By Mudassir Raja
It goes without saying that Doha has fast become a place where artistes from across the world love to perform. Different expatriate communities have been inviting singers from their countries to enjoy their culture and music in Doha.
Among this diaspora, there are expatriates from different African countries living in Qatar in large numbers. The time has come for them to enjoy a live show with perhaps one of the most famous African musician visiting Doha.
On July 12 Joseph Mayanja (aka Jose Chameleon) will take the stage at Fabric Lounge of Grand Regal Hotel Doha. Chameleon is a Ugandan Afrobeat artist and the most popular musician of his generation in East Africa.
Chameleon sings in Luganda, English and Swahili languages– making him one of the most celebrated singers in many African nations. This has enabled him to win a number of awards across the word. For over two decades, he has been actively singing.
Chameleone’s 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 artiste Redsan.
Chameleone’s musical style is a combination of Ugandan music, central African rumba, zouk, and reggae. 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, Sili Mujjawo in 2016, Sweet Banana in 2017, Champion in 2018.
He is CEO of the music label Leone Island that has signed many musicians from Uganda and East Africa, including the late Moses Radio, Weasel, the late AK 47, King Saha, Papa Cidy, and Pallaso, Melody, Yung Mulo, Big Eye, Deejay Pius and many more. The music show titled ‘A Night with the African Legend’ is organised by Mulongo Events & Ricky Media.
Mohammad Wasswa, a Ugandan expatriate, is MD of Mulongo Events. He speaks highly of Chameleon and hopes the music show will be a successful fun.
He said: “This is going to be our seventh show in Qatar. Nobody has so far invited an African musician of Chameleon’s stature. The show is bound to become a history as the singer will perform for the first time in Doha. “I believe on the show day, all the roads will lead to the venue as the artist will will set the stage on fire with his energetic performance.”
Mohammad said: “In March 2014 at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala, Chameleone broke the record for the largest audience of any East African performer, drawing an estimated 40,000 fans to his Tubonge Live concert. He has also won the Legendary African Award in 2018.
“He mainly sings in Swahili language that is understood in countries like Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo.”
The organiser further said: “We have regularly been organising musical shows for the African expatriates. They live and work away from their homes and become homesick. They need to get refreshed and enjoy their native music and culture. Such events provide them opportunity to get fresh energy while listening to the music of their choice.
“The upcoming show will give the expatriates in Doha to listen to live music by the legendary singer. I believe they are going to love it as there will be thrilling music and energetic dances. It is also nice for them and me to be here as Doha is a place where you can enjoy multiculturalism and your own native culture at the same time.”
The show will start at 9pm and the gates will be open at 5pm. The show will also be attended by DJ Sean Mannie, DJ Emma and DJ Kayson. Julius Semakula (stage name Slash The Eage), a well-known Ugandan artiste based in Doha, will do the curtain-raising act for the show before Joss Chameleon engages the audience with his music.
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