Friends and relatives on Monday thronged Namirembe Cathedral to attend the service for the fallen Ugandan tycoon, help Ivan Semwanga who died last week in South Africa.
Mourners described Semwanga as one who lived his life to the fullest but was always willing to help those in need.
“He worked for earth as if he would live forever whereas he also worked for God as if he wouldn’t live the next day, click ” city businessman Godfrey Kirumira said of the deceased.
Kirumira narrated a moment when he traveled for a wedding in South Africa, and Ssemwanga invited him to visit his businesses on top of catering for the expenses of his stay in Mandela’s land.
“He looked out for me and I was treated like a king. Ivan had a big heart and was willing to help others.”
Rashid Nsimbe, one of employees at Brooklyn Schools, said that Ssemwanga owned over 30 schools in South Africa, employing over 850 people ,who he treated as his relatives.
“He loved people the way they were and always wanted to see them happy,” Nsimbe said.
The State Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Aidah Nantaba said that the country had lost a great pillar in the effort to attain the middle income status.
“He was among those who supported our efforts to reach the goal (middle income status). He always repatriated the money got abroad (in South Africa) back home to boost the economy back home,” Nantaba said of Ivan Ssemwanga.
The state Minister who also doubles as Kayunga district woman MP revealed that Ssemwanga had contacted officials from the district where he wanted to construct a number of schools to help the needy but said this dream has now died.
“He had a gold heart but we (Kayunga district officials) did not take it serous when he said he wanted to construct schools .”
According to his friends who spoke with sorrow in their faces, Ssemwanga was a mentor and uniting factor that always helped whoever was in problems including the needy.
Officials from Buganda government also praised Semwanga’s warm heart when he donated 80 bags of cement for the construction of the Kasubi tombs plus 80 scholarships every year for children in Buganda to study from South Africa.
Born on December 12, 1977 to the late George Ssemwanga and Lazia Namulondo in Kayunga, Ivan Ssemwanga went to Narambai road Primary School in Jinja for his early education.
He also went to Nkoyoyo Boarding primary School, Matale where he sat for his Primary Leaving Examinations and later joined Kampala High School for his O’level .
Ssemwanga completed his A’ level at Central Academy before enrolling for a diploma in Business Management at Damelin Bloemfontein Campus, in South Africa.
He is survived by 3 children Pinto Ssemwanga, Dido Ssemwanga and George Ssemwanga.
He will be laid to rest tomorrow (Tuesday) in Kayinga.