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By I.I.Dewji, Editor, Khojawiki.org

Zanzibar gets its name from the Persian zang-bâr meaning "black coast", probably alluding to its two indigenous African tribes, although archeological evidence suggests that humans have lived on this close-shore island for over 20,000 years. It is also possible that Zanzibar refers to the side of the Indian Ocean which has the legendary "Zenj" Empire verses the other side which is the "Hind"- bar.

From the dawn of history, traders from Arabia (mostly Yemen), the Persian Gulf region of Iran (especially Shiraz), and West India (Gujarat) visited Zanzibar. The “Periplus of the Erythraean Sea”, a Greco-Roman travelogue of the 1st century AD refers to Zanzibar and its then already cosmopolitan people.

During those two thousand years, hundreds of dhows would sail across the Indian Ocean every year from Arabia, Persia and India with the monsoon winds blowing in from the northeast, bringing iron, cloth, sugar and dates. When the monsoon winds shifted to the southwest in March or April, the traders would leave with their ships packed full of tortoiseshell, copal, cloves, coir, coconuts, rice, ivory and slaves. (1)

Since Kutch was one of the places where the Arabs built the vahans-dhows, Kutchi sailors and traders usually went wherever the Arabs went and it is most likely that by the 15th century, Kutchi Khojas merchants were amongst these early visitors, trading as they also did along the entire Indian Ocean Littoral areas, including shores of the Arabia Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

“From time immemorial, the Khojas and their ancestors seem to have traded on that coast and the early Portuguese annals describe numerous flourishing communities of them established between Sofala and Socotra" (2)

In 16th century, during the era of the European military expansion, the Portuguese entered the Indian Ocean with their ship-mounted canons and severely disrupted these trading arrangements.

“In their Crusade, commerce and Christianity were closely intertwined, the former providing the material motivation, the latter the ideological justification. Royal instructions to Portuguese captains enjoined them ‘to conduct war with the Muslim and trade with the heathen” (3)

The Khoja traders with their Hindu/Muslim synthetic faith seem to have escaped the worst ravages,since they are mentioned in Portuguese dispatches, sometimes even lending money to the Portuguese governors of Daman & Diu. See Khoja Shams-ud-din Gillani That would suggest that, upon payment of dues for the “cartes” or passes, the Khojas and the Khambay Hindu merchants were permitted to continue trading, even as the Portuguese fought to wrest maritime supremacy from the Omanis.

“But, like the other castes of Indian traders, they (the Khojas) withered and almost disappeared under the cruel and bigoted rule of the Portuguese” (4)

Eventually, in 1698, the Omanis re-conquered Zanzibar and the other towns of the African coast and in late 18th/early 19th century, their capital, Muscat once again became a major maritime trading power in the Indian Ocean.

“It was reported in 1803/4 that Omani Arabs in the course of ten years have increased their tonnage from a number of dhows and dingeys, and two or three old ships, to upwards of fifty five ships with a total displacement of between 40.000 and 50.000 tons. At the height of the boom, about five-eighths of the whole Persian Gulf trade passed through Muscat.” (5)

Gwadar, on the Balouch coast, was an Omani outpost and Sindhi and by 1830's, Kutchi Khojas, were constantly moving between Gwadar and Muscat, where a community of Sindhi Bhatias existed from the 1750's.

The Kutchi Khojas, who were by then, prominent traders in Muscat, sought a return back to Zanzibar to expand their trading. Around the same time, the a branch of the Hyderabadi Khojas (called Luti or Luwatiyas) also settled in Muscat and together with the Kutchi Bhatias, were one of its most powerful Indian merchants communities.

“The earliest Lutis came in the wake of the establishment of the Al BuSa‘id state in Masqat in 1785. (6) See Ahmedali Nizari Piredina

The strong presence of both branches of the Khojas in Muscat suggests that they would have returned to Zanzibar after 1744, when an Omani governor was formally installed.

“The Nizari Khoja had been active as traders between western India and coast Africa at least since the 17th century: the early Indian Nizari immigrants came as well from Kutch, Kathiawar, Surat and Bombay, and settled on Zanzibar Island. By 1820, a small community of Khojas was present in Zanzibar: their affairs were administered by two local functionaries." (7)

The Khoja’s faced substantial risk in getting Zanzibar, notwithstanding the patronage of the Sultan, whose writ sometimes did not even extend to his own Arab subjects.

