Tribute: Remembering Sandra Lwanga


What you need to know:

  • They say, nothing in life is promised except death. Yet, when it knocks on the door, none of us is ready. 

Since I started writing my weekly column over two decades ago, I have been very lucky to find new friends among people who were reading my articles, communicating with me, or stopping for a chat when we met by chance in a public place.

Some of these people became very close to me, and this friendship continued throughout the years. One of the ladies that I met in this way, and who later on became a dear friend was called Sandra Lwanga.

We met at Sheraton Hotel gym, when she approached me with a comment about one of the articles that I had just published, we then sat for a cup of tea to discuss the subject, what was striking was her non-stop smile, it was so heartwarming and positive, that I didn’t hesitate in including her on the list of my very good friends, with whom I had many cups of coffee, long chats, laughters, giggles, we even travelled together.

Our friendship became so advanced that when Sandra wanted to get married, she asked me to become her matron, With a huge list of friends, I was taken by surprise that she chose me for this important role, this also meant that I had to learn the role of a matron and with it the cultural ceremonies that accompanied.

I can say that those days were one of the best times I spent in Uganda, we went for garment shopping in Nakasero, we then met the tailor together, we picked designs and enjoyed every minute of our time, and the most important part was that we were now going to travel for her wedding in a very exotic place.

Sandra left Uganda to many countries for work, this meant that we were not seeing each other as frequently, but whenever she was around, we had to meet, and with a third  mutual friend often joining us, the terrace coffee shop of Serena Hotel was too small to contain our joy and loud laughters. 

A few days ago, and through social media, I read posts of people on Sandra’s wall, I had to read a few times, pause more times, till I found out that they were grieving her sudden departure! This was no spam or fake news, it was one of the matters that we have to deal with in our lives: death!

I had missed the zoom commemoration that was held in her honour, but managed to get glimpses of her funeral on YouTube, My beautiful and amazing friend was really gone.

I am a strong believer that this body is a cage for the soul, and that after its separation from the body, the soul is free to travel everywhere and can help others to do things that they never thought they can do.

Sandra, you taught me so much and helped me to discover your beautiful and rich culture, now that you’re gone from this physical realm, I am sure you are giggling with tens of angels and in the process making other souls happy too, I will forever miss you.