Uganda’s veteran self proclaimed music doctor Jose Chameleone says he is now a living legend in the industry and many people seem to agree with him as they have kept supporting his career for the past 2 decades in which he has been part of the history among Uganda’s greatest musicians which revolutionized the industry and contributed to making it what it is now.
So, when Chameleone planned to celebrate the 20 years of his music career in style, he decided to name it ‘Legend Saba Saba’ because of the strong history attached to the Saba Saba (a big gun that was fired from Mutukula used to oust Idi Amin from power in 1979) which happens to be the year he was born.
In the build up to the event, Chameleone had promised not to include curtain raisers at his concert and instead put up a fantastic 3-hour nonstop performance and indeed when it came to D-day yesterday, the legend did not disappoint as he did exactly that.
After the likes of DJ Nimrod had warmed up the stage for him, the ‘Mateeka’ singer wasted no time as he jumped on stage straight away alongside a live band and kicked off what would turn out to be a marathon of high-tempo music that got the crowd grooving and jumping all over the place.
He started with some of his old hits that got heavy beats and high-tempo like ‘Bei Kali’ and ‘Nekolera Mali’ to set the mood for the rest of the evening. Even songs with slow tempo like ‘Katupakase’ were heightened and tempo raised with fast rhythms for the crowd to dance to as Lugogo Cricket Oval turned into a big dance hall.
Those in the VIP section who had sat patiently waiting for the main man himself all got up on their feet and joined the crowd in the ordinary section in dancing and yelling at the top of their voices.
Chameleone decided to add some Congolese Rumba and Soukous touches to his songs to increase the flow of adrenaline. Some of the youthful male fans were seen dancing in small groups half naked and sweating from head to toe while the ladies wiggled as if their lives depended on it.
When Chameleone started to perform ‘Sivio Ndivio’ remixed as ‘Bomboclat’ , the fans demanded for his brother Weasel and started shouting “Weasel Ali Wa?” “Where is Weasel?” and Chameleone had to stop the song to explain to them that he had travelled for Coke Studio in Nairobi before abandoning the song altogether.
However, Pallaso his other younger brother was available to sing the tribute song ‘Mama’ to their dear mom before doing their latest collabo ‘Hana’.
Government Chief Government Whip Ruth Nankabirwa who was chief guest was invited on stage to ‘greet’ the fans but things turned embarrassingly wrong for her as the fans started shouting at her to get off stage.
Chameleone saved her from further embarrassment and pelting when he grabbed off the microphone from her before she was whisked off stage.
The fans enjoyed ‘Melody’s performance as they did ‘Nkole Ki’ especially when they reversed roles with Chameleone singing Melody’s parts. But the latter beat him hands down when he pulled off that rap in a deep hoarse voice to the delight of the crowd.
Bobi Wine another of the top artistes who have been at the top of the music industry was also invited on stage and almost steals the show as he receives a rapturous welcome and sang his ‘Kyarenga’ song with new lyrics where he asked Chameleone “One day you say you’re People Power, another day you say you’re NRM. Where exactly are you?” Chamelone then replied that he is with any government in power.
That welcomed the last session of the evening in which Chameleone pulled some of his hottest hit songs like ‘Mateeka’, ‘Champion’, ‘Badilisha’ and concluded with ‘Mambo Bado’ as the time keeper signaled it was time up. He then did ‘Gimme Gimme’ as a bonus before closing at exactly midnight.
It was a befitting 20-years celebration as the fans did not disappoint the legend as they did not only turn up in big numbers for the event organised by Balaam Marketing, but also danced throughout the night. Other artistes like Papa Cidy, Abdul Mulasi, Leila Kayondo and Ziggy Dee also did their part in supporting the doctor.