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Moshi

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Germany established a boma, a military/administrative camp in a location they called Neu-Moschi in August 1893.


"The boma was a fairly large place, consisting of a Government station in charge of three or four white officials with about a hundred Native soldiers. The principal civilian residents were two Greek traders, who owned some coffee plantations. They had been in the country for many years and in the early days did a good trade in ivory. Before the country was taken over, this part was thickly populated by the Wachagga, a rather fine race of people, who gave the Government a lot of trouble. They were well versed in woodcraft, did beautiful carving in wood, rhino horn and ivory, and they were very clever at copying anything." Boyes, John: Company of Adventurers- pp 115 Extract Date: 1903


By 1906, Natha Hirji seems to have been settled in Moshi, accompanied by his brothers Merali and Habib, (Since Merali Hirji was recorded in the German Colonial Handbook as living in Lindi in 1901 onwards, it is possible that the three brothers may have arrived in East Africa around 1890's-Editor)


"Moshi was the obvious area on which to concentrate. It was densely populated with a million people living in banana groves (migombani) and coffee small-holdings (vihamba) on the fertile slopes of the mountain. This was where they cultivated the excellent Arabica coffee the Catholic missionaries introduced at the end of the last century." Tanzania, Journey to Republic – by Randal Sadleir (Author), Dr. Julius Nyerere (Foreword)- 1 Jul 1999 (Pg 200A)


The German-built Northern line railroad reached Moshi in 1912 and created a significant impetus for Khoja traders to establish their Dukas around the Railway Station building.


"Mulji Nazarali, who was married to Alladin's cousin Sherbanu, took Alladin to the office of the Distriktkommisar the next day, to a square building with three-foot thick walls and a wide verandah and a corrugated tin roof over and open attic where bats and bush babies hung out at night. The thick walls, the open attic, and the wide verandah kept the buildings cool. The German officer showed Alladin his piece of land on the map. Ten acres for a thousand hellers, or ten Indian rupees. The transaction took place in German with a few Kiswahili words. Alladin Giga would have found it difficult to communicate with someone from another part of India, let alone in German and Kiswahili. The cousin-in-law translated for him, mainly with intelligent guesswork and a few words of German and much more Kiswahili that he had learned. They left the Distriktkommisar with papers signed and stamped in purple ink." Extract from Ties of Bandhana by Safder Giga Patney


Moolji Nazarali went on to became a very successful businessman, who following the centuries-old Khoja tradition of public service, donated extensively to a number of public projects in Moshi. He began with the construction of a new community center Jamatkhana in 1925, which he built with his own funds of 40,000/- shillings. Next, he donated 150,000/- shillings in building a Primary School in Moshi. Later, he had also contributed a handsome amount in the establishment of a Guest-House for traveling businesspersons and families, a public library, the Aga Khan Club and a Nursery School.


"Thanks to the government, local authorities and Catholic and Lutheran missions, Moshi had universal primary education and the highest literacy rate in the territory. The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) was probably the most efficient and progressive cooperative organization in Africa. A district commissioner called Sir Charles Dundas, a Scots baronet started it in the 1920s to enable Chagga coffee growers to compete on equal terms on world markets with the European growers." Tanzania, Journey to Republic – by Randal Sadleir (Author), Dr. Julius Nyerere (Foreword)- 1 Jul 1999 (Pg 200a)

A Gallery of Colonial Moshi


A Gallery of Khoja Moshi


   FORMER MOSHI RESIDENTS-Please study the above pictures and help us identify the names and date information for sharing with our readers.  Contact us hereContact