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Kassamali Hirji Jessani

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Kassamali Hirji Jessani
Kassamali Jessani.png

Place of birth Paya Wadaw,Jamnagar
Country of birth India

Date of Death 1976/09/18
Place of Death Calgary
Name of Cemetery and plot no Garden of Peace Calgary Alberta
Place of longest stay Dar es Salaam
Profession or occupation carried out for the longest period in life: Dukawalla
Where Dar es Salaam
Family tree click here
Full name Hirji Jessani
Full name Sakar Kassamali Hirji Jessani
Full name Nazerali Hirji Jessani
Full name Kurji Hirji Jessani
Full name Firoz Jessani
Full name Sadruddin Jessani
Full name Shamshuddin Jessani
Full name Mohamed Jessani
Full name Shaida Chamund
Full name Salim Jessani

It is said that Kassamali's family was so poor that his father was a street beggar in Jamnagar. That will explain why there was he had such determination to succeed in life and also why he was a very generous man with those less fortunate than himself.

As soon as he was old enough, his elder brother, Nazerali came to Tanzania to take advantage of the opportunities, created by the 100 year old migration of Khojas to Africa. When Kassamali was only 14, the brother called his parents and the siblings, Kassamali and Kurji, to come over. His 3 elder sisters were married and remained in India. His father died in Dar es salaam in 1953.

In Dar es salaam, Kassamali helped in his brother’s small duka and later worked for Juma Ibrahim in his store. In those days, Khojas trusted each other and getting a job and a store was the best way to move up in life.

After he married Sakar, the daughter of Gokal Versi Visram, his father-in-law helped him to start a small duka business in Kariakoo.

In 1961, his brother-in-law, Nazerali Gokal Versi developed a new building across from in a prime spot across the Kariakoo market and Kassamali was able to rent a store and a new modern upstairs apartment. He and his wife Sakar had 6 children. in 1966/67, he changed his business from piripiri bizari to clothing store as he was encouraged to do so by Kabani Kitenge.

In 1971, many business collapsed after the nationalizations and Kassamali decided to join his children in Calgary, Canada where he died in 1975.