Seven things to know about deceased Ugandan tycoon Ivan Ssemwanga
Ugandan philanthropic tycoon Ivan Ssemwanga is no more. He breathed his last at a South African hospital last week and will be buried on Tuesday in his home country. But who exactly was Ivan Ssemwanga?
1. Flashy lifestyle – Born Ivan Ssemwanga four decades ago, Ivan Ssewanga was famous for his flamboyant lifestyle. He lived large and in February 2017, Ssemwanga made front page news in the South Africa’s Daily Sun newspaper for making natives line up to receive money.
2. Ssewanga is said to have enjoyed a “normal”upbringing – Until he somehow found his way to South Africa (reportedly by road, transiting via Zambia) way back in 2002. He settled in Pretoria and thereafter emerged as a monied chap with a flashy lifestyle.
3. His source of wealth remains unclear – Various accounts suggest he was one of the Sangomas (native healers) who targeted rich clientele, while other reports say he operated a string of schools in South Africa that he inherited from a white couple he previously worked for.
4. Enjoyed a ten year love bliss with Zari – The couple had three sons – Pinto, Quincy and Raphael, who were all in his custody by the time of demise – before parting ways with Zari finding solace in the arms of Tanzanian crooner, Diamond Platinumz (real name Nasibu Abdul Juma).
5. Controversy was his middle name – He was once arrested on suspicion of theft of an iPhone and a wrist watch and booked at Jinja Police Station. The two items were valued at Sh700,000. He would however settle the matter out of court against his accuser, one Sadat Serusiba aka Gadhafi, who incidentally is a close friend of Diamond.
6. He reportedly spent the last days of his life a lonely chap – Battling stress after his prime tracts of land were reportedly grabbed in Kampala, he would, according to media reports, slip into depression, and later a coma, before passing on at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa.
7. Flashy send-off – The funeral committee has reportedly set aside Sh5 million for alcoholic drinks to celebrate Ssemwanga’s life. Five cows will also be slaughtered according to Joseph Lutalo Bbosa, the chairman of planning committee. Diamond and Zari also are expected to attend Ssemwanga’s final rites passage.