Born Joseph Mayanja, Jose Chameleone is a Ugandan musician, song writer, performer and a politician who is generally regarded as one of the greatest Ugandan Musicians ever.
He sings in English, Luganda and Kiswahili the languages that have helped him to be popular not only in Uganda but also in East and Central Africa.
Chameleone was born on 30th April 1979 to Gerald and Prossy Mayanja in Kampala district. He is the 4th out of 8 children.
His ancestral home is Mityana but together with his parents, Chameleone grew up in Kampala.
Education background of Jose Chameleone
Jose Chameleone attended Nakasero Primary School where attained his PLE Pass slip after finishing Primary 7.
He went to Mengo Senior Secondary School for his O level before leaving Mengo for Kawempe Muslim Secondary School, he also attended Katikamu SDA Secondary School and Progressive Secondary School – Kawempe.
In 2018, Chameleone enrolled for A Level at Katuuso Community School and did his A Level exams in 2019 November/December where he passed with 12 points out of 20.
In 2021, Chameleone was reported to have joined Cavendish University but the singer has never come out to confirm or deny the reports.
In 2021, Jose Chameleone enrolled for an online course, a degree in International Diplomacy however he did not reveal the university or institution of learning where he was pursing the degree from.
Jose Chameleone is a musician, businessman and a politician and has been successful in all fields.
Jose Chameleone started his career as a deejay when he was 17 in a night club called Missousir in Kampala in 1996.
He was later signed by a Kenyan record lable Ogoba DJs. It was under Ogopa DJs that Chameleone released his first single titled ‘Bageya’ where he featured a Kenyan artist Redsan. His first song was first played on Metro FM unmastered after several producers refused to master it. Little did they know that another star in making was being bred. His song Bageya became a hit.
From his first song Bageya which become the album title of his first album in 2000, Jose Chameleone has released 17 more albums which include 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.
He is one of the few artists who have had a hit song in every of the four consecutive 4 decades (1990-1999, 2000-2010, 2011-2019 and 2020 -2029).
Chameleone has been nominated in various national and internaltional awards winning some including MTV Africa Music Awards –MAMA (nomination), MTV Europe Music Awards, Afrima, Afrimma, Africa Entertainment Awards, Kora Awards, Hipipo Prestigious Awards, Pearl of Africa Music Awards and many others.
He is one of the most streamed musicians in Uganda with a Youtube following 270,000 subscribers as of 2021 having accumulated over 66 Million views. His songs have millions of downloads on popular music sites in Uganda.
Jose Chameleone is an NRM Supporter who has supported and campaigned for the party since 2011 General Elections.
In 2016, Chameleone teamed with King Saha, Dr. Jose Chameleone, Juliana Kanyomozi, Bebe Kool, Mowzey Radio, Weasel, Iryn Namubiru, Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Rema, Judith Babirye and Haruna Mubiru to compose NRM campaign song ‘Tubonga Nawe’ which rivaled FDC’s Towa Basi Yako by Adam Mulwana.
In June 2019, Jose Chameleone announced leaving the ruling National Resistance Movement for the Democratic Party and he become part of DP members who were making re-unions in different parts of the country.
After joining DP, he presented his bid to contest on the Kampala Lord Mayoral position, a seat that was being occupied by Erias Lukwago at the moment.
1 year after joining DP, Chameleone left DP alongside 8 other MPs of DP block and he joined National Unity Platform – People Power, in August 2020.
In September 2020, NUP gave Latif Ssebagala the party endorsement card as the flag bearer on Kampala Mayor Position leaving Chameleone disappointed.
In October 2020, Chameleone announced that he will be coming as independent in the coming 2021 elections on the Lord Mayor’s position. He lost the election coming in the 4th position behind Erias Lukwago who won, Nabbila Naggayi Ssempala and a fellow singer Ragga Dee of NRM.
In September 2021, Jose Chameleone once again left NUP and re-joined the ruling National Resistance Movement where he was welcomed by Gen Coleb Akandwanaho (Salim Saleh) a brother to President Museveni and was presented with a gift of a new Land Rover car.
Business Career, Investments and Net Worth
Jose Chameleone is one of the richest East African musicians with net worth in billions of Ugandan shillings.
Besides performances and music sales which make a larger portion of Chameleone’s income, Jose Chameleone is a brand ambassador and brand influencer of various brands from telecommunication companies to beverages and mobile phone companies.
Chameleone owns a magnificent house in Sseguku a neighborhood on Entebbe Road where his family resides when in Uganda.
He purchased a house in Minneapolis Minnesota, in 2019 for reportedly UGX 930M and his family now spend much of their time in US than in Uganda.
He unveiled Daniella villas, apartments in Bweyogerere, however rumors say that he sold the Daniella Villas to clear off balance on his United States house.
He has a fleet of cars with various expensive cars the most recent being his Range Rover 7 seater which was gifted to him by NRM valued at 250M.
His net worth in 2020 was estimated at $6M by Tuko News Kenya.
Family of Jose Chameleone
Jose Chameleone is born in a family of 8 children. 3 of them are also popular musicians in the country namely Pius Mayanja (Pallaso), Douglas Mayanja (Weasel) and Emmanuel Mayanja (AK 47 1990-2015). His other siblings are Humphrey Mayanja, Josephine Nabukeera and David, and Juliet Nalwanga.
Jose Chameleone is married to Daniela Atim and together they have five children Abba Marcus Mayanja, Alfa Joseph Mayanja, Alba Shyne Mayanja; Amma Christian Mayanja and Xarsa Amani Mayanja.
Chameleone’s eldest child is known as Ayla Mayanja a daughter to his Belgian ex girlfriend Dorotia.
Joseph Mayanja was born in a practicing Catholic family. He grew up as Catholic confessing the religion.
In 2011, Chameleone converted to Islam and was named Gaddafi Mayanja. He later converted back to the Catholic faith.
In 2017, Chameleone appeared on Pastor Kayanja’s 77 DOGS prayer sessions. Much as it was reported in some media that he had converted and became a born again, the reports appeared to be false as he continued practicing his catholic faith.
Throughout his journey, he has helped a lot of people and helped many musicians to get a platform including Radio and Weasel, Pallaso, AK 47, Papa Cidy and many others.