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


The Archives section under the Africa Federation Secretariat has resumed working on the digitization of documents, books and files in possession in the Archives section.  It is expected that once this exercise is completed, a directory of all such documents will be prepared for ease of reference.
The Africa Federation Secretariat is pleased to introduce and welcome the following three youths who have wholeheartedly come forward to provide the much needed voluntary services to the Archives section. This will also provide them with unique opportunity to learn and grasp history of our Community. They are the future torch-bearers of our Community and AFED is making all efforts to encourage the youths through Afed Youth Network (AYN) to develop in them sense of leadership leading to progress, productivity and prosperity.
In his remarks, Alhaj Murtaza Jivraj (Kerbala), the Sectional Secretary of Archives said - “I am very pleased to state that the work undertaken by these three dedicated hardworking Volunteers is progressing well. I applaud them for contributing their valuable time, and the commitment and enthusiasm they have shown in helping to sort out and record the historical documents in our possession. I look forward to the success of this assignment in the next 2 years which will make it convenient for all interested Community members to access the information”.

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Siwjibhai Somji was born on 21st December 1882 in India. At the age of 18, he travelled from India to Zanzibar in a dhow. He joined in employment of Gulamhussein Somji Lilani in Zanzibar at a salary of 100 rupees a year.
After one year he joined at Remtulla Allarakhia Tejani for 4 months. Siwjibhai left this job and travelled to Kilwa by ship named ‘Governor”. He then travelled from Kilwa to Songea on foot taking with him tents, laborers and food. He used to walk 6 hours every day. It took them 24 days to reach Songea – a distance of 320 miles. He started working at his brother Jaffer Somji’s shop in Songea. After a year he went back to India for marriage.

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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 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 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.



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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 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.



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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