Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bizarre names for Uganda artists

   The iconic Shalom Rapperz. Wordz; Anthony Woods

After writing the Chameleone story and how his show in Amsterdam almost flopped, I mentioned his back up artist as being called AK47 (as in the Kalashnikov rifle). However, 3 people contacted me because they thought I had actually made up that name. So I decided to carry out some research on other Ugandan artists who have renamed themselves all sorts of names, to avoid more questions.

I could not find the Ugandan names for most artists as the newspapers and magazines use only their stage names. I welcome any other additions or comments. I researched for the names from the websites of the New Vision, the Monitor and Music Uganda. There was no particular order I followed.

1. Joseph Mayanja   stage name; Jose Chameleone

2. Douglas Mayanja AKA Weasel ma weasel TV

3. Emma Mayanja AKA Hammatone AK47

4. Pius Mayanja AKA Lizard

4. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu AKA Bobi Wine

5. Bobi Wine’s kid brother AKA Mickie Wine

6. Mowzey Radio

7. Clever J

8. Blackman Uncle Rich

9. Ganja farmer

10. Juju

11. Cyrus the Virus

12. Master Parrot

13. Sweet Kid

14. Bebe Cool

15. Kid Fox

16. Rasta Cobra Okot

17. DJ Messe

18. Mad Tiger

19. Butcherman

20. Fred hunter

21. Small Axe

22. Krayzie Native

22. Ayton Yaz

23. Baby S

24. Bebe cool

24. Banjoman

25. Bob King

26. Brian Marley

27. Puffman

29. Brixman

30. Ceaser Star

31. Chagga

32. Chizzo

33. Atomico

34. Culture man

35. Dennis the Menace

36. Ragga Dee

37. Red Banton

38. Michael Ross

39. Mycedemous

40. Menton Kronno and hundreds more artists whose names I could not find.

However, many others maintained their names like:

Rachael Magoola, Late Elly Wamala, Moses Matovu, Joanita Kawalya, Mesach Semakula, Angela Kalule, Angela Katatumba, Betty Mpologoma, Chance Nalubega, Irene Nalubega, Irene Namubiru, Mariam Ndagire, Maurice Kirya, Omulangira Ssuuna, Pastor George Okudi, Paul kafeero, Philly Lutaaya, Priscilla Kalibala, Rachael Kiwanuka, Ronald Mayinja, Sarah Zawedde, Winston Mayanja, Halima Namakula, Phina Mugerwa and many others.




10 long serving African leaders

10 African leaders who had been in power for over two decades.

I culled this from Charles Onyango Obbo’s article in his column: “An ear to the ground” running in the Monitor newspaper of 30 September 2009.

•Gabon’s Omar Bongo topped the league at 40 years.

•A hair’s breadth behind was Gaddafi at 39 years.


•Angola’s Eduardo Dos Santos was third at 29 years.

•The one and only Comrade Robert Mugabe, was  fourth, having been at the helm, with very disastrous consequences since 1994, for 28 years.

•In fifth, came Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. By last year, he had logged 27 years.

•Sixth was Cameroon’s ever-absent Paul Biya at 26 years. Biya lives mostly in France, and returns home to rig the vote, and then go back to France. In that regard, he is the most innovative leader in the world.

•Seventh was Congo Republic’s Denis Sassou Nguesso. You have to count Nguesso’s two terms. He first seized power in a 1979 coup, but lost the country’s first multi-party elections in 1992 after 13 years. He snatched the job back in 1997 after a brief, but bloody civil war and was “re-elected” in 2004 for a further seven-year term, so by last year he had put in another 11 years. In all, 24 years.

•Nguesso tied with Guinea’s President Lansana Conte, who had also logged 24 years.

•Our very own beloved President Museveni was right there in the premier long-ruling league, notching a respectable 22 years, which gave him eighth place.

•Bringing up the tail was the reformist but steely-handed Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, at 21 years.

