Over the weekend there was a lot of buzz about Ivan Ssemwanga he died and there is something about death that just brings about reflection. Some of you will judge me but until his death, I knew nothing about him but he was everywhere so I decided to go around and my dear friend Google and many other tabloids helped me around and now I know a few things about him. He is one of those people that inspire me.

From this man’s story I learned one or two or more things that I will share with you.

  1. If you really want something you will get it if you focus

So the story goes, Ivan was in high school with another guy and his friend and after high school his friend came back to Uganda from South Africa and Ivan begged him to show him the way and his friend told him come to South Africa.

The guy went via road through Zambia; he was arrested for illegal documents and after being released, guess what? He continued to South Africa he never even looked back he just went. He got there and he was shown the trade and he broke off from his mentor and started on his own, he was a Sangoma or rather, spiritual healer, mganga in Swahili. He had no training but money was on his mind and he would make it no matter what.

  1. Use what you have, there is opportunity everywhere if you look hard enough

When he was in high school Ssemwanga (I have never quite got the concept of the same consonant twice in the beginning of a word but oh well) used to hoard and sell sugar to fellow students at a profit, it is said he even made supernormal profits at times. He saw that opportunity that nobody else had seen and he actually reaped.

  1. Success is on the other side of your comfort zone

He could have made it in Uganda but he probably would not have made it far if he hadn’t followed his friend to South Africa.

He abandoned his comfort and went for gold and he did get it.

  1. Sometimes we need help and getting it will take us far

So, Ivan had this Sangoma practice in South Africa but he was allegedly not a real Sangoma. At some point in his career he was visited by a very rich client, he knew that the client could change his fortunes for better or for the worst.

Since he had no expertise himself, allegedly; He consulted a real Spiritual healer in Uganda and sneaked him into South Africa and the client got the results she wanted and hence she referred other rich clients and his name became something. He also did pay the native doctor a lot for his services.

Had he been selfish or had he believed he was self-sufficient, he might not have gotten the results he needed and he would have destroyed himself. There is no shame in asking for help sometimes.

Those are some of the insights I got from his life. In my opinion he did live a full life for it is not the years in life that determine life, it is the life in the years and though young he will surely be remembered fondly.

Fare thee well, Ivan Ssemwanga. I am inspired


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