Jose Chameleone

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Jose Chameleone
Chameleone jose.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Mayanja
Born (1979-04-30) 30 April 1979 (age 43)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1990s–present
LabelsLeone Island Records

Joseph Mayanja (born 30 April 1979),[1] better known by the stage name Jose Chameleone, is a Ugandan AfroBeat artist and musician. Chameleone sings in Luganda, English and Swahili.

He started his music career in the early 1990s in Kenya with the Ogopa Deejays, a Kenyan record label then. Chameleone's music style is a mixture of Ugandan folk, central African rumba, zouk, and reggae.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Joseph Mayanja was born to Gerald and Prossy Mayanja on 30 April 1979 in Kampala district. He is 4th out of 8 children. 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.[3]

Musical career[edit]

Chameleone's career began in 1996 as a DJ at the Missouri night club in Kampala. Later he was signed to the Kenyan record label Ogopa Deejays, which released his first single, "Bageya" that featured Kenyan artist Redsan.[2] Throughout the years he has had record selling albums 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 (Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).


Jose Chameleone released his first album in 2000 and by 2013, he had 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.[3]

Music label[edit]

He is the CEO (chief Executive Officer )of the music label known as Leone Island. Several Artistes have been associated with this label. They include: the late Mosey Radio, Weasel, the late AK 47, King Saha, Papa Cidy, and Pallaso, Melody, Yung Mulo and Big Eye.[3]

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 aimed at improving skills and talent amongst under opportunitied youths [4]

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.[5][6]

He has performed overseas including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium,[7] Malaysia, China, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, South Sudan, Germany, and Switzerland, among others.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Chameleone is married to Danielle Atim. The couple has five children namely Abba Marcus Mayanja, Alfa Joseph Mayanja, Alba Shyne Mayanja, Amma Christian Mayanja and Xara Amani Mayanja studying and living in the United States.[citation needed]

He ran for office as Lord Mayor of Kampala in 2021.[8]



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"





  1. ^ "Jose Chameleone- Biography, Age, Married, Wife, Children, Real names". 10 November 2016. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Jose Chameleone Biography, Profile and Life Story". Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "The legend grows: Life and career of Jose Chameleone". New Vision. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  4. ^ "RedPepper website: Speaker Kadaga For Tubonge Concert". Archived from the original on 19 August 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Chameleon". Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  6. ^ Pier, G. David (2015). Ugandan Music in the Marketing Era. pp. 171–179. doi:10.1057/9781137546975. ISBN 978-1-137-54939-6. Archived from the original on 3 June 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Sauti za Busara: Jose Chameleone". Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2007.
  8. ^ "All". Archived from the original on 24 September 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  9. ^ PAM Awards: 2004 Winners
  10. ^ PAM Awards: 2005 Winners & Nominees
  11. ^ Tanzania Music Awards: Winners 2004
  12. ^ Tanzania Music Awards: 2005 Winners
  13. ^ PAM Awards 2006 Winners
  14. ^ Kisima Awards Winners 2006 Archived 8 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Kisima Awards Winners 2007 Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Official Nominees List for the 2013 African Entertainment Awards". Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  17. ^ "All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) - 2015 All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, Winners List". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Full List of Zzina Award Winners 2018/2019". 23 March 2019. Archived from the original on 31 January 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Zzina Awards 2018: Here's the full list of nominees". March 2018. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  20. ^ Kora Awards Nominees 2003
  21. ^ Kora Awards Nominees 2004 Archived 6 January 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ IPP Media: Jose Chameleon nominated for UK Music Awards In 2006
  23. ^ "Kili awards 2012 Nominees 8 February 2012". Archived from the original on 19 August 2022. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Chameleone Nominated for World Music Awards". 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  25. ^ "DSTV Mobile — DSTV | Movies | Sport | Series | Music | TV Guide | Entertainment". Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2018.