Jose Chameleone

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Jose Chameleone
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Mayanja
Born (1979-04-30) 30 April 1979 (age 44)
Kampala, Uganda
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1990s–present
LabelsLeone Island Records

Joseph Mayanja (born 30 April 1979), better known by the stage name Jose Chameleone, is a Ugandan AfroBeat artist and musician. Chameleone sings in Luganda, English, and Swahili.

Early life and education[edit]

Joseph Mayanja was born on 30 April 1979[1] to Gerald and Prossy Mayanja on 30 April 1979 in Kampala district, as the fourth of eight children.[2]

He went to Nakasero Primary School, Mengo Senior Secondary School, Kawempe Muslim Senior Secondary School, Katikamu Seventh Day Adventist Senior Secondary School, and Progressive Senior Secondary School.[2]

He composed the Kawempe Muslim Secondary School anthem.[3][4]

Musical career[edit]

Chameleone's music style is a mixture of Ugandan folk, central African rumba, zouk, and reggae.[5]

Chameleone's career began in 1996 as a DJ at the Missouri night club in Kampala. He became active as a musician in 1998 in Kenya with the Ogopa Deejays, then a Kenyan record label, which released his first single, "Bageya", featuring Kenyan artist Redsan.[5]

Throughout the years he has had record selling albums locally like Mama Mia, Mambo Bado, Jamila, Kipepeo, Bageya, Shida za Dunia, Bayuda, and Njo Karibu. Although his music is popular all over the African continent, the majority of his fans/listeners are mainly from the central part of Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania).[6][7]


Jose Chameleone released his first album in 2000 and by 2013, he has released a total of 13 albums. Some of them include Kipepeo, Shida za dunia, Valu valu, Bayuda, Badilisha, Sweet Banana and Champion. Some of his hit songs include "Valu valu", "Jamila", "Shida za dunia", Bayuda, "Tatizo", "Nkwagala nyo", "Kipepeo", "Dorotia" and "Kipepeo". He performed to the largest audience at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala.

Bageya was released in 2000, Mama Mia in 2001, Njo Karibu and The Golden Voice in 2003, Mambo Bado in 2004, Kipepeo in 2005, Shida za Dunia in 2006, Sivyo Ndivyo and Katupakase in 2007, Bayuda in 2009, Vumilia in 2010, Valu Valu in 2012, Badilisha in 2013, Tubonge in 2014, Wale wale in 2015, Sili Mujjawo in 2016, Sweet Banana in 2017, Champion in 2018.[2][8][9][10]


Chameleone has performed internationally, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium,[11] Malaysia, China, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, South Sudan, Germany, and Switzerland, among others.[citation needed]

He toured Australia in 2017 and again in March 2023.[12]


In February 2023, musician Chameleone held a successful concert titled "Gwanga Mujje", which translates to "let the whole nation attend". The event took place at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala. Originally planned for an earlier date, the concert was postponed due to heavy rain and rescheduled for 24 February 2023.[13][14]

In addition, Chameleone organised a sold-out charity event called "One Man, One Million" at Victoria Hall in Kampala. The event was endorsed by the first lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, and attendees were required to pay one million Ugandan Shillings to attend.[15][13]

Music label[edit]

Chameleone is[when?] the CEO of the music label known as Leone Island. Artists associated with this label have included: the late Mosey Radio, Weasel, the late AK 47 Mayanja, King Saha, Papa Cidy, Pallaso, Melody Uganda, Yung Mulo and Big Eye.[2]

Other activities[edit]

The former speaker of the parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga, designated Chameleone to be the Ambassador of the Busoga Tourism Initiative. He also directs Chameleone Foundation, which is aimed at improving skills and talent amongst disadvantaged youth.[16]

Chameleone is a member of a coalition of musicians who use their fame and fortune to help reduce poverty and create awareness campaigns for HIV/AIDS.[17][18]

He was gifted a new Toyota V8 in 2020 by Achai Wiir.[19]

