Musician Joseph Mayanja, alias Jose Chameleone, broke his silence on the video that came out last week showing him whipping a boda boda rider.
Speaking at a Monday media briefing ahead of his concert, Chameleone said that he respects the boda boda industry but noted that “there are bad people in every business.”
“We need to change a few things in the boda industry,” Chameleone suggested.
One of the sponsors of his show is the Ugandan-grown Boda-hailing platform SafeBoda and the Badilisha singer hailed them for the efforts they’ve put into streamlining services in the industry.
“I thank SafeBoda for sponsoring the event… for respecting your job,” he said.
Asked to advise boda riders, Chameleone noted that they are “my friends”, adding that he regrets the incident but it’s time to move forward.
“I am not an angel, and the Boda man is also not an angel,” he said.
The video attracted mixed reactions from the public, with some suggesting that Chameleone is a violent person who should face the law while others said that his actions were warranted because Boda men are indisciplined.
Even his wife, Daniella Atim, condemned the violent behaviour he exhibited.
In the video, Chameleone, who is holding a long stick, strikes the Boda guy four times, before he (the Boda guy) is whisked away by someone.
It is alleged that the Boda guy knocked Chameleone’s Range Rover near his house in Seguku, Entebbe. However, in the video someone is heard saying that the Boda man didn’t hit the car.
This is not the first time Chameleone is involved in violent incidents and it is said that he always moves around with ‘goons’ which explains why the Boda guys that were around didn’t attack him when he attacked one of their own.
Atim appeared to criticise him in an Instagram post shared Friday evening.
“Zero tolerance for violence,” Atim posted, captioning an artwork that read: “Violence will not be tolerated.”
In the comment section, someone said: “What happened to you… that’s your husband?”
Atim responded: “Should I give him to you to marry him?”
The post generated hundreds of comments and most of them seem to side with Atim, with some calling for boycotting the concert.
One commenter said: “I am a law student and look up to you because you’re constantly fighting for justice… even when you are going against your family.”
Atim responded: “…all the best, we want more of you in our country.”
But some noted that Chameleone is a loved musician because Boda guys wouldn’t have let him attack their colleague and get away with it.
“The way fellow Boda guys were looking on and yet they are always threatening to beat us when you are a mere commoner… I bowed to the legend that guy is liked. If he was another person, boda people would have killed him,” a commenter wrote.
Chameleone’s upcoming concert, which coincides with his 25th anniversary in the music industry, will be held on February 10 at Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kampala.