Was Zari and Shakib`s Visit of Ivan Ssemwanga`s Cemetery a Grave Mistake?


Losing a loved one can cause our entire world to start spinning. For some of us, the spinning doesn’t completely stop for a while. One loss may take a year to process while another loss may take ten years before the person feels ready to move forward. Both of these scenarios are normal – they are just different. As we deal with our whirling emotions, we need a way to bring ourselves back to reality. In other words, we need something that will ground us and give us peace at the same time. One way we can accomplish this is by visiting a loved one’s final resting place.

On Sunday, footage of socialite and former wife to Tanzanian singer Diamond Platnumz, Zari Hassan and her boyfriend Shakib Cham at Zari`s ex-husband the late Ivan Semwanga’s grave emerged causing mixed reactions amongst critics.

Zari with boyfriend Shakib Cham Lutaaya

Since the death of Ivan, the closest Zari Hassan has been to marriage again was with Diamond Platnumz but however, the relationship did not live to see the light of day it ended quite bitterly in 2018, and only remained co-parents, fast forward, she got engaged with Shakib.

Now, according to various media reports, the two lovers together with their friends visited Ssemwanga’s grave during the festive season to pay respect in one way or the other.

For Zari, this was not the first time doing the same for her late husband but this time around, almost no one saw it coming that she would be in company of the “new catch” Shakib Cham thus prompting some critics to question Zari`s cultural ethics for such an action.

Was it really a grave mistake?(pun intended)


Dr. Alan Wolfelt, respected grief expert, author, and counsellor who resides in Colorado, USA, says, “I have learned that we cannot go around the pain of our grief. Instead, we must learn to embrace and express it. This is hard but absolutely necessary work.”

So, how does Zari and Shakib`s visiting Ivan`s graveside help other Ugandans do the work of grief of their loved ones?

For some, a loved one’s final resting place is a cemetery. For others, particularly those whose loved one was cremated, a final resting place may be a body of water, a park, or some other special place. No matter where that place may be, going there may help you feel more connected to the person you love. Knowing that you are where they are, or you are in a place special to them, brings a sense of connectedness and closeness that may be less achievable in other places.

After losing a loved one like how Zari did to Ivan, you may be feeling a lot of emotions. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to sit in quiet and take time to think or to pray. If you are someone who journals, take a notebook to the cemetery with you and simply write out what you’re thinking and feeling. Being so close to your loved one may help you sincerely express what’s in your heart and on your mind.

For many people, visiting a loved one’s grave becomes part of a comforting tradition. They bring flowers or mementoes on special days, like birthdays or holidays. They spend time talking to their loved one, updating them on the grandkids, the new house, or whatever else they want. At first, the tradition may be sad, but over time, visiting the grave becomes a joyful and peace-filled ritual that brings comfort and keeps a loved one’s memory alive and strong.



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