Ivan Semwanga In Retrospect: As A Man, He Won Some Battles, Others He Lost, But He Was Still Exceptional

It emerged early last week that the high-flying South Africa-based Ugandan tycoon and city socialite, Ivan Semwanga had finally succumbed to death after a long and brave battle with several illnesses.

A lot has since been said about the deceased – both good and bad – notwithstanding much of the reporting has been fake news and media gymnastics.

Clearly, though he socialized a lot, he was quite modest and to a bigger extent secretive and cagey; even shielded himself to many of his “associates”. It turns out, the mother of his children, Zari was his one and only true confidant and that never changed even when they divorced.

In all, what seems to stand out above all else, Ivan Semwanga was a good man – generous, approachable – a man of the people.

The Chronology Leading Up To Ivan Semwanga’s Death

It is said that Ivan Semwanga was fighting severe Diabetes and high blood pressure. According to the grapevine, in 2013, he went to see doctors in South Africa about his condition; the doctors warned that he would die in a few years’ time, probably May 2017.Within that period Ssemwanga was forced to undergo 2 surgeries to remove excessive fat from his Body.

According to Bukedde TV’s Entertainment reporter, Josephat Segguya, around April, Ssemwanga jetted in silently into the country for Easter and unlike his previous visits when he splashed money to everyone, just for the fun of it, he was up to philanthropy this time.

Family members say that within that period, Ssemwanga had bought 6 big sauce pans they would use on his vigil and also informed journalists at Serena Hotel that the pictures they are taking would be their last.

From there he went to Nsambya M-Lisada an Orphanage where he gave generously, he then flew back to contunue charity work in  South Africa.

Yet before he made his way back to Madiba Land, he paid his last visit to his ancestral home in Kaliro, Kayunga where he dag around the his ancestral graves, a common custom among the Baganda.It is said he also had a plan to build a house in Kayunga which would take care of the orphaned plus a school for the needy. One of his aunties, on the day of Ssemwanga’s visit, said he bought alcohol worth 1,000,000 UGX for them to drink, leaving everyone in shock. He then said good bye and left.

His close friends both here and in South Africa say that Ssemwanga Knew when he was going to die and are not very shocked.

At the beginning of this year, Ssemwanga called Zari to South Africa and apologized for the break up. It is said in this meeting Semwanga left all his property in his Sons names with Zari taking care of them. This agreement was made in a bank only known as ABSA in South Africa.

In a leaked video from their Family meeting, Zari insisted that Ssemwanga’s family Members didn’t know anything about his property. Regarding Ssemwanga’s Muyenga Mansion which was being sold, it turns out, Ssemwanga had gotten a loan from the bank to bail out Ed Cheune who was dunked in financial troubles by the time and that at his death Ssemwanga had paid up the loan.

About Ivan Semwanga

Born on 12th December 1977 to the late George Semwanga and the Late Lazia Namulondo at Kayunga,Bugerere, Ivan went to Narambai Road Primary School-Jinja for his primary education, Sat his PLE in Nkoyoyo Boarding Primary School, Matale. He later joined Kampala High School for his O’ level and Central Academy for A’ level.

In 1999 at the invitation of his cousin, Ivan went to South Africa to pursue further education. He enrolled for a Diploma in Business Management at Damelin Braamfontein Campus. Meanwhile, he was working as a casual laborer doing this and that to make ends meet as he studied. A lot of work was done from distributing advertisement fliers to whatever you may think of as a hustler.

In between 2002 and 2004, he met Zari and they got their first son Pinto.

Being ambitious, he noted that the education sector in South Africa was still virgin. Using his savings from casual labor, he started his first school, Brooklyn City College in 2008 in Pretoria.

It is from Brooklyn City College where he began reaping real cash.

On Dec 24th 2011, Ivan was introduced by Zari Hassan in a traditional Kwanjula ceremony at her Parents home in Kampala. The two had now began working together at Brooklyn City College and had already got three kids. As time went by, Brooklyn City College evolved from one school to 10 campuses in different provinces of South Africa.

