Archives

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

Archives Section (Part 4) Down the Memory Lane Photographs
 
A CHARITY WALK ORGANISED IN DAR-ES-SALAAM ON 9TH FEBRUARY 1986 FOR THE DAR ES SALAAM JAMAAT HOSPITAL PROJECT
 
Elders of our community have always remained in forefront in Charity and in other Community events, this is a clear testimony of the strong Solidarity and Unity of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris – This should be preserved.
 

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History of the early settlement of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri in Arusha


Members of our community started arriving in Arusha around 1902 and by 1908 a sizeable community had been established.

The pioneer families were: Nanji Damani, Mohamed Damani, Shermohamed Sajan, Esmail Ebrahim, Hasham Ebrahim, Jaffer Pardhan, Sachoo Jivraj, Nasser Lila and Suleman Ramji. There were also 12 members from other Asian communities residing in Arusha at that time.

Majalis were initially held at the home of Hasham Ebrahim and later on at Shermohamed Sajan. Arusha was connected with Moshi in commercial activity.

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Archives Section (Part 3) Down the Memory Lane Photographs

A CHARITY WALK ORGANISED IN DAR-ES-SALAAM ON 9TH FEBRUARY 1986
 

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Archives Section (Part 2) Down the Memory Lane Photographs

A CHARITY WALK ORGANISED IN DAR-ES-SALAAM ON 9TH FEBRUARY 1986 FOR THE DAR ES SALAAM JAMAAT HOSPITAL PROJECT

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PIRBHAI VISRAM FIRST LANDS IN LAMU, KENYA – 1897 (Part 3)

Pirbhai Visram Kaka’s Travels File:  
 
This section covers our community in Uganda, Congo, Ruanda-Urundi (presently Rwanda and Burundi)
 
In 1940, Pirbhai Visram (Kaka) who lived in Bukoba opened a branch in Kampala, Uganda. The branch started growing steadily and it ventured in coffee business in 1942.  Pirbhai’s eldest son Gulamali operated the business.  Gulamali was known for his diligence, knowledge and business acumen. They sold their Bukoba Coffee Factory to Rashid Moledina and moved to Kampala. Pirbhai Kaka then lived in Kampala till his death. Relating to the settlement of our community in Kampala, Kaka writes:
 
“Although I moved to Uganda in 1945, I travelled to Kampala quite often after Tanganyika came under British mandate in 1918. I will therefore try to recall about families settled in Uganda: “
 
Community members started establishing their business from 1902 onwards. Sheth Bahadurali Mawji established business in Jinja and Kampala in 1904.

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PIRBHAI VISRAM FIRST LANDS IN LAMU, KENYA – 1897 (Part 2)

The Tabora and Bukoba Venture:
 
At the age of 22, Pirbhai Kaka left Lamu for Tabora where he arrived in 1904. He worked for four years as Manager in the firm of Sheth Omar Abdulkarim & Sons. It took him 45 days to travel by foot from Lamu to Tabora via Bukoba.
 
There were six main families in Tabora which he can remember. Sheth Nasser Virji was running a booming business and their merchandise went to distant places like Ujiji, Rwanda and Bujumbura. Arabs used to be their major customers. At that time it would take about 45 days for merchandise to reach Tabora from Bagamoyo, the main port. The goods were carried by porters who had to pass through dense forests amid danger of attack by wild animals. Sometimes the porters would be looted by raiders. There was no way to get any news of the movement of goods. It is only when the porters would reach Tabora that they would tell of their escape. Under such difficult circumstances, the company was still able to expand its business and had branches at Mwanza, Bukoba, Biharamulo, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, etc. They were considered King among the businesses in Tanganyika and they had a great influence on the German government of the time.

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PIRBHAI VISRAM FIRST LANDS IN LAMU, KENYA – 1897 (Part 1)


 

Pirbhai Visram fondly known as ‘Pirbhai Kaka” had submitted a settlement history of our community to the Secretariat of Africa Federation in 1953. His report covers four areas where he lived - Lamu (1897-1910), Tabora (1905-1909), Bukoba (1914-1945) and Kampala (1945-1953). His valuable contribution to the preservation of history of our community is deeply appreciated. We hereby submit his story, in three (3) parts: 

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Amongst The Early Arrivals in Zanzibar

 
DHARAMSI GANGJI
1882 - 1956

Al Hajj Dharamsi Gangji was born in 1882 in Nanglepur, Cutch, India. He was the eldest of six male sons of Gangji Sivji, a Khoja subsistence farmer. The family practiced the Shia Ismaili sect of Islam.
 
The summer monsoon rainfall is the major prerequisite of agricultural productivity in Cutch, and when the monsoon failed in 1896 and again in 1899, there was a severe drought followed by famine.
 
The famines of 1896–97 and 1899–1900 in India affected almost the entire subcontinent, causing severe distress, debility, and mortality, killing over four million people. The effect on the Gangji farm was devastating. Life was very hard for the family and in 1899; Gangji Sivji decided to send his eldest son, Dharamsi, to East Africa.

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Archives Section – Down the Memory Lane Photographs

A CHARITY WALK ORGANISED IN DAR-ES-SALAAM ON 9TH FEBRUARY 1986

A Charity Walk was organized by the Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat Medical Sub-Committee to raise funds for a construction of Hospital for Dar es Salaam Jamaat.  Marhum Alhaj Murtaza Lakha – Barrister at-Law was the Chairman of the fund raising committee.

Unfortunately the intended Plot could not be acquired from the Government and the collected amount was handed over to Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat for future hospital project.

Late Agha Sayyid Lavasani, the then Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tanzania led the walk which started from the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat Mosque after Fajr prayers and ended at the residence of Alhaj Aunali Kassam in Migombele, Msasani area.

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Gulamhussein Remtulla Hansraj – Soroti, Uganda
 

 
Gulamhussein bhai arrived in Africa at the age of 12 and joined in the employment of Esmail Khimji’s branch in Lindi, under a three year contract at a salary of 1000 kodis which was equivalent of 300 rupees for 3 years. He arrived in Lindi in 1906 and at that time the Ithnaasheri community’s population was 200. The names of few of the traders at that time were as follows: Ali Walli, Kassamali Walli, Esmail Haji Khimji, Jaffer Najak, Moledina Karim Waaras, Alidina Walli Khaki, Gulamhussein Remtulla Pardhan, Alidina Mohamed Sajan, Moledina Mohamed, Gulamali Jaffer, Moledina Sumar, Allarakhia Sumar, Murji Moledina, Hirji Merali, Talib Dossa, Jaffer Premji, Pirmohamed Janmohamed and Mulla Esmail Gulamhussein. There were several others whose names he did not remember but he could recall the above as they were all from Kutch Mundra. There was only one Ismaili family.

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