“At first they were obliged to travel to Zanzibar by way of Maskat, (Muscat) in a certain ship which sailed once a year; they were exposed to many hardships and peril; they were often murdered, and when they died at Zanzibar their property was not infrequently seized and divided among the Arab chiefs.” (8)

The records maintained by the British who, by a treaty in 1839, took over the administration of the affairs of British Indians in the domain of the Sultan (9), show that the Khoja community started to grow rapidly in the decades after 1820.

"By the 1840s, South Asians were also allowed to acquire property and own clove plantations in Zanzibar.16 In addition, the Sultan himself approved a commercial treaty with Britain in 1839 that guaranteed British subjects the freedom to enter Zanzibar and to reside and trade within the Sultan’s dominion. The establishment of a British consulate in Zanzibar further encouraged South Asians to settle because of the use of security and the expectation of protection in their dealings with the Arabic aristocracy." (10)

There is evidence to suggest that the Indian traders, including the Khojas (undoubtedly to increase their security), encouraged Sultan Seyyid Said to move his throne to Zanzibar in 1840 (11) See Rahimtullah Fadu Dewani,an influential Khoja advisor of the Sultan in Muscat.

Khoja oral traditions confirm that one Musa Kanji & his brother Sayyan (Sajan?) Kanji, originally from Surat and working through Zanzibar, had already set-up their business on the mainland, sometimes before 1820.

"The first South Asian known to have settled upcountry was Musa Msuri, a Khoja from Surat. In 1825, he and his brother Sayyan, set out on an expedition from Zanzibar and were probably the first non-Africans to reach Unyamwezi territory in western Tanzania, where they traded cloth and beads for ivory, turning a handsome profit. On the return, Sayyan died. Musa, however, continued conducting caravans for another 30 years, reaching as far inland as Buganda in Uganda and Maragwe. (Karagwe)" (12)

“According to Rai Shamsuddïn Tejpar, there is some evidence that the "Müsa Mzuri', who helped Burton and Speke at Tabora, was surnamed 'Kanji'. At Mombasa, an old and reliable Ismaili gentleman told Aziz Ismail (in 1965) that Müsa Mzuri had come from Surat about 1820 to join a business already established in East Africa by his brother: the two then penetrated inland” (13)

“Musa Mzuri” is also mentioned by Capt. James Grant of having “an establishment of 300 native men and women round him. His abode had, three years ago, taken two months to build and it was surrounded by a circular wall which enclosed his houses, fruit and vegetable trees, and a stock of cattle”. (14)

It was also Musa "Mzuri" Kanji, who told the explorer Jack Speke about the great river flowing north out of Lake Nyanza. (15) It appears that the controversy about the source of the Nile River was indeed, superfluous; Musa clearly was the one of the first “outsiders” to see it, although Speke may have been the first European to write about it.

Khoja oral history records that the first Mukhi (mukhia=traditional head of Indian village council) was elected in Zanzibar in 1834 and “1838: The first jamatkhana community hall in East Africa is built in Zanzibar’s Stone Town, with a capacity for a few hundred people.” (16)

Another early pioneer family were the Hansraj brothers, Janmohamed Hansraj and Kanji Hansraj, who arrived in 1852 and set their first store in Bagamoyo shortly thereafter.

By 1879, a British official was able to confirm:

“There are 700 married females in the Zanzibar population of 2,100 Khoja. Thirty year ago there were here only 165 families and 20 married women, showing that the members of this sect have multiplied six fold in the last 30 years, and the married or settled part have increased in a still greater ratio. This increase has been of late entirely owing to the arrival of emigrants from Kutch.” (17)

Unlike the original Kutchi migrants, we now begin to see Kathiawari Khojas (called “Nangarias”) from towns, such as Bhavnagar and Jamnagar (although originally, they, too, were migrants from Kutch to Kathiawar.)

Place of origin in India No. of Families (1871-1872)






Total:.....................................635 (18)

zzz The immediate reason for the Khojas to leave their homeland was, in the main, as a result of the colossal famines during the British Raj, as explored more fully in “Gujarat Famines & Khoja Migrations”. By 1890, they had numerically overtaken all other Indians combined.

