A recent study put Uganda alongside Ghana and Botswana as the top African countries with majority women business owners. The 2021 MasterCard Index Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) revealed that the three countries ranked 38.4, 37.2 and 38.5 percent respectively by the index benchmark indicator calculated as a percentage of all business owners.
These are quite high percentages especially in African countries where women are still not fully regarded as independent entrepreneurs. They have to bypass a lot of challenges to make it in the business world as compared to their male counterparts. This makes their entrepreneurial success worth a louder shout. Today we take a look at one of the richest women in Uganda.
Zarina Hassan aka Zari as commonly known by her fans, is one lady who has made her name not only in the showbiz industry but also on the entrepreneurship corridors as well. Loved and hated in almost equal measure, Zari has managed to stay in the limelight consistently for more than a decade. Which in itself is not a mean feat?
The mother of five who was born in Jinja is one of the wealthiest women in Uganda. She had her education in Uganda for primary and high school before moving to London to pursue higher learning.
Her first husband was the late Ugandan billionaire Ivan Ssemwanga. The two got married in 2004 and had three children. Some would argue that most of the wealth attributed to Zari is associated with Ivan's wealth which he allegedly left for her and the kids. Nonetheless no one can argue about Zari’s grit and ability to control and grow the wealth and assets she has.
She has mansions in Uganda, her motherland and South Africa where she spends most of her time together with her five children. She also has several high end motor vehicles in her parking lot. A Mercedes Benz, a Bentley, a Range Rover Evoque and an Audi Q are some of the notable cars she owns.
So what are her sources of income or her assets?, ‘The Boss Lady’ owns one of the most successful real estate companies in South Africa which is rumored was left behind by Ivan. She also owns a 5-star hotel in Uganda’s capital, Kampala and several schools located in Brooklyn and South Africa to which she is the Chief Executive Officer.
Most people probably came to know her from showbiz especially from the time she was dating Bongo Flava artist Diamond Platinumz. The two dated after her relationship with Ivan went sour with accusations of domestic violence. The relationship with Diamond ended when he allegedly was caught cheating on her, with the Tanzania singer publicly acknowledging that he was the one at fault. That period helped both of them to push their celebrity status even further as they became the celebrity power couple of East Africa.
Recently, the two have featured on Netflix’s reality show ‘RICH, YOUNG AND FAMOUS’ and we can clearly see there’s more than meets the eye as far as how close and intimate they still are is concerned.