When Jose Chameleone scheduled his Gyenvudde concert at New Club Obbligato for the November 9 - the same day Jamaican dancehall king Sean Paul would be in Kampala - even his fans predicted a flop.
The heavy downpour that pounded Kampala for most of Friday seemed to be more proof that only a miracle would help Chameleone fill even half of New Club Obbligato. In fact, by 10pm, the organizers, Mutima Entertainment, were probably cursing as the turnup was still low, with a handful of fans enduring the cold evening, listening to the Afrigo band performances.
But then it is no longer debatable on whether the self-proclaimed music doctor is the best in East Africa; there couldn't have been a better challenge than Sean Paul. So it was no surprise when Afrigo band left stage and curtain raisers such as Master Parrot, Chosen, Hindu Asha, David Lutalo, Skeleton and AK 47 took centre stage, and Obbligato started heating up as more and more Chameleone diehards flocked the place.
At 10 minutes to midnight, Uganda's most successful musician, a man with over 15 years of music experience, stepped on stage to tell his story. Dressed in a yellow leather jacket, purple shirt and black trousers, Chameleone came on stage with his Leone Island crew powered by Solid band. His fans that by this time had filled Obbligato's ordinary and VIP sections to capacity, gave him a hero's welcome.
For the next 80 minutes, Chameleone performed more than 40 songs, combining his old and new hits.
"Today, I have not come here to make money, but to show that I'm the best," said a fired-up Chameleone who recently won a Kisima award in Kenya. "I would like to commend you all for choosing me over Sean Paul; very few Ugandan artistes would have managed to take such a risk."
By this time, the crowd was chanting wildly. No one seemed to be missing Sean Paul as Chamili (as those who breath and talk his music fondly call him) kept the crowd on its feet with Bomboclat, Ekinnuma, Tingisha, Katupakase, Ffuga Bbi, Nnekolera Mmaali and Dorotia, among others. He was then joined by the talented Papa Cidy as they performed their collaborations Daniela, Baibe Munnange and Meeme Katale.
Chameleone thanked Papa Cidy for his loyalty and commitment to Leone Island and asked fans to support him (Papa) at his album launch early next month. The music doctor used the platform to urge fellow artistes to quit bickering and work at promoting the industry and grooming young talent.
"When you reach 30, I don't expect you to beef someone, this is time to build yourself for a sustainable future and mentor young ones and leave a legacy," he said.
As the concert heated up, the day's emcee, Omulangira Ndausi, said: "Sincerely Bebe Cool is my best friend, but for sure, when it comes to music, Chameleone is my number one," he said as fans screamed.
Chameleone, who will be launching his Moto Moto album on February1, climaxed with Mukisa Gwo, Basiima Ogenze, Owakabi, Bayuda, Valu Valu, Mambo Bado, Moto Moto and Kipepeo. When the concert came to an end at 1:20am, the music doctor had proven that New Club Obbligato was too small for his vast fan base. Even with Sean Paul in town.