Rich Gang: Ivan Semwanga Buried with Expensive Champagne, Money

Uganda — He might have been an ordinary person to some people but the burial of Ivan Semwanga proved he was larger than life.

True to Semwanga's flamboyant and dramatic lifestyle, his rich and showy colleagues popped champagne and splashed it onto his casket.

And instead of throwing handfuls of dust onto his coffin in the Christian tradition, the moneyed friends tossed wads of notes onto his casket as they bid him adieu.

Members of Ugandan businessman Ivan Ssemwanga's Rich Gang on Tuesday poured expensive champagne and splashed money in his grave before burial. The group, popular in Uganda and South Africa for its expensive lifestyle, sent-off their leader in a fashion that left mourners amazed.
Mourners Fight to Touch Ivan's Casket 

They popped a bottle of champagne and poured it in the grave and shortly after started splashing money.

Speaking at the burial of the socialite, the head of Dawa in Uganda, Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata, eulogised Semwanga as an "elephant" in the field; going by the huge media coverage he received since his death.

Semwanga was laid to rest yesterday at 4:40pm at his ancestral home at Naklilo village, Kayunga District.

"Only few people can achieve this kind of coverage. When an elephant dies, you cannot pronounce the death of a rabbit," Sheikh Muzaata said, adding that Semwanga's death had left a huge yawning gap on the social scene owing to his flamboyant and celebrated lifestyle.

Hundreds attended the fallen socialite's burial among whom were celebrities, family, friends and locals.

"I have been on this village for 35 years and seen Ivan grow up from a small boy to the rich man that he has become but he has not helped his family and village at all," said 60-year-old Joseph Katabazi. 

He said Semwanga does not own any plot of land or even simple house at his ancestral home save for the small old house that belonged to his grandmother; on which compound he was laid to rest.

Mr Herbert Luyinda, the deceased's uncle, said took responsibility for Semwanga when the he was eight after Semwanga's father passed on.

"I thought Ivan would be there at my burial but it breaks my heart to be looking into his grave," Mr Luyinda said as tears rolled down his cheeks. Bobi Wine, a popular local musician, advised the youth to take a lesson from Semwanga's life.

"Ivan died before 40 but what he has done is commendable and evident and the youth should borrow a leaf from that. It's not too late for you to begin making your dream a reality," Bobi Wine said.

Semwanga, 39, succumbed to death last Thursday after 12 days in coma at Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria South Africa.
His body arrived at Entebbe Airport on Sunday afternoon before a vigil was held at his home in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb, before a funeral service at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala.

The floor of the white and black tiled grave was filled with denominations of Ugandan shillings, South African Rands and US dollars.

A video shared by Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper showed the gang members unmoved as the crowd jeered at the way they splashed money into the grave. Ivan was known for splashing money at revelers in parties he attended in Uganda.

His Rich Gang crew include his cousin Edward Kyeyune, aka Cheune, who is said to have hosted him the first time he illegally entered South Africa.

Other members of the group include Shafiq Katumba, aka Katsha, and Lawrence Kiyingi, aka King Lawrence. They group displayed their opulence throughout the activities leading up to the burial and capped it up on the final day.

He might have been an ordinary person to some people but the burial of Ivan Semwanga proved he was larger than life. - Online Sources

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