"The British Indian colonists or traders in the Zanzibar dominions come under the following designations Hindus, who number about 1000; Parsis, about 100; Khojas, who are the most numerous, reach probably a total of 4,000; and the remainder of the 7,000 British Indians who are registered at the consulate are made up of Bohras and Memons” (19)

We know that from oral histories documented here on Khojawiki.org (please click the individual names or visit their page for their complete life stories) that most, if not all, worked in trading, either for family enterprises or for other Khojas and that once settled, they would venture on their own, either on the Zanzibar Islands or on the mainland, with loans of cash or goods from established relatives or other Khoja wholesalers.

“Arriving at his future scene of business with little beyond the credentials his fellow caste men, after perhaps a brief apprenticeship in some older firm, the Indian entrepreneur starts a shop of his own with goods advanced on in credit by some large house, After a few years, when he has has made a little money, he generally returns home to marry, to make fresh of business connections and then comes back to Africa to repeat, on a large scale. (20)

The most famous “rags to riches” story is that of Sir Taria Topan, who arrived in Zanzibar from Kera, Kutch in 1835 as a stowaway and grew into “one of the richest man in town” (21)

Alarakhia Dossani arrived in 1880 at age 28, in a steam boat "AWAKA" alone and worked for Janmohamed Hansraj for 6 months and then went to work for Sewa Haji Paroo for 11 years. In 1891, he started his own business with son, Moloobhai, then age 15, selling Arab silks, Indian food stuff and also exporting goods to mainland.

After the Omani rulers themselves went into large scale agriculture production, particularly coconuts and spices, Khoja traders bought and sold at the local markets and then later, began buying wholesale and exporting to Asia and Europe.

Ibrahim Ladha came to Zanzibar from Bhadreshwar, around 1890’s and started work as a retail clerk and then had his own retail shop at Shamba Kisauni. Working his way up, he started the business of buying and selling coconuts and turning them into copra and later had his own shambas. His business exported cloves and coconut products to Europe and Asia.

Harji Bhanji was a successful spice trader (and grandfather of the British actor, Ben Kingsley.) Mohamed Khalfan, Gulamhussein Tejpar were merchants who were well established in Zanzibar by the 1880’s and whose stories have been preserved by their families.

The Stone Town we see today dates mostly from the nineteenth century when the place was at its most prosperous. Dr. Abdul Sheriff describes the scene:

“Zanzibar was then a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its harbour teemed with square-rigged ships from the West and oriental dhows with their lateen sails from many countries in the East, carrying all the colours of the rainbow. Here Yankee merchants from New England drove a hard bargain with Hindu traders in their large crimson turbans or Khojas in their long coats, exchanging ivory for American cloth; the Marseillais haggled with the Somali for hides and sesame seeds from Benadir; Hamburg entrepreneurs shipped tons of cowrie shells to West Africa, where they served as currency; and Arab caravans rubbed shoulders with their African counterparts from the Mountains of the Moon.” (22)

"...the congested old Khoja area of Kiponda behind the market, with its narrow streets and terraces of cramped shop houses."

Aldrick, Judith. The Sultan's spymaster: Peera Dewjee of Zanzibar. Naivasha: Old Africa Books, 2015.pg 276

Moloobhai Alarakhia Dossani arrived in 1884, at age 10 and at 13, started a small business in Soko Mohogo. In 1891 he was 17, he began going on board the ships harbour and hawking food, cigarettes, ready made clothes, curios. In 1894, Moloobhai went to India, brought goods worth Rs.3000/- and sold them in Zanzibar for Rs.5000/-. By 1896, he had started a shop of curios, carpets, silk, etc. In 1903, he started the famous Moloo Brothers & Co.

The Omani Sultans had been astute traders in the Indian Ocean since prior to the Portuguese disruptions and in Zanzibar, the Sultanate depended extensively on customs duties. So like their forefathers in Oman, they encouraged their Indian subjects to trade far into the East African hinterland.

"The Indian rupee owed its early supremacy in East Africa to the preponderant commercial influence of Indians in Zanzibar, the centre of East African trade during the nineteenth century." (23)

And it was the Khojas, with their extensive communal networks, that dominated the interior commerce throughout that 19th century and well until 1960’s.

Another famous Khoja is “Sewa Haji Paroo, a well-liked merchant-philanthropist, who went from a dukawalla into equipping caravans into the interior from Bagamoyo. He is mentioned by the explorer H.M. Stanley and the Christian missions to whom he donated extensively. Waljee Hirjee, who was the first Khoja to settle in Mombasa, having moved there from Zanzibar in 1867 went on create the Rahemtulla Walji Hirji Trust in Kenya.