As money continued to flow in, he invested further into education by opening other training institutions namely; Hartland Training College, Menlyn Technical College, Kingsbridge College (which he bought from his cousin King Lawrence), Hartland High School, Brooklyn City High School, Brooklyn School of Policing(this is contracted by Government to train Police cadets) & Norah Nursing College which trains nurses.

From 2010, every December Festive Season, Semwanga has been coming to paint Kampala with partying colors. You can’t talk about December partying without mentioning the name Ivan Semwanga.

In his usual Showbiz Stunts Ivan & his then wife Zari went into history as the first people to import a Lamborghini on Ugandan soil in December 2012.

A year later however, his marital woes began. Zari began accusing him of domestic violence. Their relationship was getting sour each day that passed. This saw Zari eloping with other men to let go of domestic violence marred with physical battering. First, she tried out a relationship with basketballer Lugudde which only lasted a few months.

She dropped the baller and got hold of Farouk Sempala which relationship also failed to work out. Amidst all this, she always went back to Ivan when new relationships failed to work because the couple had kids and a joint business to take care of. Towards the end of 2014 Zari hooked with Tanzanian Singer Diamond Platinumz in what she called a “long term project” and walked out of Ivan’s relationship for good.

Her departure left Ivan devastated, but he continued with his work and flamboyant lifestyle as before hoping she will come back like she has been doing. Before long, Zari was pregnant; she gave birth to Diamond’s first daughter. That was the first blow to Ivan. Yet before he could consume it, Zari was pregnant again.

With this second pregnancy, the hopes of her coming back to him were now waning. When Zari left, she also stopped working at Brooklyn City College to allow the storm of her departure from the relationship to settle down in Ivan peacefully.

In February this year, Ivan called Zari back to work, he had comprehended the fact that she now went for good but probably needed her help to manage the company like before or maybe found it fair to bring the person with whom he built this chain of business from dust back on board. Zari resumed her duties at Brooklyn City Colleges barely two months ago.

On Friday 12th May, while at his room downstairs the maid heard Ivan shouting for help from his bedroom upstairs, on getting there, he was lying on the floor. Reliable sources say he told the maid he was not feeling one of his side and needed help to get to his bed, from these symptoms, one can tell he had got a stroke/paralyzed on one side. He was rushed to hospital where it was discovered the stroke had led to the leaking of some blood drops into the brain.

He was operated on and remained in comatose for close to 10 days. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on the 25th May. Ivan is survived by three sons; Pinto (14yr), Raphael (13yrs) and Quincy (10yrs) all children of Zari Hassan.

His body arrives in Uganda today, there shall be a vigil at his home in Muyenga and burial takes place on Tuesday 30th May at his ancestral home [burial] ground in Kayunga Bugerere.

Ivan Semwanga Wealth

Reliable sources who have been so close to Ivan have revealed to some media houses – a number of properties – Ivan left in his names. Here is the list of property we can reliably report Ivan Semwanga left behind.

  • The Brooklyn Schools in South Africa;

It is rumoured Ivan made these schools with the mother of his children, Zari. When they separated, Zari remained with her shares. She would go would to schools for administration purposes. She had a close business relationship with Ivan.

  • Estates and Property Management Company

Ivan left a very big estates company that sells and buys land. It is rumoured to be among the biggest companies in SA. It is believed he loved this company so much. It has been making him so much annually.

  • Home in Waterloo in SA

This where he has been living. It is a very big house that has a very big swimming pool around it. By the time of his death, Ivan Semwanga was planning to sell this house.

  • Hotel in Nankulabye

 Ivan has left a big and fancy Hotel around Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road.

  • Expensive Posh cars
  • Ivan loved cars. He invested most of his money in cars. He left behind Lamborghini, Hummer, Chrysler and so many others.


Courtesy: Facebook, Bukedde TV, Campus Juice]


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