He ran for office as Lord Mayor of Kampala in 2021.[20]

He was gifted a new Range Rover in 2022 by Mr. Toyota.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Chameleone is married to Daniella Atim. The couple has five children, who study and live in the United States.[22]






Year Album Record label
2000 Bageya Ogopa Deejays
2001 Mama Mia
2002 Njo Karibu
2003 The Golden Voice
2004 Mambo Bado
2005 Kipepeo
2006 Shida za Dunia
2007 Sivyo Ndivyo
2007 Katupakase
2009 Bayuda
2010 Vumilia
2012 Valu Valu
2013 Badilisha
2015 Wale Wale
2016 Sili Mujawo
2017 Sweet Banana, Superstar, Mshamba
2018 Champion, Mateeka, Kilabe


2020 Baliwa, Bolingo ya Nzambe
2021 I am Joseph - Coming Soon



  • "Wale Wale"
  • "Valu Valu"
  • "Tubonge"
  • "Badilisha"
  • "Kiggwa Leero"
  • "Mateeka"
  • "Champion"
  • "Bayuda"
  • "Kiboko Fire"
  • "Hannah"
  • "Bomboclat"
  • "Jamila"
  • "Dorotia"
  • "Nkoleki"
  • "All Di Girls"
  • "Relaxing"
  • "Going On"
  • "Moto Moto"
  • "Africa Kiboko Yao"
  • "Bei Kali"
  • "Mama Rhoda"
  • "Ndivyo Sivyo"
  • "Only You"
  • "Mama Mia"
  • "Bwerere"
  • "Meeme Katale"
  • "Naumia"
  • "Nekolela Mali"
  • "Shida Za Dunia"
  • "Forever"
  • "Basiima Ogenze"
  • "Gimme Gimme"
  • "Owakabi"


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  12. ^ Cutting, Lucie (23 April 2023). "How Ugandan superstar Jose Chameleone was enticed to perform in Tasmania by Hobart mum". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  13. ^ a b Luggya, Jude. "Chameleone dedicates One Man One Million concert to Karamoja – Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos". Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  14. ^ Independent, The (21 February 2023). "Event organisers call a halt to 'Gwanga Mujje' concert over unpaid losses". The Independent Uganda. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
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  16. ^ "RedPepper website: Speaker Kadaga For Tubonge Concert". Archived from the original on 19 August 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
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  19. ^ Ray, Lee (14 August 2020). "Meet Achai Wiir, The South Sudanese Lady Tycoon Who Gifted Jose Chameleone Toyota Land Cruiser V8". Routine Blast : Gossip, Showbiz , Breaking News in Uganda. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  20. ^ "All". Archived from the original on 24 September 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  21. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Chameleone Gives Germany Party Goers Good Performance — Video". Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  23. ^ PAM Awards: 2004 Winners
  24. ^ PAM Awards: 2005 Winners & Nominees
  25. ^ Tanzania Music Awards: Winners 2004
  26. ^ Tanzania Music Awards: 2005 Winners
  27. ^ PAM Awards 2006 Winners
  28. ^ Kisima Awards Winners 2006 Archived 8 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Kisima Awards Winners 2007 Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ "Official Nominees List for the 2013 African Entertainment Awards". Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
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  32. ^ "Full List of Zzina Award Winners 2018/2019". 23 March 2019. Archived from the original on 31 January 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  33. ^ "Zzina Awards 2018: Here's the full list of nominees". March 2018. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  34. ^ Kora Awards Nominees 2003
  35. ^ Kora Awards Nominees 2004 Archived 6 January 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ IPP Media: Jose Chameleon nominated for UK Music Awards In 2006
  37. ^ "Kili awards 2012 Nominees 8 February 2012". Archived from the original on 19 August 2022. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  38. ^ "Chameleone Nominated for World Music Awards". 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  39. ^ "DSTV Mobile — DSTV | Movies | Sport | Series | Music | TV Guide | Entertainment". Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2018.