He emerged on the social scene this year as he was seen splashing money at Cayenne Restaurant & Bar during a fashion event. However, Don Bahati says that he been around operating in the background. He recently revealed that was soon to be the president of the Rich Gang crew that was previously headed by late Ivan Semwanga. Rich Gang crew is known for flaunting money like it is picked from trees, and are show offs where they buy expensive drinks for all and driving posh cars. Most of the Rich gang members are based in South Africa. Don Bahati had a brief one on one moment with The Vibe’s Kellyn K.
Below are the excerpts.
The Vibe: Briefly tell us about yourself.
Bahati: I’m Don Bahati Lubega. I was born at Mulago Hospital to late LT. Twah Lubega and late Nakitende Lubega. I grew up in Kayanja/ Spire zone in Ndeeba. I hail from Tweyanze Wobulenzi, Luwero district. I went to Masindi Army Boarding Primary School and Nakasongola Army Secondary school. I am happily married.
The Vibe: When did you leave Uganda?
Bahati: I was operating a shop at Zibutaade Arcade in the city center dealing in mattresses but it didn’t work out. I was not getting what I wanted to achieve in a certain period of time so I decided to relocate.
Most of my relatives were already there so it was easy to move. I left Uganda on 14th July 2007.
The Vibe: How did you earn your first dollar?
Bahati: When I settled in South Africa, I studied the economy and later, I started a small construction company. South African economy was booming and used the opportunity to set up my first company.
The Vibe: How did you join Rich Gang?
Bahati: Late Ivan Semwanga was a very hardworking man. I loved him and he was a good friend. He formed a good crew, Rich Gang and supported it. I joined all their party celebrations.
The Vibe: Why do you want to be the president of Rich Gang?
Bahati: I just want to keep the legacy of Rich Gang and the name of a great brother, conspirator and mentor, Ivan Semwanga alive.
The Vibe: Do you think other Rich Gang members like King Lawrence and Cheune can’t protect his legacy?
Bahati: They can and they will as a team. And Ivan’s Ex-wife Zari Hassan will definitely do a great job with his empire. She is a very hardworking and business savvy. She will keep the businesses of Ivan safe. I am very sure we will join hands to keep the legacy of Ivan intact.
The Vibe: So, how do you intend to keep his legacy alive?
Bahati: I will be giving back to orphanages and other charitable causes. I will keep the pomp and the glamour of Rich Gang parties by splashing out money and buying expensive wines for the fans. I will be hosting the December parties at Club Guvnor. People shouldn’t worry, Rich Gang has many members and it can’t fade away like that.
The Vibe: What investments do you have in Uganda?
Bahati: I don’t have much in Kampala. I have a house in Bulenga, 15 acres of land in Kateera, Kiboga district and 5 acres of land in Kiboga district.
The Vibe: What about in South Africa?
Bahati: I have a great house in Harris-Smith Free State and Zambia Hibex Hill. I have companies in South Africa and Zambia.
The Vibe: Why is it that most Ugandans in South Africa don’t invest in Uganda?
Bahati: Most Ugandans in S. Africa are business minded people and they follow the great economy. Who wants to do business in an inactive economy? We all want money and it’s not easy in Uganda’s economy. The biggest challenge is coping up with taxes, Ugandan businessmen need to receive more awareness, education plus workshops about taxes and most of them don’t know the advantages of taxes; they only know the disadvantages. For example if your accountant runs your books well, you receive tax returns and tax breaks depending on the nature of the business you are running. Secondly, lack of capital is a big problem. They need to learn how to raise capital from scratch. No one will give you money for free. Most Uganda businesses fail because of poor accountability and management.
The Vibe: They say most Ugandans in South Africa are Sangomas, is it the case?
Bahati: You know, you can’t refuse people from talking about what they think but I only see business minded people not Sangomas.
The Vibe: Reports had it that Ivan Semwanga died a poor man, is it true?
Bahati: A poor man with colleges, mansions, expensive cars like BMW X6, Lamborghini, Hammer, Range Rover sport. He wasn’t a poor man and how many Ugandans own these. Ugandans love talking without proof.
The Vibe: Rumour has it that Ivan didn’t die. What sup with that?
Bahati: Please don’t take me back. It was a painful experience. Let our brother rest in peace. Ugandans love fiction and will always look for answers for what they can’t explain.