By Martin Ndijjo and Steven Odeke
When East Africa's top artiste Jose Chamelone was rehearsing for his concert last Thursay at Kyadondo rugby grounds, he kept saying Kampalans would witness history during his Badilisha album launch the next day. It has now emerged that he was alluding to his space suit that he donned while on stage.
Well, he did not make history because quite frankly he did not go to space, but rather nearly went underground instead!
According to Chameleone who spoke to this reporter about his 'day of making history,'he procured the space suit from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via the internet clearly specifying it was for a concert.
He claims he paid US$12,700 (sh33m) for it and was given instructions on how to use it. The suit however is only a replica of the real one.
On Friday, Chameleone first appeared donning the full suit but later experienced difficulty in breathing since the suit did not have oxgyen. He then removed the helmet but the suit could still not accord him the latitude of moving freely on stage in his trademark hyper performances. The suit was heavy and according to him, it weighed about 20kg!
The heat the suit was generating got unbearable so he decided to remove it. Then disaster struck. He says he had forgoten some of the instruction on how to remove the suit, and nearly suffocated in it!
Besides that, the show was well attended with the venue filling to the brim. Chameleone hit the stage at 10.30pm to a defeaning applause, and even his former foe Bobi Wine, seated in the VIP section, was shown on large screens nodding in approval of the grandiose appearance.
The pencil-thin Badilisha star started off his playlist with a bang, singing past hits like Nekolela Mali, Dorotia, Maama Mia, Basiima Ogenze, Jamila, Bombooclat, et al, before having a break. He returned on stage dressed in white jacket and black pants, and sang while preaching love the whole evening.
In commemoration of East African music, Chameleone let Tanzania’s Professor Jay, Kenya’s Red San and Rwanda’s Massamba and Samputu join him on stage to do their songs.
He also had his son Abba Mayanja showcase his guitar skills and the little boy did not disappoint.
But the highlight of the night came when Chameleone did renditions of Goodlyfe’s Bread and Butter, Bebe Cool’s Kamwako and Bobi Wine’s Wendi.
The crowds did not expect it, but sang along. At 12:30am, after singing through his other songs like Valu Valu and Katupakase, the stage elevated him aloft when he sang Badilisha in an applause-eliciting do that ended the night. The concert goers left contented. See related pictorial here.