Jose Chameleone says Kenya remains to be his motherland

Joseph Mayanja, famously recognized as Jose Chameleone, a renowned musician hailing from Uganda, has provided a detailed explanation regarding his profound admiration for Kenya as his everlasting maternal figure in the chronicles of his life.

Having recently commemorated his 45th birthday, the artist has been joyously reveling in numerous events and expressing his gratitude through various online platforms.

Chameleone expressed that while Uganda holds the significance of a fatherly role in his life, Kenya will forever occupy a special place as his nurturing mother, as it was in this country where his musical journey commenced during the early 2000s.

“I congratulate Jose Chameleone and Joseph Mayanja. One is my boss and the other is a boy from Kawempe to the world. I SALUTE all of you, Uganda is my Father, Kenya my Mother, Tanzania, South Sudan, Zambia, Rwanda, DR CONGO!!! AFRICA – Rest is HITSTORY✌🏾 @45 I have all the reasons to thank for my blessings. Alhamdulillah,” Chameleone wrote in one of his posts.

Joseph Mayanja, born on April 30, 1979, in Kampala district, Uganda, to Gerald and Prossy Mayanja, is the fourth child among eight siblings.

Chameleone’s music is a unique fusion of Ugandan folk music, Central African rumba, zouk, and reggae.

Jose Chameleone
Jose Chameleone

His musical journey commenced in 1996 when he started as a DJ at a nightclub in Kampala.

In 1998, he transitioned to becoming a musician and relocated to Kenya, where he collaborated with Ogopa Deejays, a renowned Kenyan record label. It was through this collaboration that his first song, “Bageya,” featuring Kenyan artist Redsan, was released.

Over the years, Chameleone has achieved great success with numerous hit songs, including “Mama Mia,” “Mambo Bado,” “Jamila,” “Kipepeo,” “Bageya,” “Shida za Dunia,” “Bayuda,” and “Njo Karibu.”

While his music resonates throughout Africa, his strongest fan base lies in Central Africa, particularly in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Since his debut album in 2000, Chameleone has released a total of 13 albums. The artist has recently announced that he will refrain from celebrating his birthdays for the next five years until he reaches the age of 50.

How Jose Chameleone was smuggled into Kenya

Ugandan superstar Joseph Mayanja popularly known as Dr Jose Chameleone is one of the most respected African artistes.

His journey to fame however started by being smuggled into Kenya by a friend and being put up by well-wishers for almost two years till his music career took off.

“When I first came to Nairobi to seek studio opportunities, I didn’t even have a bank account. I put up with friends till I recorded the song Mama Mia which propelled me to the limelight. I also made many friends whom we have kept in touch to date.”

Jose Chameleone says Kenya remains to be his motherland
Jose Chameleone says Kenya remains to be his motherland

Jose Chameleone on struggles he went through as a foreigner in Kenya

“I was actually smuggled into the country in a cargo bus. The bus did not even have seats and so I sat on a stool in the bus corridor. I was arrested the first night I arrived because I did not have a passport and could not speak Swahili. The fact that I did not have a place to stay was also a challenge since the person I was hoping would accommodate me was out of town. Luckily, he recommended me to someone else who accommodated me for a while.”

Jose Chameleone break through

“My breakthrough was when I got signed up by Ogopa DJs, then they were the biggest in East Africa. I recorded my first single, Bageya, in 2000 featuring my good friend Redsan and followed it up with Mama Mia, which was also a big hit in 2001. My album, Bageya, opened doors for me and I became a household name in East Africa. That’s how I got to where I am.”

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