Towards the end of the century, when the interior was colonised by Europeans and greater opportunities opened up for trade, many Khojas from India first arrived in Zanzibar and then went on create extensive merchant empires on the mainland. Their life stories are the opening up of East Africa as it joined the global commercial networks and are captured in oral family histories in khojawiki.org

Nasser Virjee was only 12 when he arrived in Zanzibar in 1877. Over time, the family established themselves in Bagamoyo and Mwanza and the Nasser Virji group went on to operate 70-72 different companies in German East Africa, their main business being the Mwanza Cotton Trading Company Limited.

“A rough estimate indicates that half of the South Asian defendants, i.e., South Asian business owners, in Zanzibar between 1875 and 1912 claimed to have started their own businesses with no money, or ‘little money’. This is supported by oral evidence of my own in 2002-3 and that of Martha Honey in the 1970s” (24)

xxxx Nasser Virjee’s cousin, the legendary Allidina Visram arrived in Zanzibar in 1863, aged 12, penniless. After a brief apprenticeship with Sewa Haji Paroo, he partnered with Nasser Virjee for his first interior caravan- later he started organizing his own caravans and opened branches of his firm at Dar-es-Salaam, Saadani, Tabora, Ujiji and Alima and Tindo in the Belgium Congo. In the early years, he purchased cloves, wax, and honey in exchange for cloth, salt, grains, etc. Later, he began to specialize in ivory. After the death of Sewa Haji Paroo, he took over his caravan trade and took his wagons as far as Uganda, parts of Congo Free State and Southern Sudan. He was known as the “Uncrowned King of Uganda.

Dharamsi Khatau established 40 branches of his import business throughout East Africa.

With the help of the commercially astute Omani Sultans, the Khojas quickly linked their mainland networks to India in effect, re-creating the Indian Ocean networks that existed pre-European conquests.

“The ubiquity of Indian firms in East Africa ideally positioned Bombay’s textile industry to produce for the East African market. Moreover, in the 1870s, the establishment of a telegraph station at Zanzibar allowed immediate communication between Bombay firms and their Zanzibar agents. Perhaps most important, expanded steamship service between Zanzibar and Bombay substantially lowered transportation costs and, in the late 1870s, Sultan Barghash of Zanzibar, as part of his vision for the commercial preeminence of his sultanate, introduced a line of six steamships to run between Bombay, Zanzibar, and Madagascar.

With lower shipping rates, firms based in both Zanzibar and Bombay began to saturate East Africa with unbleached, merekani look-alike sheetine. kaniki fusuallv Africa with unbleached, merekani look-alike sheeting, kaniki (usually English cottons indigo-dyed in India), as well as rice, wheat, sugar, furniture, and wood—all products that would become essential to the Bombay export trade in the 1880s and contribute to Bombay’s position as the premier entrepot in the western Indian Ocean” (25) See Sir Currimbhoy Ebrahim, whose mills supplied cotton goods to Zanzibar.

Allidina Visram is also well-known as the benefactor of many Khojas families, who he set-up in business across East Africa- either as his agents or for their own account as his distributors.

Hasham Jamal Pradhan granddaughter writes: “The year was 1900 and with only four rupees in his pocket, Bapaji boarded a steamer bound for the east coast of Afriica, sailing through Aden, and then Zanzibar. There, he met Allidina Visram, and it the start of a relationship that was to lead to the financial success of the Jamals in Uganda Protectorate. Allidina entrusted him with a substantial quantity of trade goods, including rolls of the common imported cotton called “merikani”, to be collected from his stores in Mombasa.”

Abdullah Ratansi arrived in Zanzibar in 1881 aged 13. As soon as he was old enough, in 1884, he went to work for Allidina Visram, known as the “King” of Uganda” who was opening up that country to international trade. Later, he joined Sewa Haji Paroo and was in charge of the business of supplying goods, porters, guards, guides. When Henry Morton Stanley arrived in Zanzibar on February 22nd of 1887 to arrange the Emin Pasha Relief expedition, Abdullah Bhai accompanied the expedition into the interior past Bagamoyo.

Mohamed Manek started as a farm manager for Allidina Visram in Uganda. He went on to own a major Bus transportation network.

Dewji Jamal was one of the few rich merchants of Bombay, who came to Zanzibar in about 1878, having earlier established a branch in Lamu. In 1885, one of his sons, Nazerali Dewji, moved to Lamu with his family from Zanzibar and in 1887, Nazerali again moved to Mombasa to establish a new branch of Dewji Jamal & Co.

