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Who is Clever J?

Who is Clever J? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, wife, family, songs, Mayanja family, relationship with Jose Chameleone, early life and education of Gerald Muwonge.

Gerald Muwonge aka Clever J is a Ugandan recording artist, producer, arranger, a composer who stormed the music scene in the early 2000s particularly with his song ‘Wanzi Wanani’ in 2007. 

Clever J whose voice is much related to his cousin Jose Chameleone, real name Joseph Mayanja shot to the limelight in 2007 following the release of the ‘Manzi Wanani’ song. 

Early Life and Education

Clever J was born in Uganda to Mr John Bukenya and the late Rosemary Nalujja, however, he was partly raised by Jose Cameleone’s parents Gerald Mayanja and Proscovia Musoke. 

The guttural voice went to several schools. He attended Kasanga Victoria School for his nursery education, then surprisingly, Clever J joined Jinja Kalooli Girls School, but later left the school in P.4, as per his narration.

Thereafter, he joined Holy Family School for his P.5 till P.7. Later Clever J joined Standard High School Kawempe for his secondary education before attending Nagalama Islamic Institute. 

Unfortunately, Clever J dropped out of school in senior three after losing the properties that were given to him by his cousins from the Mayanja family in a fire that gutted the school. He could not afford school anymore and that’s how his school journey ended.

Music Career

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As a young musician, Clever J began recording his first three songs at Leone Island, owned by Jose Chameleone. These songs were; Yewuwo, Sirina Mulala, and Obusungu.

Clever J began his music career in 1994 and did his first three songs were recorded at Leone Island record label owned by the celebrated musician, Dr Jose Chameleone that include; ‘Yewuwo’, Sirina Mulala’ and ‘Obusungu’.  

Then in 2006, he released his hit album titled ‘Manzi Wanani’ in which he was the producer.

It was followed by the ‘Ensi Yaleeta’ album and other songs till his downfall. In 2020, Clever J resurfaced on the music scene saying he was working on his comeback after a successful concert he was involved in. 

However, his music return didn’t work out, he has been silent since then and according to reports, Clever J gave up on music. He’s said to have resorted to bricklaying after failing musically in Buloba, a Kampala City outskirt.

In March 2021, his former manager MP Jesus revealed that Clever J sold off his studio he had set up in his home to start a welding store to earn a living and turned Born Again Christian. 

Clever J once claimed the bricklaying business was to support his rise up into the music arena and enhance his studio.

He attributes his downfall musically to the evolution in the music industry where artists are more interested in singing for fun rather than sending educative messages to their fans. 

He says the music of today fades away shortly unlike the music before which still matters because it carried a message.

In an interview, Clever J also said that he was booked on several concerts, performed but went without payment, yet he spent his own money transporting himself to the music venue. This too contributed to his downfall. 

Besides, Clever J made peace with Jose Chameleone after a long standoff at a comedy show he performed in after many years out of the music scene organized by Alex Muhangi, a Ugandan comedian and proprietor of Comedy Store Uganda.

Chameleone who accepted the apology described Clever J as a gifted artist who made a tangible contribution to Uganda’s music industry. 

The two had separated following some misunderstandings he had with the Mayanja family.

Songs

  • Mukama
  • Buluma Akuze
  • Bakwagala Olina
  • Pineapple
  • Sio Balid
  • Mbongo
  • Fanya Kazi
  • Essanyu Lya Marembo
  • Ye Wuyo
  • Webale Butanswaza
  • Topeedo
  • Among other songs
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Chameleone, whom Clever J apologized to, described Clever J as a gifted artist who made a meaningful contribution to Uganda’s music industry.

Controversy

Clever J who was partly raised by Gerald Mayanja and Proscovia Musoke, superstar Chameleone’s parents ran away from home after gaining fame. He dissociated himself from the Mayanja family till his music downfall something that angered the family.

Then 15 years down the road in 2020, Clever J visited the Mayanja family to apologize for whatever happened over the years and receive their blessing once again. 

Clever J who carried groceries to the family was forced to kneel and apologize for his conduct.

Also, Clever J in an interview said he wanted a music battle with Chameleone and in response, the music giant said Clever J should instead fight for his music to come back or rather seek a music battle from Lil Pazo Olunabe other than him.