Dar es Salaam
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KHOJAS IN DAR ES SALAAM
By I.I.Dewji, Editor, Khojawiki.org (June 2019)
(I wish to acknowledge the generous helpings I have taken from the book "The Emerging Metropolis: A history of Dar es Salaam, circa 1862-2000 by James R. Brennan & Andrew Burton, published by my good friend, Walter Bugoya of Mkuki na Nyota Publishers Ltd. of Dar es Salaam-Any additions or deletions are of course, my responsibility and stand to be corrected)
In 1862, when Sultan Majid of Zanzibar first planned a city he called “Harbour of Peace” (Bandar es Salaam), he could not have imagined how prophetic his words would be. This world-class Tanzanian city has had an enviable 160-year history of multiculturalism and peaceful racial coexistence well before such concepts became acceptable in the West. Throughout this period, the migrant community of Khojas from Western Gujarat has been leading residents of the city, thriving and growing despite three major economic setbacks.
This is a brief history of their dogged existence and is in response to their conspicuous absence in contemporary accounts of the growth of Dar es Salaam.
UNDER SWAHILI & OMANI RULE
Prof Brown's study of the Arab and German records establish that by 1866 there were not less than 40 Khojas in Mzizima, the tiny fishing village destined to came Dar es Salaam. (1) Undoubtedly, in 1859, when Albrecht Roscher of Hamburg the first European to visit Mzizima, he would have replenished his supplies from a Khoja merchant but unfortunately, he was killed in the bush and all his notes lost.
Mzizima with its proximity to Bagamoyo, where there was a larger settlement of more than 130 Khojas was also a convenient commercial point for three migrant peoples; the Khoja merchants who by then had been trading along the East African coast for a few hundred years; the local “Shomvi,” a Swahili/Shirazi plantation owners, who had settled there from Barawa, Somalia and an inland Bantu tribe, the WaZaramo, who had moved 200 miles from their home in the Uluguru mountains for work and better prospects.
The local economy consisted of farming, coconut harvesting, fishing, hunting and crafts-making such as embroidery, wood-carving, metal and leatherwork which were traded with Khoja “dukawallas” shopkeepers for merikan & khanga cloth and natural beads from Gujarat and building materials, etc. from Bagamoyo & Zanzibar. In 1866, a French visitor wrote this: “Situated on the shore of its harbour, like an Arab woman in rags in the ruined home of her former husband, Dari Salama appears to mourn its isolation and poverty”.(2)
Unlike Bagamoyo with its wealth from the interior caravans, this unhygienic village was hardly a place to build a home let alone a fortune but the hardy Khoja shopkeepers, having fled Kutch and Kathiawar due to the persistent famines during British rule, managed not only to survive but also to grow their economic clout in the local community.
“The trajectory of nineteenth-century developments also led to increased indebtedness and commercial marginalization of Shomvi and other Shirazi ‘patricians’ to Indian creditors, as well as their loss of effective sovereignty to Arab political power centered in Zanzibar. The sudden projection of political power by the Sultan of Zanzibar, in part to circumvent the commercial power of Indian traders and creditors centered in Bagamoyo, marks the beginning of Dar es Salaam’s history”'(3)
In 1865 or 1866, Sultan Majid began building the port of Dar es Salaam but within a short 5 years, upon his death in 1870, the town was back into serious decline. In 1873, the Indian traders were forced to relocate to nearby villages to trade with the WaZaramo, who had boycotted the town; large houses fell in value from US$500 in 1871 to US$200 by 1873.(4) Worse was to follow—an outbreak of smallpox in 1882 killed perhaps three- quarters of the town’s inhabitants; and in late 1884 a drought and famine took the lives of hundreds of local WaZaramo and brought increased slave trading, inter-village kidnapping and the pawning of children for food.(5)
For the Khojas settlers, there was much commercial loss and many abandoned the town to move on to Bagamoyo or to return to Zanzibar in failure, with debts to honour to their suppliers.
GERMAN COLONIAL RULE
In 1885, German colonial ambitions arrived in East Africa (by way of “gunboat diplomacy" and in the form of the German East African Company) and business started to improve for the remaining Khoja traders. The ambitions of the newest European power meant significant infrastructural & corporate investment followed the declaration of the colony.
After 1st January 1891, when Dar es Salaam became the new capital of German East Africa, more government money flowed in - initially, however, because the German administrators viewed the British-Indians with suspicion, this failed to induce the larger Indian trading houses to relocate from Bagamoyo or Zanzibar.
