Friday, 2 June 2017


Ivan Semwanga was a Ugandan born-South African based socialite. He was one of the members of the self styled Rich Gang group well known in both South Africa and Uganda.

The billionaire ex-husband of Uganda’s show-biz stunner, Zari Hassan,was declared dead on May 25, 2017 after spending 11 days in Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where he had been admitted and put on life support machines.

Born on December 12, 1977 in Nakaliro, Kayunga District of Uganda, Semwanga died aged 39.
Ivan who lived his last years in the limelight thanks to his colourful social life filled with pomp, money splashing sprees and a very public break-up from his trophy wife who eloped with an even more popular East African star is stirring as more controversy in death.

When his ex-wife Zarinah Tlale, who birthed three boys for him announced the news of his passing, many, including Ivan’s family were quick to point fingers that she was interested in his wealth.  Reason being that she had no business being with him when she left him for Tanzanian superstar Diamond Platnumz and even gave birth to two more children with the singer. But others applauded Zari for standing by her boys in this difficult time.

Ivan Semwanga, a member of "The Rich Gang " graced several occasions both in Uganda and South Africa. He once tweeted about the secret to his silky skin, saying, “Since am Rich Gang CEO, I only use natural Artesian water to shower with.
“New #FijiWater special delivery for my shower purpose.
“Money is good, taking a shower with Fiji Water, sitting on Ac 24/7, eating gud, having money in my pocket 24/7 is the result of this smooth skin of mine.

“Try my secret n see what happens #RichSkin #HighMaintenanceSkin,” Ivan Semwanga.”
On December 23, 2015, The Rich Gang hosted a showbiz party themed, ‘Money, Power and Fame’ where they reportedly showered their countrymen with money.

According to his ex-wife, Zari Hassan, Semwanga was fond of saying, “Life is too short, Zee, let me live it to the fullest.” They had three sons together.

Flashy Lifestyle

Ivan was born 40 years ago. He has been largely known for his flamboyant lifestyle. He lived large and in February 2017, Semwanga made it on the front page of South Africa newspaper, the Sun for making natives line up to receive money.

Ivan’s Journey to South Africa

He found his way to South African reportedly by road, transiting via Zambia way back in 2002. He settled in Pretoria and thereafter emerged as a loaded chap with flashy lifestyle.

Mysterious source of income

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.

Ivan’s ten year love bliss with socialite Zari

 The couple has three sons-Pinto, Quincy and Raphael, who were all in his custody by the time of his demise. - Zari had found solace in the arms of Tanzanian crooner, Diamond. Just after their separation, Zari had flings with Kampala toy boys. She sponsored their lifestyle in return, they satisfied her needs.

Controversy was Ivan’s middle name

He was once arrested on suspicion of theft of an iPhone, a wrist watch and was booked at Jinja Police station. The two items were valued at Shs 2m. However, the case was settled out of court. It later emerged that the accuser was a friend to Diamond, the current boyfriend of Zari.


Before passing on, he had opened up to his close family members how his life had changed ever since his beloved wife left him.
See Semwanga’s life in pictures:

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