Habib Adat Dewji of Bharapur emigrated first to Zanzibar and after few years in “service”, moved to Bagamoyo and then to Dares salaam, the new German Capital. In 1910, Habibbhai establish an well-known import business house that survived to 1977.

Many Zanzibari Khojas also settled into other parts of Africa, such as Murrabi Shariff Jiwa Surti who went to Madagascar to become a major supplier to the French colonial army while Mussa Jetha and his children spread to Tanga, Mombasa and Dar. Merali Jiwa also went to Tanga to open several businesses.Jina Madhavji moved to Faza, near Lamu with the help of Jiwan Lalji of Zanzibar.FakirMohamed Gaidher went to from Zanzibar to Kyela on the shores of Lake Malawi.

In the early part of the 20th century, the Germans began to aggressively grow their newly acquired “Deutsche Osta Africa" colony and reluctantly accepted the enterprising Khojas, who moved into take advantage of new opportunities. Rawji Virji Patel moved to Dares salaam to establish a retail business at this time.Jeraj Shariff left Zanzibar and went to Tanga to set up a business.

Sultan Barghash, who had earlier been exiled to Bombay by the British and spoke Hindustani(24A), returned with a deep appreciation of India and Khojas began to rise to powerful positions in his administration. Taria Topan was his “Prime Minister” and Peera Dewjee who started as the Sultan Bargash’s barber and lamp cleaner, eventually rose to become his right-hand-man. Peera controlled the palace finances and the running of the household and stables, whilst also negotiating for him in delicate matrimonial matters and masterminding his spying networks. Both accompanied the Sultan on his famous visit to London in 1875 and later, Peera was sent back to Europe on a number of occasions to purchase warships to livestock. (26)

Other Khojas, besides Sewa Haji Paroo, were also known for their leading role in philanthropy both in Zanzibar and across Eastern Africa. Muhammad Husayn Tharia Topan was the main driving force behind the establishment and operation of the 1st Indian School in East Africa- The Sir Euan Smith Madrassa, (SESM) which was founded in Zanzibar in 1891. So Sir Taria’s son finally got to build the school Taria so desired.(27) "This non-denominational school was the most important Indian school in Zanzibar throughout the colonial period."(28)

Dahya Punja, who accidentally landed in Zanzibar on his way to Dar-es-Salaam, went on own much of what is now Upanga, in that city. Dahya was an avid reader with a large collection of books mostly in Gujarati and on a broad range of subjects. His son, Jaffer Daya established the Dahya Punja Indian Library in Dar Es Salaam. (29)

"Small hospitals were established in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam by Rajabali Hashm Paroo." (30) and "In 1905, the Ismailis, with a donation from V. Nazerali, established a library in Zanzibar, and subsequently they built libraries wherever they formed a sizeable community” (31) "In 1905 three businessmen-V. Nazerali, Alnoor Kassum and Patalai (sic: Fatehali) Vellani pooled their resources to build the first Ismaili School and Library in Zanzibar.” (32)

It was not all business for these Zanzibari Khojas as they also contributed to development of the cultural arts and literature. Sultan Barghash was an accomplished musician and has frequent public concerts.

"By 1882 Barghash gave concerts every Wednesday evening. Chair, would be set up in the palace square, where those who wished to might listen to operatic selections and Arabic airs. His orchestra consisted of 35 Goan musicians conducted by a German bandmaster and he mixed the music from Arabia, India and Europe. Peera Dewjee is often cited as the master of ceremonies and the organizer of all public concerts and entertainments. One German source described how he brought troupes of travelling entertainers, jugglers and acrobats from Arabia, India and Egypt who performed in the evening on the square in front of the veranda of the palace by torchlight. It was a fantastic sight as the figures danced and leaped, lit by the flickering lights of the candles against the dark background of night." (33)

In 1900, Fazal Janmohammed Master set up East Arica’s first Indian newspaper, the weekly Samachar, which began as a single-sheet Gujarati paper and started coverage of politics in English in 1918. A recent memorial of its centenary makes for interesting reading.

Fazal Valli Nathu was born in Zanzibar in 1874 and was famous as “Kavi Dilgir”, "Poet Conqueror of the Heart". He wrote poems in Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Swahili and Arabic, played the upright harmonium, fiddle and had a melodious voice. he frequently composed poems for the Sultans.