Conte died at the end of 2008, and Bongo’s lights finally went out this year in June. That left eight members of the Premier Political Club alive.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Amsterdam Chameleone show nearly flops

Does Chameleone always court trouble wherever he goes?

Dr Chameleone at the concert in Amsterdam (Photos: H.Kasozi)

Ali Balunywa in Amsterdam

The highly billed concert by East Africa’s best; Dr Jose Chameleone nearly flopped last Saturday 26 September 2009 in Amsterdam allegedly because of his refusal to refund previous promoter’s advances he received, but failed to turn up. Chameleone jetted in Amsterdam last Saturday from Switzerland where he had held some shows.

Jose Chameleone is a leading artist in Uganda in general and East Africa in particular. He is one of the artists who revolutionized Uganda’s music industry in the late 90s and saved music fans from the monotonous Congolese music. He is a respected name internationally and he has bagged a number of music awards. His shows are crowd pullers everywhere he performs.

Over the years he had been exchanging beefs with fellow artists, but lately he seems to be more of a uniter other than a divider. This is exhibited by his attending and singing at former rivals’ concerts and their partying together. Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool are his former nemeses. He has been a victim of several punches and other acts of violence sometimes landing him in hospital.

This time around, Dutch promoters led by Eddy Bukenya invited him to perform in the Netherlands. Eddy has in the past one year successfully promoted several Uganda artists in the Netherlands. He debuted with Mega Dee and Sweet Kid. These were closely followed by Uganda’s artist of the year, crooner Juliana Kanyomozi. Then end of May, HE Bobi Wine and his Fire Base Crew visited Amsterdam, the city of sin. That time I was not in the Netherlands, so I can’t tell whether they visited any of the famous Amsterdam Coffee Shops.

Last year several attempts were made to invite Chameleone to perform in Amsterdam. Steve, Mbaziira an Amsterdammer together with other Ugandans led the effort. However, always at the last minute, the shows flopped to the disappointment of show goers. I have seen documents where Chameleone indicated that he received some funds from promoters. Copies of air tickets were also showed to me. The promoters sued Chameleone in the Ugandan courts and hope the case will result in Chameleone being forced to refund the cash.

Last Saturday on the day of the show, Steve and 2 friends went to the place where the show would take place to find out from Chameleone whether and when he would refund their money. I was told he had accepted to enter their car for discussions until Sharif, a friend of Chameleone advised him not to enter the car. It is alleged that one of the people had a gun, but on asking Steve he denied. Sharif explained to me that he feared Chameleone was being kidnapped bin order to sabotage the show, an allegation that Steve also denied. The parties exchanged some blows during the sad incident.

That evening rumors were rampant in Amsterdam that the show had been cancelled. When I arrived at around 9.00pm at the venue, there were police cars surrounding the hall were the show was to be held. Many people were outside waiting to pay to enter only after seeing Chameleone. To convince them to enter Nkuutu and myself were the first to pay and enter the venue. It appeared frighteningly empty and quiet!

Ambassador Mirjam Blaak, Justice Julia Ssebutinde later came in too. And that was when the people outside started paying and entering. Being the chairman of the Uganda community I was invited to talk to the police, but we agreed that the dignitaries (Ambassador Blaak and Ssebutinde also attend). The police wanted reassurance that it was safe for the show to continue and that if we felt in any way threatened, then it should be cancelled. We all agreed in unison that the security inside the hall was good for the show to go ahead.

Chameleone came in late, and the number of people in attendance was not as high as had been anticipated. He belted out a few numbers and in about an hour or so he was done. His young brother AK47 backed him up (and yes, that is his name!). The revelers had fun, drinking, dancing and generally making merry. Such occasions are used to meet old friends and make new ones. If I were to award marks for dancing, Ambassador Blaak would have scored 100%. (Watch this space for the photos).

