Archives

A regularly updated collection of historical records and  from the Africa Federation archives.

An Account of the Brave Journey of Late Dawood Nasser Haji Mowjee from Aden in Yemen to Kutch in India

(By Roshanali Haji Dawood Nasser)

This is the story of how my father Dawood Nasser Haji Mowjee who was born on 12th March 1889 in Mukalla in Quaiti State which was in Eastern Aden British Protectorate (now Yemen) was brought to Mandvi Port in India by dhow.
 
My dearest grandmother Sakinabai died at Mukalla on 25th March 1889 when my father was about 13 days old.  My grandfather Haji Nasser Haji Mowjee was very much saddened by her death and the fact that he now had to leave Mukalla forever.   
 
As there was no steam-ship service in those days, my grandfather decided to leave with my father by a small sailing boat (dhow) of about 200 tons’ capacity which was sailing for Mandvi Port in India.

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HAJI MOHAMEDBHAI MANJI WALLI – HIS ILLUSTRIOUS WORK IN KSI JAMAAT OF DODOMA 

Haji Mohamedbhai Manji Walli was born in 1910 in Kutch, Mundra in India.  Mohamedbhai came to East Africa in 1928. He first landed in Tanga and worked for Suleiman Khimji.

In 1933 he migrated to Dodoma. In Dodoma he worked for Remtulla Pirbhai.  While in Dodoma, he served Dodoma Jamaat as its Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Mukhi. He also looked after the Supreme Council properties in Dodoma and Kondoa.

In order to enliven and continue the mission of Imam Hussein (AS) in the town of Dodoma, Mohamedbhai initiated the construction of Dodoma Imambargha.

He sacrificed his time to supervise the project and worked heartily in collaboration with Haji Gulamabbas Pirbhai of Arusha and Haji Abdulrasul bhai Molu Chatoo of Dar es Salaam to collect funds from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Singida, Bukoba and Kigoma.

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The Archives Section of the Africa Federation marks the 17th year of the passing away of Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer with this special issue of the Archives News Bulletin.



17 years ago, on 21st March, 2000, Mulla Asgharali was sitting in the London Office of the World Federation of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities talking to Maulana Kalbe Abbas, resident Aalim of the London Jamaat at that time, sadly Mulla suffered a massive heart attack and passed away while still sitting in his chair.

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MULLA HAJI JANMOHAMED KERMALLI MURJI RAWJI - MADAGASCAR

 
Mulla Haji Janmohamed Kermalli Murji Rawji was born in Hadiyana, Gujarat in 1893. He completed Gujarati medium primary education upto Class 7. He abandoned his studies in English language after one month due to some difficult circumstances.
 
An incident in 1904 led Janmohamedbhai and his family an opportunity to accept the Shia Ithnaasheri faith. Murabbi Bahadurali Mawji (formerly Bhanji) of Mombasa was known to have changed his name after converting to Ithnaasheri faith. He had arrived at Hadiyana on the occasion of wedding of his son Kassamali to the daughter of Murji Rawji who was an Ismaili.

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HAJI HASSIM RAJPAR HAJI – FROM CUTCH TO ZANZIBAR, EAST AFRICA

 
Hassim Rajpar Haji was born in Nangalpur, Cutch, India in 1862. At a young age, he travelled to Zanzibar by dhow and joined in the employment of Nasser Noormohamed. In 1881, he moved to Nosibe, where there was a branch office of Nasser Noormohamed in Madagascar.
 
At that time Madagascar was ruled by a Queen. There was a tradition among the Sakalava tribe of Madagascar that upon the death of the Panjaka (King), his close friend would be buried alive with him to give him company in death.  
 

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Photographs of the Old Memories of Zanzibar

Elders of our Community of Zanzibar who served the Jamaats magnanimously in different capacities in religious, community and other social services

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Alhaj Habib Bhai Kassam Manji - (1902-1991)

  An Entrepreneur and a Visionary Leader of our Community in Tanga

 In early 1900s, our community in Tanga consisted of four main businessmen. Br Mohamed Tharoo was the foremost among them. He had agency for selling of tea, sugar and tobacco. He was also a leading textile trader. Br Jaffer Khimji was also a leading businessman dealing in textiles. Br Nazarali Rattansi was a top Khanga merchant and his “Oswal” brand Khanga was famous. Br Juma Ebrahim was a farm owner.
 
The land for the first Mosque & Imambara in Tanga was donated by Br Jaffer Khimji and Br Nasser Virjee. The Imambara was constructed using corrugated iron sheets and the mosque was constructed and donated in 1925 by Br Jaffer Khimji.

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KHOJA SHIA ITHNA-ASHERI HISTORY - MBALE, UGANDA

NARRATED BY MARHUM LALJI BHAI RAWJI

 Laljibhai Rawji (75) of Mbale narrates the history of our community at Mbale, Uganda. He recalls the arrival at Mbale of entrepreneur Waljibhai Bhanji in 1906. At that time, there were 16 Indian shops including the famous Alidina Visram. Houses were made of mud and iron sheets. On arrival, Waljibhai applied to the District Commissioner Perryman for a plot to construct a house. Upon approval a mud house was built and this was used to start a wholesale business. Waljibhai used to trade with Mombasa in crop produce.  Remtullabhai Rawji was his  manager.
 
In 1919, they jointly opened a cotton ginnery at Budaka, a town near Mbale. In 1922, he constructed buildings and warehouses at Ladoto (22 miles from Mbale) and appointed Br. Lalji Rawji as manager.

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KSI JAMAAT OF MAURITIUS

The Ithna-Asheris were among the early migrants to Mauritius from India in 1890s. Currently none of the descendants of first settlers of our community can be found in Mauritius. The first settlers were: Visram Ebrahim from Cutch, Rashid Alidina from Cutch and who was a leading sugar merchant of Mumbai, Hirji Khakoo, father of Peera Hirji of Zanzibar, Janmohamed Datoo of Cutch, Ratansi and Mohamed Dossa Khakuwani of Bhuj, and Allarkhia Dewji of Cutch, being the former partner of Karim Lalji Sajan of Mumbai.

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AFED’S DOWN THE MEMORY LANE

Excerpt of Interview with Said Mohamed aka “Said Nyanya”

Said Mohamed, popularly known as Said “Nyanya” is a staunch supporter of Dsm Union Sports Club.  The most striking and admirable aspect of Said has been his sincerity and keenness for the prosperity of cricket among our youths.  In order to encourage our youths he would go to watch them if other more convenient ground exhibited better and more competitive cricket. Said offering his “Asr prayer” which coincides with tea break is a common sight at any ground. It reflects the pious nature of this humble and friendly soul. The following is an excerpt of the interview held with him:-

Q: Would you relate your personal background?

A: I was born in 1928 at Hadhramaut in Yemen and landed in Zanzibar at the age of 6 years.

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AFED’S DOWN THE MEMORY LANE

THE COMMUNITY SPORTS LEGENDS (Part 4)

YOUNG AND ENERGETIC CRICKETERS OF THE UNION SPORTS CLUB IN 1984

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