned a Mark 2, Range Rover, a CRV Honda and a Toyota LandCruiser VX allegedly gifted to him by President Yoweri Museveni.
Bebe Cool finally stopped renting a house after he built a multimillion mansion located in Kiwatule. Bebe Cool had on several occasions promised to finalise and open his mansion only for him to postpone the event.
Bebe Cool has no doubt accumulated a substantial amount of wealth throughout his career. He even appears on the list of some of the richest musicians in Uganda. Bebe Cool’s net worth is approximately $2.5 to $3 million.
Awards & Recognition
HiPipo Music Awards
In 2015, Bebe Cool won six awards – Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Most Active Fans Group, Best Concert Performance, Video of the Year and Best Male Reggae Song.
In 2013 and 2014, he also won similar awards.
Bebe Cool has also won numerous awards and the Pearl of Africa Music Awards. Best Male Artist, Artist of the Year, Best Reggae Artist/Group, Best Ragga Artiste/Group and song of the year.
Bebe Cool is also the recipient of Video of the year at the Channel O Music Video Awards.
He’s also received nominations in several awards:
2018: Best Male Artist in Eastern Africa and Best African Rock
2015: Australia Radio Afro Song of the Year
2014: Nominated in AFRIMMA
2013: Best Reggae Song, Best Dancehall/Ragga Song, Best Musician on Social Media
2011: Best East African Song in Tanzania Music Award
2007: MOBO Awards
2003: Best East African Artist, Kora Awards
Bebe Cool Instagram: @BebeCool_UG
Bebe Cool Twitter: @BebeCoolUG
Bebe Cool Facebook: Bebe Cool
What are Bebe Cool children’s names?
Bebe Cool has six children. Allan Hendrick Ssali, Caysan Ssali, Alpha Thiery Ssali, Deen Ozil Ssali, Beata Ssali and Eman Ssali.
Who is the father of Bebe Cool?
Bebe Cool’s father is Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, a veteran Ugandan politician and businessman.
When did Bebe Cool start singing?
Bebe Cool began his music career in 1997 and has been active since. His music falls under the reggae, ragga genre and is hailed as one of the best from Uganda.
How rich is Bebe Cool?
Bebe Cool’s net worth of about $2.5 to $3 million has been built through music, his work as the owner of Gagamel Music Label and endorsement deals.
When was Bebe Cool born?
Bebe Cool was born on 1 September 1977.
Who is the wife of Bebe Cool?
Bebe Cool’s wife is Zuena Kirema. She is a former Miss Uganda contestant, a former television host and an entrepreneur.
How old is Bebe Cool?
Born on 1 September 1977, Bebe Cool is 44 years old.
How many children does Bebe Cool have?
Bebe Cool has six children, five (Caysan Ssali, Alpha Thiery Ssali, Deen Ozil Ssali, Beata Ssali and Eman Ssali) with his wife Zuena Kirema and one (Allan Hendrick Ssali) is from a previous relationship.
How many songs does Bebe Cool have?
For someone who has been in music for more than a decade, he has released numerous songs. which include collaborations with artists across the continent.
How much is Bebe Cool’s Hammer?
Bebe Cool’s hammer is estimated to have cost him around 150 million shillings.
What is the name of Bebe Cool’s daughter?
Bebe Cool’s daughter is called Sofia Beata Ssali. She was born on 9 January 2007 and is 16 years old.