I had requested to have an interview with Chameleone after the show, but it was not possible as he was immediately whisked out of the country for security reasons. We hope he will one time tell us his side of the story, as he is the missing link. It is also a pity that all artists who come to the Netherlands are shielded from journalists who wish to talk to them. We are confident that next time around the organizers will set aside some time for the artists to meet and interact with the media.

Eddy is already arranging another contingent of artists to invade the city in what he has called “the Rumble in Amsterdam”. 4 artists: Phina Mugerwa (Masanyalaze), Lady Mariam (Tindatine), Dr Hilderman (Mazongoto) and DJ Michael will perform in Amsterdam on 17 October 2009.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Jose Chameleone in Amsterdam

    Dr  Jose Chameleone

East Africa's Number One Artiste, JOSE CHAMELEONE, of Uganda is here and ready to give a perfomance of a lifetime. watch this space for a mouthwatering interview.

Joseph Mayanja (born 1979) known for his stage name Jose Chameleone or just as Chameleone (sometimes Chameleon) is a hiphop and ragga musician from Uganda.

Chameleone started his career in the late 1990's affiliated to Ogopa DJs record label from Kenya. One of his first songs was "Bageya", featuring Redsan, a Kenyan artist. He also collaborated with fellow Ugandan Bebe Cool, but later the two are known to have a tense rivalry.

Chameleone’s musical style is a combination of Ugandan folk music, central African rumbazouk and ragga. His first album was released in Kenya in 1999. He has since released several albums including “Bageya” in 2000, “Mama Mia” in 2001, “Njo Karibu” in 2002, “The Golden Voice” in 2003, “Mambo Bado”, in 2004 and “Kipepeo” in 2005.

Chameleone’s biggest hits include "Jamila", "Mama Rhoda", "Shida za Dunia", "Kipepeo", "Bei Kali", "Fitina Yako", "Haraka Haraka", "Mambo Bado", and "Ndivyo Sivyo".

He is a member of the Musician’s Community, a coalition of musicians who use their fame and fortune to help eradicate poverty and create awareness campaigns HIV/AIDS.

He has toured number of overseas countries, the United StatesUnited Kingdom and Sweden among others .

His younger brother, using stage name Weasel, is also a musician .


·      Bageya (2000)

·      Mama Mia (2001)

·      Njo Karibu (2002)

·      The Golden Voice (2003)

·      Mambo Bado (2004)

·      Kipepeo (2005)

·      Shida za Dunia (2006)

·      Sivyo Ndivyo (2007)

·      Katupakase (2007)

·      Bayuda(2008-2009)

Awards / Nominations

·      Chameleone has won several Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards) 

·      He was nominated to two categories in the 2006 Kisima Music Awards.

·      He has been nominated for both Kora Awards and MOBO Awards 


Jessica Simpson in Uganda

                                                          Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson, an American singer/actress, is in town filming more of her upcoming reality show, The Price of Beauty. reported on Thursday that Simpson, 29, who is in Uganda with pals Ken Paves and Cacee Cobb, is “focusing on work” after the loss of her five-year-old dog, Daisy, which was snatched by a coyote last week. Simpson best known to Ugandans for the hit I Wanna Love you Forever, apparently twittered Wednesday posting a photo of herself surrounded by protective fly nets (read mosquito nets): “Do I really have to sleep like this?” she asked. 

The Digital World

This is a masterpiece.  

If you have not read it take the time to read it now.  

If you have read it take time to read it again!                        

By GEORGE CARLIN (His wife recently died...) 

Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something so very eloquent...and so very appropriate. 


A Message by George Carlin: give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. 

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. 

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. 

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. 

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things, but not better things. 

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. 

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...!

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. 

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. 

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. 

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. 

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. 

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. 

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 




Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drivers of change

             Ali Balunywa, recognised in the Netherlands 
                as an inspirational African Diaspora

The NCDO, HIRDA, MWPN and Africa Diaspora Policy centre organisations came up with the idea of recognising te most imspirational African Diaspora.  10 African Diasporans were identified. The decision was arrived at after considering their different efforts like building schools, empoering women, stimulatinmg entreprenuership, teaching and other such tasks. 

