PIC: Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga lays a wreath on Jane Frances Ssempuuma’s coffin at Mpala Parish. (Credit: Juliet Lukwago)
Hundreds of mourners gathered at Queen of Uganda Martyrs Mpala Parish off Entebbe road to bid farewell to Jane Frances Ssempuuma, former teacher of St. Theresa Kisubi Girls Primary School, who succumbed to pneumonia Friday last week.
The 73-year-old got a pneumonia attack and died on her way to Kisubi Hospital.
Maama Ssempuuma, as she was affectionately called, was laid to rest at her home in Kitala on Tuesday amid wails.
She is survived by ten children.
Some of her children are Grace Lwanga, the head of laity of Nabbingo Catholic Parish and Jimmy Ssempuuma of MTN Uganda.
Ssempuuma was a trained teacher, a businessman, decorator, bridal stylist, farmer as well as caterer. She also chaired a number of associations.
Some of Ssempuuma's children during the requiem mass at Mpala
They laid a wreath on their mother's coffin
Two requiem masses were held to pray for her. One was led by Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga assisted by several priests from different parishes, and the second for burial at her home was led by bishop of Kasana-Luweero, Paul Ssemwogerere.
Both church leaders hailed Ssempuuma for an exemplary life lived and the great work she did for the church.
Lwanga in particular described her as a person who has been hardworking, trustworthy, caring, humble and respectful.
"I know the tragic moments you are going through but you have to be strong, and what Ssempuuma needs are our prayers. She served us well and let's remembers her in our prayers," he told mourners.
He asked the Christians to emulate Ssempuuma’s exemplary life and to always use their talents profitably as Ssempuuma did.
Grace Lwanga said his mother's death came only days before his brother's wedding (August 18).
“Our mummy was daddy to us because our father died 30 years back. She is a fallen heroine and hero respectively and will never vanish from our hearts for the great love she had for each us in equal terms," said Lwanga.
"She used to share everything with us as a family. She made an impact in our lives by mentoring and educating each of us. It is sad that she died suddenly as all of us were not around in her final moments."
He added: “Our mother struggled a lot to raise us, we cannot help admiring and respecting our mother as an unusual heroine for her courage and strength that left us in awe. She never blinked, she was our champion. Thank you coming on mummy’s last day on earth and also for the love you have shown her.”
'Great friend and mother'
Another son Tonny Ssempafu, from the UK, also paid tribute the fallen teacher.
"Our mother inculcated in us faith in God and taught us to love one another and everybody. When our mother became a widow, she remained single for 30 years until her death. During her single life, she continued to care for us.
"She worked tirelessly to look after our home, for which we are so grateful for her good example to us. Our mother was exemplary to us for her determination in sickness and in health. She used to talk to us in a humble way to ensure that all is well," said Ssempafu.
"When our father passed on, our mother stood firmly by us and encouraged us to remain strong despite the deep grief we had been precipitated into. Our mother was a great friend and mother and she was always very accommodative and would show her dedication and loyalty to everybody."
Ssempuuma was born to the late Hajji Haruna Ssentamu and Anna Nakalule and wedded her late husband in December 1969.