“The Legendary School Faize of Zanzibar”

The Pioneers of Faize Ithna-Asheri

The renowned Zanzibar Faize Ithna-Asheri was established in 1926 by Haji Hussein Sheriff Dewji, Mulla Esmail Gulamhussein, Haji Abdulhussein Rashid Nathani, Haji Abdulrasul Nasser Bhalloo, Haji Abdulrasul Alidina Saleh, Haji Mohamedtaki Gulamhussein Versi, Haji M D Kermalli and Haji Hussein A. Rahim.
 
The organization (Faize) was established for the purpose to help the widows, orphans, the sick and needy members of our community in Zanzibar. One of the aims was also to run a night school providing religious education to the boys.
 
Haji Abdulrasul Alidina Saleh and Haji Mohamedtaki Gulamhussein Versi served respectively as Hon Treasurer and Hon Secretary of this organisation.
 
Haji Abdulrasul Alidina Saleh and Haji Gulamhussein Sachedina Lalji both served as Headmaster of the school for a long period.
 
The night school started in 1928. Before that, Marhum Mohamed Mulla Jaffer had been giving religious instructions to the youths at Mehfile Shahe Najaf every night. Faize volunteers obtained the help of Marhum Mohamed Mulla Jaffer to establish the night school.
 
Marhum Mohamed Mulla Jaffer also volunteered to teach at this school. Other teachers were Raza Rashid Natha, Haji H M Rashid, Haji Mohamedjaffer Rashid Natha, Abdulrasul Alidina Saleh, Haji Gulamhussein Sachedina Lalji, among others.
 
The school adjacent to the KSI Jamaat Mosque was operational up to around 1960. In 1958, the heirs of Al Hajj Dharamsi Gangji constructed a school building at Kiponda Street behind the KSI Imambargha at a cost of Shs 150,000/- and donated it to the school which was operated by a committee under the KSI Jamaat of Zanzibar. The school was shifted to new school building around 1960 and continued thereafter for a few years.
 
Source: AF Trade Directory 1960
 
Later, day time secondary school was established in the same building known as Kiponda Continuation Classes and the first Principal of the school was Mr. Hassan G Dharsee, who is presently residing in New Jersey, USA. This was before the school was taken over by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Zanzibar.
 
(Full story of the School will be carried in the next article; titled “Amongst the Early Arrivals in Africa - Al Hajj Dharamsi Gangji 1882 – 1956)
 
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