Jose Chameleone biography
Jose Chameleone is the CEO of the music label Leone Island. PHOTO/INSTAGRAM

Jose Chameleone real name Joseph Mayanja, is a Ugandan recording artiste, AfroBeat, father, and husband to Daniella Atim

Jose Chameleone original name Joseph Mayanja, is a Ugandan recording artiste, AfroBeat and Reggae musician, a father, husband and a businessman. He’s one of the most popular musicians of his generation in Uganda with a huge fan base in many African countries and in the diaspora.

The undisputed singer, Chameleone sings in Luganda, English, and Swahili and has won multiple awards on the continent.

Jose Chameleone is the CEO of the music label Leone Island that has signed many musicians from Uganda and East Africa, including the late Moses Radio, Weasel, and the late AK 47, King Saha, Papa Cidy, Palaso, Melody, Young Mulo, Big Eye, Deejay Pius and others.

Early Life and Education

Jose Chameleone was born on 30th April 1979 in Kampala District to Gerald and Prossy Mayanja. He’s the 4th out of 8 children. 

Chameleone has many famous siblings. Douglas Mayanja alias Weasel is a performer of Goodlyfe Crew and solo artist, Pius Mayanja stage name Pallaso is also a music artist, Emmanuel Mayanja, alias AK 47 (RIP) and Henry Kasozi, the CEO of Fling Fire clothing line.

Other siblings include Humphrey who lives in the USA, Josephine Nabukeera and David, a half-brother who lives in Manchester City, Juliet Nalwanga who is said to be Mayanja’s eldest child from another woman.

Chameleone’s father intentionally doesn’t want to recognize her as his daughter, because of her financial state and for disappointing him after she refused to study.

Chameleone attended Nakasero Primary School and then Mengo SSS, Kawempe Muslim SSS, Katikamu SDA SSS, and Progressive SSS for his secondary school.

Jose Chameleone Music Career

Chameleone’s musical career began at a young age in 1996, as a DJ at the Missouri night club in Kampala.

He was later signed to the Kenyan record label Ogopa DJs, where he broke through with his first single, “Bageya” that featured Kenyan artist Redsan.

Chameleone’s musical style is a combination of Ugandan music, Central African rumba, Zouk, and reggae.

Jose Chameleone music careers
Jose Chameleone was born on 30th April 1979

Albums  

His first album, Bageya, was released in 2000.

By 2013, he had released twelve more albums, including 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, Siri Mujjawo in 2016, Sweet Banana in 2017, Champion in 2018. 

In March 2014 at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala, Jose Chameleone broke the record for the largest audience of any East African performer, drawing an estimated 40,000 fans to his “Tubonge Live” concert.

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In 2017 he made another outstanding mark on his annual do LEGEND Hit after Hit concert that was once again a sellout. The cricket oval was sold out to full capacity as fans danced away to the music that has made him a regional and continental darling.

Singles

Jose Chameleone musical career began in 2000 till date.

  • 2020 Baliwa
  • 2019 Tonsuna Ft Papa Cidy, Tondekangawo Ft Hanson Baliruno.
  • 2018 Champion, Mateeka, Kilabe, Tatizo.
  • 2017 Sweet Banana, Superstar, Mshamba
  • 2016, Siri Mujjawo, and other songs

Awards

Won

  • 2004, Tanzania Music Awards – Best East African Album (Bei Kali)
  • 2005 Tanzania Music Awards – Best East African Album (Jamila)
  • 2005, Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards) – Best Afro Beat Artiste/Group and Best Single (Kipepeo)
  • 2006 Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards) – Best Afro Beat Artist/Group
  • 2006 Kisima Music Awards – Best Ugandan Song (Mama Rhoda) and Best Ugandan Music Video (Mama Rhoda)
  • 2007 Kisima Music Awards – Best Ugandan Song (Sivyo Ndiviyo with Professor Jay)
  • 2013 African Entertainment Awards – Best Male Zouk Song “Badilisha”
  • 2014 HiPipo Music Awards – Song of the Year “Badilisha”
  • 2014 HiPipo Music Awards – Best Male Zouk Song “Badilisha”
  • 2014 Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards) – Artiste of the Year and Song of the Year (Jamila)
  • 2015 All African Music Awards (AFRIMA) – Song Writer of The Year
  • 2018 Galaxy Zzina Music Awards – Legend Award

