Ugandan socialites on Tuesday showed their financial muscles at the burial service of their fallen colleague and businessman Ivan Ssemwanga.
The mourners throw dollars and Uganda shillings inside the late Ssemwanga’s grave at his ancestral grounds in Nakaliro, Kayunga. This was after they had showed up the previous day at his Kampala funeral service in fancy and personalized vehicles which left several mourners in awe as some mistook it for a battle of who owns the most expensive ride in Uganda.
Semwanga the ‘Money Boss’
Born on December 12, 1977, in Kayunga District, Ssemwanga left for South Africa to find his footing in 2002, reportedly passing through Zambia. After going through travel ordeals with immigration, Ssemwanga settled in Pretoria with the help of his cousin.
Not much is known about how Ssemwanga he acquired his wealth, with various accounts suggesting he was one of the Sangomas (native healers) who targeted rich clientele. Other accounts suggest Ssemwanga and his member of the Rich Gang Shaffiq Katumba, Edward Kyeyune and others made a killing off holding siphoned funds on behalf of corrupt officials and getting commissions.
However, what cannot be disputed is that Ssemwanga had made it in life. He was not short of money and he did not shy from flaunting it. He also gave generously. By 2010, he was solid enough financially to carry a truckload of head of cattle for Zari’s hand.
Together with Zari, Ssemwanga was the proprietor of a string of franchises in both South Africa and Uganda. His two mansions in Sandton and Pretoria were eye-catching and the Brooklyn Colleges with six branches across Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg provided any cover for wherever allegations cropped up that their wealth was fishy.
His big palms were the gift of giving. From the charitable act that saw Daily Sun give him the front page feature to Nsambya children’s home, Ssemwanga was always wearing coy smile and giving. At one point, he also splashed cash to Uganda Cranes.
Ssemwanga became synonymous with social life. He was the kind who would fly from South Africa to be present at Guvnor just because a few tabloids had mentioned an event. As social gatherings, he always carried large bottles of expensive wines, making the timid fellow appear more or less like he was into the social flings due to peer pressure.
He passed away at Steve Biko Hospital last week due to a cardiac attack.
May Ivan Semwanga’s soul rest in eternal peace.