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How to be Ivan the giver

THE DON: One thing that will come to mind when you mention Ivan Semwanga, is his money-dishing ways. But now all the world can do is talk of him in the past because that generous man is gone! Buried in champagne and money without apologies. Ivan lived his life to the fullest and he also gave generously.


So it is official, Rich Gang front man and socialite Ivan Semwanga is gone, weeks after he suffered from a stroke. Death is cruel. To think that a guy who was so determined to live life to the fullest had it robbed from him is hard to understand. In an economy where everyone guards their last coin jealously, Don Ivan (like he was fondly called), threw away his. Not even coins but wads and wads of cash, to whoever cared to smile at him. Ivan and his Rich Gang crew insulted the many Ugandans who are suffocating under unpaid mortgages, a heavy burden of debt with a lifestyle everyone deemed reckless and ‘local’.

The mysterious tycoon and his boys shut down Kampala during winter holidays. They often flew their monster rides from South Africa to Kampala to excite gullible Ugandans, turned nightclubs on their heads with immoral spending habits and dominated tabloid headlines for weeks. They did this while many of us licked our fingers and prayed for our miserable lives.

And when Ivan wasn’t throwing away cash, he was donating it to many charities. For Ivan, the meaning of life and happiness was dictated on his own terms and no one else’s. He did whatever made sense to him regardless of what anyone thought. Well, to be like fallen socialite/businessman Ivan Ssemwanga, here are some idle tips:

Enjoy your life
We all say ‘life is short’ but what do we do about it? Complain and complain. We stand by the roadside, blame our entire heritage for things we cannot control as we rinse our mouths with a couple of “Mstcheeewssssss” here and there. You only realise life is too short when you have a gazillion deadlines to beat and you can’t buy more time. We only wake up to the reality that life is short when all our peeps are being buried jeeez. Semwanga wasn’t about that life. I know some guys will be like “he had money” but hey, there are many rich guys who are stressed out and sliding into depression. Semwanga was ‘balling’ hard, popping champagne, driving posh rides and living it up.

Certainly, if you are a bank teller or doing one of those boring desk jobs, this kinda lifestyle might not suit your income flow. But who says you can’t live life if you don’t live large. Get those coins you saved up and live a little. Travel with some friends, see places, meet new people, and make a few mistakes. Don’t let an annoying boss or boring job hold you at ransom. You don’t know what tomorrow brings. Ohh and make sure you are balling on your own money. If you are enjoying yourself on money someone lent you, you are doomed.

Be generous
Those Rich Gang guys have ‘maalo’ let’s face it. You would have to be a person with a rural state of mind to throw money at patrons in clubs. This economy demands that no one should show such disrespect for money but I guess some people like the Semwangas and his boys are immune from common people problems. The only thing some of us can afford to throw at people is insults, especially those who don’t pay in time. We give it to you raw and uncut.

Don Ivan didn’t just love throwing dime at people but also gave money to many children’s charities. He is believed to have paid school fees for many children and given money to single mothers. Obviously, everyone thinks that he did it for showbiz but how many of you morally upright peeps would even give out anything for a good cause? You are all busy buying a bunch of all these very expensive gadgets and Brazilian hair you don’t need. Peeps like to show they got the entire dime in the bar but run away when helping the needy is concerned. Bruv, show us what you got.

To be like fallen Semwanga, you can give back to the people. You don’t have to be strapped with millions to help. Gather whatever monies you have and set out to help. It’s the heart that counts.

Well there you have it. Go be like Ivan “Don” Semwanga. May his soul rest in peace.

Twitter: @InK_era35

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