What sets apart these Africans from the rest is not only their steadfast commitment to peace and development, but also the fact that they are experts by experience. The list includes: Ali Balunywa from Uganda, Bioli Ikele from Congo, Debritu Lusteau from Ethiopia, Juliano Da Silva Rodrigues from Angola, Mekka Abdelgabar from Sudan, Sulaiman Bangurra from Sierra Leone, Rachael Tocklu from Eritrea, Stella Ismail from Somalia, Stephanie Mbazondere from Burundi and kon kelei from sudan.

On Wednesday 23 September 2009, the organising organisations organised the Africa Diaspora night in the Dutch capital of The Hague at the Nuthuis centre in the city centre.The programme was divided into 3 parts. The introduction was given by the hostess of the evening; Amma Baddoo-Asante followed by recital of a poem by Ali Balunywa.

Part one included powerpoint presentations by Rachel, Sulaiman and Stella. This was followed by a shortbreak before the second part. This included presentations by Stephanie, joseph and Bioley. And the third part; Debritu, Mekka and Ismail Awil of Oxfam Novib. In between the parts 2 interviews were conducted by the hostess and her guests were Kon Kel;ei of Sudan and Julie Ndaya of Congo.

The presentation methopd used was the Japanese Takahashi method were a presenter is given only 5 minutes to make his presentation. The methgod is easy to do  and it helps the presenter get organised and keep him/her on track. It provides a clear visual support for the audience and helps to make the content more memorable.

The media was well presented at the function. Already some newspapers and magazines like the Amsterdam bulletin and IS magazine had run these stories. Many websites have also picked the story. Roughly 150 people attended the function. After the presentations, as is the custom drinks and informal networking closed the function.

African Diaspora for African Development

 A poem by Ali Balunywa

Chairman Pearl of Africa (

 Recited at the Africa Diaspora Night in The Hague in honour of the Africans who an inspiration to others. 

The theme of the night is security and development

The consequence of that is stability and improvement

No security means conflict and disagreement

No development means instability and discontent


The members in the audience tonight

Are Africaners whose significance is their might

Their supporters full of radiance are in sight

And the organizers whose importance is great


A glance at the countries presenting tonight

Is a look at the continent’s fighting might

The peoples in these nations bleed from the conflicts

For the finances in these states fled with the politics


Billions are wasted as Ethiopia fights Eritrea           

Millions are executed as Sudan and Congo fight for Utopia

Clans exterminate each other in stateless Somalia

As Uganda and Burundi douse the tasteless hysteria


The average African lives in abject poverty

As the community’s lack of opportunity creates insecurity

And the population’s illiteracy leads to unawareness

Yet the citizen’s ill health is a sign of sickness


Europe and America enjoy peace, tranquility and security

Followed by development, growth and prosperity

Africa and some Asian countries wallow in conflict and obscurity

Followed by ignorance, disease and poverty


What makes the African Diaspora the solution to the glitch?

They’ve gained the skills and resources for combating the hitch

The experiences of the filth in the south and the best in the west

Qualifies them to engage the south in the development quest


Challenges of Development Cooperation organizations are applauded

Changing and reforming governance, socio-economic expansions

Through trade, not aid. Partnership, not handouts or contributions

And consolidation of achievements in security and development


The Africa Diaspora has now mastered the development lingo:

Mobilization, organization, migration, collaboration and communication,

Alliance building, capacity building, networking and monitoring

Subsidies, resources, remittances, estimates and results


Engagement, assessment, empowerment and involvement

And finally conferences, workshops, seminars and forums

All for the sake of looking for change in mother Africa

The change that we all believe in and God help Africa


Almere, September 20, 2009



How to View and Delete Your Location History on Facebook

By  Nancy Messieh, If you have the Facebook mobile app installed on your phone, chances are it’s storing a lot more of your location hi...