The question has been ongoing for the last decade. Who is Uganda’s richest musician? This debate for the richest Ugandan musician is back on. And it has never been this fierce. This comes after a website- www.answersafrica.com ranked Dr. Jose Chameleone as the tenth wealthiest singer in Africa behind Banky W, Hugh Masekela, 2 Face Idibia, Fally Ipupa, Salif Keita, Koffi Olomide, D’banj, P-Square and Youssou N’dour respectively. This is what the website posted about Chameleone: “Joseph Mayanja popularly known by his stage name as Joe Chameleon or Jose Chameleone was born in 1979 and is a popular reggae musician from Uganda. Singing mostly in Luganda, English and Swahili, Jose started his career at a young age in the early 1990s as disco MC at Maganjo Mizuri night club while he was still a student at the Progressive Secondary School, Kampala Uganda.
He eventually became affiliated with Kenya’s Ogopa DJs record label. Jose Chameleone’s style of music is a perfect combination of Ugandan folk music, Central African rumba, zouk on a background of reggae. He released one of the most popular songs in the East Africa: Valu Valu and has popularized some of the phrases he uses in his songs to become regular and everyday words such as Basiima Ogenze, Nekolera Maali, Shida Za Dunia among others. He is regarded as a music star who restructured the popular local music in Uganda at the wake of the 21st century. Jose Chameleone is the biggest money maker in the Eastern Africa and has acquired a range of 4 wheels as his “testament” which include; Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes Benz ML 200, a super custom, a convertible and a Premio. He also owns a big mansion among the elites of Uganda in Seguka hills located in the outskirts of Kampala.”
Today Xclusive UG digs deep and exposes what Uganda’s top five richest musicians or what we mostly believe are the richest own. They are Jose Chameleone, Bobi Wine, Ronald Mayinja, Mesach Semakula, and Geoffrey Lutaya.
The self-proclaimed ghetto president Bobi Wine is arguably the richest musician. He has for the last 10 years earned big from the music industry. He has a relatively big house sitting on 15 acres of land in Magere off Kampala-Gayaza Road. He owns One Love Beach in Busabala, one of the biggest money making beaches in Uganda.
He also also owns Fire Records in Kamwokya, music recording production house. He recently constructed Semakokilo Plaza in Bukoto.
Bobi has also ventured into many businesses like Hardware shop (defunct) in Kamwokya, a cosmetic shop and practices farming and agriculture both in Gomba and Magere. It is said that Bobi has two plots of land in Kamwokya which he obtained through a Centenary Bank loan. He also owns two tipper cars and a fuso.
is constructing another flat next to it. Finally he has 30 acres of land in Mityana where he has a farm.
He is also a founding member of Eagles Production. He owns Kann Studio, music recording company, he has several plots of land in Luweero, Kisenyi and Buwaate in Wakiso District. In Buwaate alone, he has two acres of land where he owns several apartments in Buwaate. He has other rentals in Lubowa and Zzana. Semakula also owns a big rental flat in Kanjjasi. Landlord Semakula also has 12 apartments in Zzana where fellow singer Angela Kalule rents. These apartments are Shs800, 000 a month each. Semakula also owns a double storied flat in Buziga where he stays. He
Also a founding member of Eagles Production, Ronald Mayinja has accumulated wealth over the years. He owns Roma Hotel in Zzana, has plots of land in Buziga, two houses in Lukuli Nanganda Makindye, Roma Hardware in Kireka estimated Shs300 200million. Just recently he bought a plot of land next to Roma Hotel and he is set to build another hotel. He’s currently constructing another hotel in Bunamwaya Kabowa. Mayinja also owns Roma Electrical Shop just opposite Hutshed Bar in Seguku. He is also in the transport business and owns a fleet of taxis and two fuso trucks. He owns 30 acres of land in Mpenja in Mpigi district.
He owns a posh residential mansion in Makindye Buziga where he lives with his family.
Geoffrey Lutaya is one of the founders and directors of Eagles Production Band. He is strongly believed to be the majority shareholder in the twelve year band. The singer has amassed lots of properties. The Nice and Lovely singer owns Durban Hotel in Najanakumbi. The hotel- which has 30 rooms with the cheapest going for Shs45, 000 a night is estimated- at Shs600 million. He also owns three rentals in Namasuba long Entebbe Road where he collects huge sums of money. He owns two bars, Rendezvous Bar along Busabala Road and Dancefloor Club in Natete. He has eight rentals (apartments) on Salaama Road and others in Bwebajj. He also owns a two storeyed flat in Munyonyo where he stays. Lutaya owns a farm of cattle, sheep and goats in Butye Ebiri Kyotera, his home village. He even built a church for his village. Apart from the above, the singer owns a fleet of cars including around twenty taxis (Omnibuses), a blue Jeep Cheroke, two Toyota Harriers and a Toyota Premio that delivers his kids to school.
We included the Leone Island boss Dr. Jose Chameleone in this list because the debate kicked off from him. Chameleone for the last 12 years has been doing well and has earned big from his music. Fact! For years Chameleone has been linked to lots of property in and around Kampala and even beyond. However it is very hard to verify if he truly owns these properties. Nevertheless here they are; Chameleone owns a ‘home’ in Seguku which he recently vacated. Though he claimed he left the home for his family’s security, a section of people believe he was forced out by a financial institution of a loan. He now stays in a posh home in Muyenga which some people believe he rents. He insists he bought it. Apparently Chameleone is currently building another mansion in Munyonyo estimated to cost over 600million, he owns Coco beach in Nakiwogo Bulago Island Entebbe estimated to be 80million but NEMA closed it due to poor hygiene. Chameleone is believed to own 10 taxis (Omnibuses) and he owns Leone Island recording studios. There’s a rumor that the dad of four bought a house from Dr. Alex Heard (Judith Heard’s husband) in the United States. Some people have over the years claimed he also owns a house in Kigali Rwanda. It is also claimed 10 acres of land in Nansana near Sekajja’s land; two unfinished houses near Nansana Town council, rentals in Bweyogerere (Daniela Villas), 15 acres of land in Bwebaja,Fixed deposit of $100,000 in Barclays Bank. However all these could not be verified.