Nominations

  • 2003 Kora Awards – Best East African Artist
  • 2004 Kora Awards – Best East African Male Artist
  • 2006 Mobo Awards – Best African Act
  • 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards – Best African Act
  • 2012 Tanzania Music Awards – Best East African Song (Valu Valu)
  • 2014 World Music Awards – (3 categories): World Best Male Artist, World Best Live Act and World Best Performer.
  • 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards – MAMA Evolution Award

Collaborations

  • Nyumirwa ft. Leira Kayondo
  • Whine it, Jacky Chandiru ft. Chameleone
  • Nkwaata ft. Papa Cidy
  • Maria Solo ft. Papa Cidy
  • Wakanda (Uganda) ft. Jenkins Mukasa
  • Side Yeno all-stars
  • Tikikushmerire ft. Gen Geeon
  • My Love ft. Kuzi Kz
  • Sing ft. Kidima
  • Mukisenge ft. Radio and Weasel
  • Say Goodbye ft. Allan Toniks
  • Inabana ft. Harmonize
  • Mumbejja ft Serena Bata
  • Njagala ft. Diziza
  • Mineral water Remix ft. Coco UG
  • Looking For ft. Pallaso, Kay Switch and Radio and Weasel
  • Agatako ft. Dj Pius
  • Bisooto ft. Melody
  • Stamina ft. Brotherz Muzik
  • Woman ft. Myco Chris
  • Tondekangawo ft. Hanson Baliruno
  • Hana Remix ft. Pallaso
  • Kimilu ft. Vampino
  • Kiboko ft. Kalifah Aganaga
  • Champion. Trumpet version ft. Rich2 Trumpeter
  • Say Goodbye ft. Allan Tonix
  • Time ft. Mesach Ssemakula
  • Panadol ft. Radio and Weasel
  • Gurantee ft. King Micheal
  • Kajanja Love ft. Pallaso
  • Baki ft. Bob Junior
  • Remember ft. Pallaso
  • Akati ft. Serena Bata
  • Ahh ahh ahh ft. Arlas Da African
  • Nkoole Ki ft. Melody
  • Relaxing ft. Leila Kayondo
  • Come Over ft. Navio
  • Best I Know ft. Radio and Weasel 

Jose Chameleone – Family and Personal Life

Chameleone is married to Daniella Atim Mayanja
Jose Chameleone is married to Daniella Atim Mayanja. PHOTO/INSTAGRAM

Jose Chameleone is married to Daniella Atim Mayanja. The two got married in a flashy wedding on 7th, June 2008 and together they have five children: Abba Marcus Mayanja, Alfa Joseph Mayanja, Alba Shyne Mayanja; Amma Christian Mayanja and Xarsa Amani Mayanja.

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Chameleone is also father to Ayla Mayanja, his firstborn with ex-girlfriend Dorotia who was from Belgium.

Abba Marcus is a swimming medalist on the Uganda juniors’ national team and also released his first single “Game Over” under the name T-REX; Alfa Joseph is a swimmer too.

At the start of their relationship, Daniela’s family and friends did not like Chameleone particularly her father because of his lifestyle.

But after some time, the two became close friends. Father John Scalabrini, Daniela’s foster father whom she prefers referring to as father loved Chameleone and his entire family with all his heart and affection.

Father Scalabrini died on 4th, October 2016 and buried at St James Catholic Church, Biina. He succumbed to cancer of the bones at St Francis Nsambya Hospital.

He was born in Limido Cmasco, Italy in 1934. He migrated to Uganda in 1964 at the age of 30. 

Scalabrini is the one who conducted the wedding ceremony of the celebrity couple in June 2008, and he was a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble.

He is the one who chattered a chopper to pick Chameleone from Tanzania when he broke his legs in the infamous 2009 accident.

Father scalabrini also oversaw Chameleone’s return to the Catholic faith after it was reported that he had converted to Islam in 2011, which had caused a rift in his family.

