Jose Chameleone Biography: Rise To Fame Of Legendary Hitmaker

The 'Tubonge' singer is a versatile musician

By  | Oct 21, 2021, 08:52 AM  | Jose Chameleone  | Top of The

Jose Chameleone artist
Jose is a veteran musician and businessman who is known for his unique music and contributions to the society via his philanthropy work.

His songs have  yielded popular catchphrases including Basiima Ogenze, Shida Za Dunia, Nekolera Maali and Badilisha.

He has also released hitsongs such as Tubonge, Jamila, Valu Valu and Kipepeo among others.

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Having been in the industry for so long, he surely has made a name for himself, but it has not been an easy journey. 

Let us take a look at Jose's biography

Jose Chameleone Age

Jose was born on the 30th of April 1979. He is 41-years-old.

Jose Chameleone Early Life

Jose was born and raised in Kampala by his father Gerald Mayanja and his mother Prossy Mayanja.

He is the 4th born child in his family. Jose is born in a family where he has two brothers, Douglas Mayanja and Puis Mayanare who also are well-known musicians in the country.

Jose's brothers are known by their stage names Weasel and Pallaso, respectively. Weasel had the opportunity to work with fellow musician Moses Radio as part of the Goodlyfe Crew. Sadly Moses Radio passed away and Weasel now sings alone.

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Jose had another brother, Emmanuel Mayanja popularly known as AK47 who unfortunately lost his life in 2015. He was rushed to Nsambya hospital after falling in the bathroom at De Javu bar in Kansanga, but unfortunately he did not make it and was declared dead upon arrival.

In honour of his brother, Jose decided to recognize his brother’s contribution to the industry for the 25 years that he lived by preparing a record in his memory.

Jose Chameleone Education

Jose started his formal studies at Nakasero Primary School. 

After finishing his Primary education he furthered his studies in the following secondary schools, Katikama SDA Secondary school, Mengo Secondary School and Kawempe Muslim Secondary School. 

Not much is known as to whether Jose did further his studies at a university. However, in 2018, the artist was seen posing in a graduation gown and it was alleged that he had graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics at Kyambogo University Kampala. 

Jose Chameleone Family

Jose is married to one of Uganda’s most popular socialites Daniella Atim Mayanja. They tied the knot in 2007.

During their marriage, the couple has been blessed with five children, Abba Marcus Mayanja, Alfa Joseph Mayanja, Alba Shyne Mayanja, Amma Maynaj and Xara Amani Mayanja.

Being born to parents who are supportive, their children ventured into what they love at an early age.

Abba Marcus is a swimming champion in the Uganda juniors team and also released his first single "Game Over" under the name T-REX; Alfa Joseph.


Jose Chameleone Career

Jose started his career at a young age.

He began in 1996 as a residential Deejay at the Missouri Night Club in Kampala. After his massive success at the night club, he soon became known as one of Uganda's best deejays.

His different musical style is a combination of Ugandan music, central African Rumba, Zouk, and Reggae.

In 2000, he signed with Ogopa DJs where he broke through with his first single, "Bageya" that featured Kenyan artist Redsan.

In 2013, the musician had already released twelve albums which included  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 and Badilisha in 2013.

Jose then released Tubonge in 2014, Wale Wale in 2015, Siri Mujjawo in 2016, Sweet Banana in 2017, Champion in 2018.

In his career, the musician performed to the largest audience at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala. 

Jose performed to an estimated figure which was above 40 000 fans who attended his Tubonge Live Concert. In East Africa, no one has come close to his numbers. 

Jose had yet another outstanding journey in 2017 when he sold out his annual LEGEND concert which was made to celebrate the music in Uganda. The tickets were sold out due to space and he still had more fans waiting outside to purchase tickets.

Jose is still considered to be the best performer in Uganda and this comes after his sterling performance with his young brother, Weasel at Saturday’s Club Beatz At Home online show.

Jose Chameleone Awards

Through his contributions, Jose has won that include international awards such as MTV Base awards, and Tanzanian awards.
Here is a list of his awards: 

Pearl of Africa Music Awards

  • 2004 - Artiste of the Year & Song of the Year
  • 2005 - Best Afro Beat Artiste/Group & Best Afro Beat Single 
  • 2006 - Best Afro Beat Artist/Group
Tanzania Music Awards

  • 2004 - Best East African Album 
  • 2005 - Best East African Album 
  • 2012 - Best East African Song (Valu Valu)
  • 2006 - Best Afro Beat Artist/Group
Kisima Music Awards

  • 2007 - Best Ugandan Song (Sivyo Ndiviyo with Professor Jay)
  • 2006 - Best Ugandan Song (Mama Rhoda) & Best Ugandan Music Video (Mama Rhoda)
MOBO Awards

  • 2006 -– Best African Act
MTV Europe Music Awards

  • 2007 - Best African Act
African Entertainment Awards

  • 2013 - International Best Male Artist
HiPipo Music Awards

  • 2014 - Song of the Year "Badilisha"
  • 2014 - Best Male ZOUK Song "Badilisha"

World Music Awards

  • 2014 - World Best Male Artist, 
  • 2014 - World Best Live Act
  • 2014- World Best Performer
All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)

  • 2015 - Song Writer Of The Year
MTV Africa Music Awards

  • 2015 - MAMA Evolution Award
Galaxy Zzina Music Awards

  • 2018 Legend Award
Chameleone has been nominated for the 2021 Zzina awards in Best Dancehall category for the song Leero , where he has been featured by DJ Slick Stuart and  DJ Roja. 

