Wrapping up an incredible year of performances, organizers of Kenya's Koroga Festival are pulling out all the stops with an energetic line-up on Sunday, 20 December at Nairobi's Arboretum Gardens. East Africa’s well known artist Joseph Mayanja, popularly known as Jose Chameleone will be joined by Kenya’s Ken wa Maria and J.B. Maina. Chameleone will be backed by a 12-person band.
After releasing thirteen music albums, Chameleone is still going strong and was was in Nairobi earlier this year for the latest season of Coke Studio Africa. His fans will have an opportunity to hear his iconic sound at the final edition of the popular Koroga Festival for 2015.
Chameleone's career began in 1996 as a DJ at the Missouri night club in Kampala while studying at the Progressive Secondary School. His music is a combination of Ugandan folk music, central African rumba, zouk and reggae. His co-performer Ken Wambua aka Ken wa Maria has cut a niche for himself, attracting thousands of fans across Kenya. However, his controversial lyrics have often put him on a warpath with fellow artistes and conservative traditional leaders.
His political ambitions, too, have earned him friends and foes in equal measure. In the run up to Kenya's 2007 general elections, the singer released a single, ‘Sakuai Mutongoi Muthini’ (Elect a Destitute Leader), off his fourth album, Rambi Rambi Makutano Chumvi that was seen to be directed at one of the contestants in the election. Wa Maria released his debut album in 2004, causing ripples in the Kenya music scene with the hit, ‘We Nzamithya Mwelu’ (Mwelu, Let Me Taste), containing lyrics considered obscene.
In 2013, Ken wa Maria released yet another single ‘Fundamentals’ which received massive airplay on local radio stations. Whether it was great marketing or the song really became popular was never established. Absurdly, the entire song only had a single verse repeated in English, Kiswahili and the local dialects of Kamba and Kikuyu. Nonetheless, the millionaire singer has quite a substantial fanbase.
Visit the Koroga Facebook page to find out more information about the tenth edition of the bi-monthly event.