Also, when Chameleone was battling an alleged murder case after a boy burnt himself at the Singer’s Seguku home in late 2012, Chameleone and his entire family had to leave the Seguku house because of hostile neighbours and father Scalabrini came to their rescue by providing an apartment in Biina where Chameleone’s family sheltered.

In 2018, through a social media post, Chameleone announced that his marriage with wife Daniela Atim had ended, he said he was heartbroken but had to make a decision, finally. He declared that he was now a single man, although not searching.

“I let you be Daniela. God bless you always. I can’t prove myself more than I have,” the message said.

This was after his Wife Daniela filed a divorce case in 2017 seeking to terminate their 10-year marriage. She accused her husband of battling her whenever he returns home and coming home late.

Chameleone wife Daniella atim family children
Chameleone wife Daniella atim family children. PHOTO/NEW VISION

According to Daniela, she was tired of enduring the ill-treatment and inflicting her body ever since 2013.

But after a short while, the couple reconciled and Chameleone returned to his Facebook live stream and said there’s no divorce taking place because he loves his wife very much.

Daniela shifted to the USA to live with the children who are having their education in the United States of America (USA). 

However, before the reconciliation through her Instagram account, Daniela posted how her skin has started clearing up after the breakup. “If your skin starts clearing up after you stop talking to someone…. It’s a sign. Give it to God and go to sleep.”

She later commented, ‘I was never raised to discuss people I love.” This was in response to a follower who asked her to give her side of the breakup story.”

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During that time, Daniela stopped following Chameleone’s account but still followed that of Leone Island.   

Other activities

Jose Chameleone joins politics DP Kampala Mayor
Chameleone declared interest to run for Kampala mayoral seat

Chameleone is a member of the Illuminati Musician’s Community, a coalition of Musicians who use their fame and fortune to help reduce poverty and create awareness campaigns for HIV/AIDS. 

He has performed a great number of successful concerts overseas including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Malaysia, China, South Africa, Switzerland, among others and at home.

He is volunteering with the US Peace Mission with return and Rehabilitation of former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels as he inspires them to start afresh and more mainstream life.

Dr Jose Chameleone declared interest to run for Kampala mayoral seat under the Democratic Party ticket and currently he’s nurturing his dream. 

In 2014, the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, designated Chameleone to be the Ambassador of the Busoga Tourism initiative to help promote and boost tourism in the Busoga region.

Controversy

Chameleone and bebe cool car
Chameleone applauded Bebe Cool for blessing his manager and producer with cars

Singer Joseph Mayanja alias Jose Chameleone has said that fellow artiste and long term nemesis Moses Ssali also known as Bebe Cool is a nursery hymn composer who can’t compete with him musically.

Chameleone was responding to claims made by Bebe Cool in an interview with NBS UNCUT, a celebrity gossip programme. Bebe Cool told UNCUT that Chameleone doesn’t have hit songs and that is why their planned music battle has stalled.

In a separate interview with the UNCUT team, Chameleone said that despite his age, Bebe Cool has refused to grow musically and that is why the battle cannot happen.

“I want you to go back and listen to my songs one by one, and then listen to Moses Ssali’s music. I was singing “Katupakase’ while he was singing ‘Kusi Kusi’. I sang ‘Basima Ogenze’ and he did ‘Ani ya’ani’. Now we are singing ‘Baliwa’ and he is singing ‘Wire Wire’”, Chameleone said.

Jose Chameleone said that if Bebe Cool wants to have a music battle with him, let his first battle with artistes like King Saha who he has nurtured musically and who happens to be his friend right now.

He, however, applauded Bebe Cool for blessing his manager and producer with cars. He said that for all the years he has known Bebe Cool, he has always been selfish and this is a sign that he is maturing.

Chameleone went on to claim that, “Maybe Museveni’s money has had an influence on him. I want to remind you that it was Bebe Cool who tried to silence Radio when he was still an upcoming artiste.

The same Bebe Cool is always attacking artistes like Pallaso and King Saha.

Chameleone said that he has been silent for two years but his latest song, Baliwa is already making rounds on airwaves. He advised Bebe Cool to get serious with music and not ‘cheap talk’.

It was reported that Jose Chameleone sold off Daniela’s Villas at a tune of 800 million an apartment complex which is located in Bweyogerere a Kampala suburb to clear off debts of a house in the United States of America.