Jose Chameleone Business

Jose is a CEO of the music label, Leone Island Music Empire.

His record label has raised some of the musical giants in  Uganda and East Africa, including the late Moses Radio, Weasel, the late AK47, King Saha, Papa Cidy, and Pallaso, Melody, Yung Mulo, Big Eye, and Deejay Pius.

Jose Chameleone Philanthropy 

He is a firm believer in educating society and through his societal influence, he was recruited and honoured with being a member of the musician's community.

This is a group of musicians who use their status and influence to help eradicate poverty and create HIV/AIDS by making donations and giving talks to raise awareness through emphasizing ways to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In 2018, Jose was announced as the official ambassador for Busoga Tourism by the speaker of Parliament in Uganda who is focused on the Department of Art in the country.  

Jose Chameleone Controversy

In his 20 years of activity in the music industry, Jose had the following controversial moments.

Confiscated Passport

In 2012, Jose and Erice Shigongo had their differences and according to Eric, he claims that Jose had conned him off $3500 and as a result, he confiscated the musician's passport.

Jose was stuck in Tanzania until he applied for temporary travel documents and he eventually managed to leave the country. 


He went through a phase where his marriage almost collapsed.He went through a phase where his marriage almost collapsed.

Jose and his wife Daniela went through a hard phase in their marriage and Daniela ended up filing for divorce in 2017 after their 10 years of marriage.

In accepting the situation as it was, Jose posted on social media in 2018,

I’ll let you be Daniela. God bless you always. I can’t prove myself more than I have”. 

However, the couple fixed their problems in 2018 and reunited.

In 2019 the couple celebrated their wedding anniversary and Jose wrote on social media;

”Today is exactly 11 years of loving, supporting and complimenting me, there could never have been a better wife for me than you DANIELLA ATIM MAYANJA.”

Rival Musicians

Jose’s record label Island Productions has had big names signed under it such as Goodlyfe, Vampino Elvis, Wessel and Bebe Cool together with Bobi Wine.

The artists, however, seemed not to get along, and there were a lot of squabbles among them.

This saw some of them, like Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine, break off from the record label and they distanced themselves from Jose. . 

Jose Better than Diamond 

Jose is a giant musical performer who hails from Uganda and through his skills as an artist, he is loved globally. 

According to Jose, he believes that he is better than Platnumz Diamond. In his argument, he believes that Diamond cannot do a one-man-show in Uganda unlike him who has sold out tickets for different stadiums in Tanzania.

“There is a difference between a TV musician and a Stage musician. Diamond is not so big as many of you think despite being famous on social media platforms like Instagram. When he came to Uganda, he was just in Club Guvnor. He can’t stage a sold-out show by himself in Uganda unlike me who can fill stadiums in Tanzania,” he said.

Jose Chameleone VS Bobi Wine

Jose Chameleone and Bobi Wine have been friends for a long time until this year when Jose Chameleone accused Bobi Wine of being a bad friend. Jose Chameleone noted that when he was sick and admitted in hospital Bobi Wine never went to check on him and he never even gave him a phone call. He declared that Bebe Cool was a good friend that Bobi Wine because Bebe Cool visited him in the hospital with flowers and gave him a birthday cake.

“When I fell sick, Bobi Wine never bothered to visit me, not even a text as a friend. Putting politics aside, Bobi Wine is a very good leader no doubt, but not a friend. Because what kind of friendship is that?” Jose Chameleone asked during an interview with NBC.

Bobi Wine and Jose Chameleone

“Bebe Cool always reaches out to me and delivers cake on my birthday. I don’t have a reason as to why I should superglue on someone who is not even noticing me. Let me stick with the ones that love me,” Jose Chameleone said.

Jose Chameleone had been admitted in the hospital as he was reportedly battling a liver and pancreas disorder which was as a result of consuming excessive alcoholic drinks.

Late in 2020, Jose Chameleone was also angry at Bobi Wine after his party National Unity Platform refused to give him a ticket to compete in the 2021 Kampala Lord Mayor elections.

I decided to defy the party to come as an Independent after I was denied a card for NUP. I still support Bobi Wine but I also have my personal ambitions,” Jose Chameleone said after he was denied the NUP card. 

Jose Chameleone Net Worth

Jose has been in the music industry for over two decades. Through his contributions in the music industry and his businesses, he owns a record label which paved ways for upcoming artists in the country. Jose is estimated to be worth $6 million.

As a family man and a businessman, the musician continues to work on his new projects and signing upcoming artists in the music industry.

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