Fatma Peera Dewjeewas well known for making "KIKUBA", a small bouquet of intricately designed rosettes which local women wear on their hair as an adornment. It is made by carefully arranging, intertwining and tying the petals and leaves of sweet smelling flowers together into a radial shape.

"The majority of cases were filed after the Anglo-Zanzibar War was fought between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896…. In this war, many houses and businesses near the Sultan’s palace were bombarded by the British and were destroyed. Consequently, 79 bankruptcies were filed against businesses in 1898, of which 44 were related to the war." (34)

Even the Swahili language, which is now the lingua franca of over 300 million Eastern Africans, reinforces the Khoja presence, in the great number of its loan-words.

“Zanzibar was built by the Kutchis. That Indian words in Swahili previously thought of as Hindi are actually Kutchi. Swahili itself is 40% Oriental, having acquired these in the two thousand years of its history” (35)

The complex world of Zanzibar and its realms, with its Swahili, Portuguese, Omani, British and finally African masters, can be appreciated through the sharp lens of it’s foremost historian, Dr. Abdul Sheriff.

“At the coast, the state itself was subverted by its indebtedness to the most powerful group of Indian financiers and by the conversion of the Indian mercantile class into an instrument of British influence. But from the end of the eighteenth century the compradorial state had also been politically dependent on Britain to protect itself from its rivals, particularly in the Persian Gulf, and to gain access to the British Indian market. By the middle of the nineteenth century, it could no longer safeguard the political integrity of the Omani kingdom and prevent its partition between its Omani and African sections. This was a prelude to the partition of even the African section during the Scramble for Africa, and eventually to the subjugation of Zanzibar itself to colonial rule” (36)

That the Khojas persevered and thrived is the ultimate testimony of their centuries-old resilience.(37)

Notes & References

(1) Wikipedia

(2) Frere, H.B.E - The Khojas: The Disciples Of The Old Mam Of The Mountain, MacMillan's Magazine, Volume 34 1876 342

(3) Sheriff, Abdul. Rise of a commercial empire: an aspect of the economic history of Zanzibar, 1770-1873. Master's thesis, University of London, 1971. 348-49.

(4) abid Frere - 342

(5) abid Sheriff - 350

(6) Allen, Calvin H. "The Indian merchant community of Masqat." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 44, no. 01 (1981): 39. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00104392.“The Khwaja community of Matrah was affected by the controversy that erupted in India during the 1840s concerning the Agha Khan’s rights to the dasaund or obligatory religious tithe. This dispute came to a head in 1862 with the initiation of legal proceedings by the Bombay merchants who argued that the tithe belonged to the community and not the Agha Khan. All but twenty families in Matrah supported the case against the Agha Khan and were among those excommunicated when the courts ruled in favour of the religious leader. The Matrah Khwajas then became Ithna-'Ashari Shi'is, the jama‘at khana became a Shi'I mosque, and the community requested that a qadi be dispatched from Najaf (Iraq) to serve Luwatiyya legal needs. The twenty families who chose to support the Agha Khan were expelled from the Sur and established a new jama‘at khana just outside the north-western wall of their old home. The few Agha Khanis (as they were called) who remained in Matrah left in 1965 on the orders of the Agha Khan, who feared for their safety following the revolution in Zanzibar. Their jama'at khana, located in front of the girls’ school in Matrah and next to the Jibru roundabout, was bought by the W. J. Towell Company and torn down to make way for an office building.” (abid Allen-50)

(7) Joya Chatterji, David Washbrook - Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora.

(8) Johnston,H.H. F.R.G.S. Her Majesty’s Consul, Mozambique - THE ASIATIC COLONISATION OF EAST AFRICA- JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS. [February 1st 1889) (pp 159)

(9) Vaughan,J H - The Dual Mandate in Zanzibar, Zanzibar Government Printers, 1935 (pg 11-12)

(10) Oonk, Gijsbert-Settled Strangers-Asian Business Elites in East Africa. Sage (pp 77)

(11) abid - Allen Jnr, Calvin (pp 44)

(12) abid Oonk pp 82

(13) King, Noel - Towards A History Of The Ismailis In East Africa - edited by Ismail Raji al Faruq (http://www.ismaili.net/Source/beforecol.html) See also abid Oonk pg 81

(14) Grant, James Augustus. A walk across Africa: or, domestic scenes from my Nile journal. Whitefish, MT.: Kessinger, 2007.

