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Chameleone: Scandalised to fame

by Editorial Team
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By Hussein Kiganda

If a rose was called pupu, would it smell different? Yes, according to ‘Chamiliologists’ – those who undertake the study of Jose Chameleone.

Chameleone, in his 25 years in the music business, continues to prove why he chose the moniker Chameleone.

Like the reptile, he keeps changing colours to suit circumstances. He will flog a boda guy and the following day call for a press conference to preach peace, love and unity. That is only his latest scandal.

We revisit his most notorious scandals and weigh in whether he has ever learnt from them or Chameleone will remain a chameleon for life.  

He keeps pressing the self-destruct button, like many renowned geniuses the world over.

Of broken legs

The East African Community, its parliament and all the other organs let us down in 2008. Jose Chamelone was booked to perform at a concert in Tanzania, and in the middle of the night, in a hotel, we were told he had developed broken legs.

The story took on proportions of a legend. Up to now, there is no proper record of what happened that night. There was the story of the singer sleep walking and falling off the balcony of his hotel room.

Another story was an attack by certain people who simply tied him up and hammered his ankles. That some rich guy suspected him of hitting on his wife and hit him. That it was a staged accident is another version.

Sadly, he still has a limp from that fall, accident or beating – whatever it was. Why couldn’t the two countries put resources together to get to the bottom of such an incidence that involved their most prized international artiste? At least he claimed he was the most accomplished artiste in the region at the time.

Beating up Erio Disc

On February 2022, Chameleone is reported to have beaten up singer Erio Disc to pulp. The upcoming singer narrated in an interview that he was bitterly battered by the Wale Wale singer and was nursing wounds.

Disc narrated that he was beaten for loitering with Chamili’s younger brother Weasel. That was a story whose end was not followed. It disappeared in thin air. Perhaps it was another planned publicity stunt.

Beating Jeff Kiwa

In 2015, the Mayanja brothers – Chameleone, Weasel, and Pallaso – are reported to have ganged up at Acacia Avenue-based bar The Wink, and beat up Jeff Kiwa – who was once Chameleone’s manager.

It all started when the DJ played AK 47’s song, soon after his death. Then there was an altercation between Chameleone and Jeff Kiwa, who was AK47’s manager at the time of his death. The argument took a physical form when Chameleone lost his temper, according to eye witnesses. 

Chamili’s manager in Masindi beaten up

In 2017, the Kipepewo singer is also said to have beaten up one of his managers (Robert Jackson Nkuke) in Masindi after he had realised that Nkuke had taken a large portion of the money that Chamili had made after one of the shows in Masindi. However, Chamili denied the allegations. He fired Nkuke after the saga.

The DJ Bryan saga

In 2016, Chamili allegedly beat up DJ Bryan of Club Guvnor. The club imposed a lifetime ban on the singer and most of the DJs in the city boycotted him. The ban was only lifted in July 2022 when he apologised to the DJ.

Beating journalist

At singer Catherine Kusasira’s kwanjula in 2018, assaulted Bukedde TV journalist Josephat Sseguya. 

Having performed, the self-proclaimed ‘Heavyweight’ handed over the microphone, went to where Sseguya was seated and punched him severally.

He accused him of writing “bad news” about him. Chameleone later bowed to pressure and apologised to the journalist after he feared that the journalist had filed a case against him.

Diggy Baur Cries Out

In 2020, popular city producer Diggy Baur cried out to the public and the Police to bring Chameleone to book after he allegedly beat him up. The producer said during the beating, his property was also destroyed.

Crying out for help, Baur stressed that if the Forever singer wants to kill him, he should go ahead and kill him because he is tired of being treated like trash.

Katongole Omutongole swallows slaps (2016)

If you don’t remember the slaps that Beat FM presenter Katongole Omutongole got from Chamili, then you are far from the news world. When the presenter met Chamili face-to-face in 2016, a verbal exchange erupted and Chameleone gave Katongole some slaps in the face accusing him of talking ill about him and his association with the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Katongole was reported to have used his platform to criticise Chamili’s Tubonga Naawe project.

Fik Fameica runs for safety

In 2018, at the late Moses Radio’s vigil at Neverland in Makindye, Fik Fameica allegedly received slaps from the drunk Chameleone, who is said to have been looking for Feffe Bussi. 

An eye witness reported that Fik Fameica arrived at Neverland at around 5am, a time when most artistes at the vigil were already “high”.

Fik Fameica

The witness narrated that, singer Weasel’s phone had been stolen and Feffe Bussi was perceived as the prime suspect, so Chamili was looking for Feffe, hence bumping into Fik Fameica and feeding him with slaps. However, Chamili has never clarified whether it was true.

Beat up guests at his wedding reception

“A wild rabbit never forgets its wild habits even if it’s domesticated, so they say. Chamili, even as a very smart groom at his wedding reception in 2008 at Serena Hotel didn’t leave his violence behind. He forgot all the respect he had received from his in-laws and jumped to slap a paparazzi who came to his wedding uninvited.

The singer never wanted paparazzi’s at his reception. He had contracted a photography company to do the work and never wanted the media to capture any moments. When he got out of the gate, he saw a paparazzi vending some of the photos he had taken and became angry there and then. He quickly swung in to capture the photographer and gave him slaps and punches. Before this, he was reportedly involved in a fight at his kasiki at Angenoir Discotheque with singer Master Parrot.

Death in Seguku

It remains a mystery, like many things about legends are. However, even for Chameleone, if there is one scandal that makes him develop goose pimples whenever mentioned, it is the death of a Robert Karamagi that resulted from wounds suffered at the musicia’s home in Seguku on Boxing Day in 2012. Not to traumatise the musician with that case ahead of his concert on February 10, we have closed the article here.

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