(15) Jeal, Tim. Explorers of the Nile: the triumph and tragedy of a great Victorian adventure. London: Faber, 2012. 102-103

(16) Hopkins, Peter E., and Richard T. Gale. Muslims in Britain: race, place and identities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012. 153

(17) British and Foreign State Papers- VOL. LXII. Compiled By The Librarian And Keeper Of The Papers, Foreign Office, 1871-1872

(18) abid- Brtish and Foreign Papers

(19) abid British and Foreign State Papers

(20) Frere, Bartle – quoted in “Federation Samachar” Vol 36 No 51 (pp 64)

(21) Stanley, H. M. Through the dark continent: or, The sources of the Nile around the Great Lakes of Equatorial Africa and down the Livingstone River to the Atlantic Ocean. New York: Dover, 1988., (pp. 63)

(22) Sheriff, Abdul, Dr. The history & conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town. London: Dept. of Archives, Museums & Antiquities in association with J. Currey, 1995.

(23) Wallis, Henry Richard. The handbook of Uganda. London: Pub. for the government of the Uganda Protectorate by the Crown Agents for the Colonies, 1920.(pp 230)

(24) Sheriff, Abdul - The Rise of a Commercial Empire- An aspect of the Economic History of Zanzibar,1770-1873 Ph.D. thesis, University of London 1971 (pp 348-349)

(25) Prestholdt, Jeremy. Domesticating the world African consumerism and the genealogies of globalization. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.(pp 101)

(26) Aldrick, Judith. The Sultan's spymaster: Peera Dewjee of Zanzibar. Naivasha: Old Africa Books, 2015.

(27) Abid pg 166 - Sir Taria had wanted to build a school for Khojas but apparently was denied permission by the British. The foundation stone of the “Tharia Topan Jubilee Hospital” was laid on 8th July 1885, but Sir Tharia died in India in 1891, causing an interruption to the construction. His widow decided to resume the works but her budget was exhausted in 1893 before completion of the building. Yet, the workmanship was excellent, as acknowledged by Fredrick Pordage, the consulting engineer of the British Consul who eventually saw the building through to completion in early 1894. In 1900, it was bought by the estate of Nasser Nur Mahomed with the intention to use it as a charitable institution. Nur Mohamed’s trustees set up a dispensary on the ground floor of the building, and subdivided the upper two floors into apartments. This mixed use of the building continued until the revolution in 1964, when the occupants fled the island and the dispensary fell into disuse. It has now been renovated and used as a cultural centre.

(28) Loimeier, Roman. Between Social Skills and Marketable Skills: the Politics of Islamic Education in 20th century Zanzibar. Leiden: BRILL, 2009

(29) Gregory, Robert G. The rise and fall of philanthropy in East Africa: the Asian contribution. New Brunswick, U.S.A.: Transaction Publishers, 2014. 114 S G Mehta interview.

(30) abid-Gregory (pp. 101)

(31) abid Gregory (pp 103)

(32) abid Gregory (pp 103)

(33) abid Aldrick (pg 176)

(34) abid Oonk (8A) (pp 86)

(35) Lodhi, Abdulaziz. Oriental loanwords in Swahili. Nairobi, Kenya: Oxford University Press East Africa Limited, 2015.


Linking historical and linguistic sources, starting with a background survey of Swahili lexicon of Oriental origin, theories of language and culture contact and a history of such contacts in the Western Indian Ocean, this study attempts at presenting a description of Oriental influences in Eastern Africa.

The main conclusions drawn from the present study are: 1) that Oriental loans in Swahili are not satisfactorily documented, and further research is needed to assess their currency in the modem usage, and their socio-cultural importance in Eastern Africa; 2) that Oriental elements are of high frequency and are found in all areas of activity; 3) that contrary to earlier assumptions, Persian and Indie loans in Swahili occur also as verbs, adjectives and adverbs; 4) that most of the Indian loans in Swahili are from Cutchi/Sindhi and Gujarati, rather than from Hindi; 5) that traditional Swahili culture is an Afro-Oriental member of the North-Western Indian Ocean civilization at large.''

(36) Sheriff, Abdul - Slaves, Spices, & Ivory in Zanzibar:Integration of an East African Commercial Empire Into the World Economy, 1770- 1873 Ohio University Press.

(37) abid Oonk pg 81 "There is very little evidence of Hindu movement to the interior before 1890."

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