“It is no secret that much of the recent troubles and difficulties of the German Company in East Africa arose from the unwisdom of its employees in endeavoring to rudely and suddenly oust the Indians from their commercial supremacy and in thereby making Indian sentiment opposed to the extension of German rule.”(6)
By the time the Central Line began in 1905, Dar es Salaam had taken off with the addition of two grand German churches-the Lutheran, begun in 1898 in Bavarian Alpine style and the Catholic St. Joseph’s Cathedral completed in 1902, built-in Gothic style. The State House and the equally imposing European Hospital were sited facing the Indian Ocean. Along Azania Front, adjacent to the old Arab harbour lay the government’s main office buildings, all built in a simple but striking classical style. (7) Khoja settlement increased significantly, largely at the expense of Bagamoyo, which had started a steady and permanent decline. For the personal histories of some of the Khojas who moved from Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam, see (Habib Adat Dewji) Mohamed Meghji(Mohamed Meghji) Husein Alarakhia Kheraj in www.khojawiki.org
A period description of the (Indian) bazaar area states “To the north of Marktstrasse and south of both Sultanstrasse (now roughly Bibi Titi Mohammad Road and Libya Street) and Ringstrasse (Jamhuri Street) lay an overwhelmingly African neighborhood of makuti huts, with a handful of Indian residents inhabiting stone buildings next to the town market (roughly at Indira Gandhi Street between Mosque Street and Morogoro Road).”(8)
The Maji Maji Rebellion (1905) forced the importation of a large contingent of “Askari Schutztruppe”, who were either Sudanese or so-called ‘Zulu’ (i.e., Shangaan) mercenaries hired in Mozambique. Following the suppression of the rebellion, these troops were stationed in Dares salaam, leading to the growth of import and retail trade, which was still largely controlled by the Khojas through their networks of wholesalers & retailers. (9)
This increased commercialization lead to the growth of a multicultural, tolerant lifestyle amongst the colonized inhabitants of Dar es Salaam. The latter-day Mayor of Dar es Salaam, Kleist Sykes as well as his uncle, Abbas Sykes the 1st post-Independence African Regional Commissioner were descendants of those early Zulu migrants. (10)
German suspicions of the Indians, particularly the Khoja traders arose from the close association of their Imam leader with British imperial ambitions and even extended to curtailing the community’s educational advancement.
‘The Indians, who by their high intelligence and endeavor get the most out of education, without being useful to the Government will be held back and segregated.’ (11)
It remains a mystery why, whilst the Bombay Khojas had made advances in education by then (12), there were no Khoja schools in Dar es Salaam or elsewhere in Tanzania at this time; to fill the gap, the well-known Khoja philanthropist, Sewa Haji Paroo donated the building for a multiracial school in Bagamoyo in 1890.(13)
Other Khoja donors did the same for Zanzibar. “Tharia Topan was one of the first Indian leaders to establish an ‘Indian School’ in Zanzibar, where South Asian Hindus and Muslims were educated in their own languages" (14)
However, “A government school was established in 1895 and by 1897 was attended regularly by some forty students ranging in age from 7 to 35; additionally, some 39 Indian students took advanced courses in Gujarati at this school.” (15)
Around 1907, a number of German companies relocated their businesses from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam including the Deutsch Ostafrikanische Bank, affording opportunity for the Khoja traders to become agents and suppliers to these companies. Kassum Sunderji Samji worked for one of these companies and remained a fluent German speaker till his death. (16)
Still, the suspicions and discrimination against the Khojas & other Indians were persistent.
"In the late 1890s, a Goan skilled builder could earn between 2.5-3 rupees per day, while a Hindu and Muslim Indian doing the same work would earn between 2-2.5 rupees per day".(17)
“The German government, in particular, had a conflicting relationship with the Indian community, which grew in size from 100 in 1891, to 900 in 1900, and leaped to 2,600 by 1913. On the one hand, it was reliant upon Indian capital for key urban investments—including Sewa Haji’s gift of 12,400 rupees to build a school and hospital. Yet the state was also pressured by European settlers, businessmen, and some of its own officials—who criticized Indians on grounds of unfair trading and unhygienic practices—to restrict Indian immigration and commercial penetration.” (18)
To the Germans, the Indian was just a “colonial subject” and unlike the British and other European settlers, he was not entitled to the protection of the German civil law. The traders were subject to the same harsh treatment meted to the defenseless “natives” and were forced to compete with the German companies and settlers essentially with “one hand tied to their backs”.
In 1913, German authorities bought Indian and Arab lands in Upanga for “exclusive” European development and also purchased a parcel of land called “Schöller’s shamba” to create the planned African neighborhood of Kariakoo, or “Karrier Korps”, as the army luggage carriers were stationed there. They also created an adjacent “cordon sanitaire” a sanitary zone (now called Mnazi Mmoja) that would separate it from the rest of the town. In an irony of history, Mnazi Moja a product of apartheid and its famous public arena, The Arnuatoglu Hall (named after its donor of Greek-Turkish origin) later played an important role in the political rallies that gave rise to Julius Nyerere as the leader of the African independence movement.
Notwithstanding German hostility, the Khoja population continued to grow steadily, due mainly to the extended business networks. A migrant would work for his sponsor for several years establishing his credentials and eventually earn the trust of the sponsor to receive goods on credit with which to establish his own store in the hinterland of Dar es Salaam. Once established, he would return to his town or village in India to secure a bride and after some years the pattern would be repeated with another relative.
An impressive Indian neighbourhood grew up in what was later called “Uhindini” in the center of Dar es Salaam, with one or two-story buildings in brick to house the stores and upstairs accommodations.
The Imperial War of 1914-1918 was the second major setback for the Khojas. Defying the Congo Act of 1895 which specifically stated that the European powers were not to extend their wars into Central Africa, the British forces from Kenya invaded German Tanganyika in 1914. Hostilities forced white planters-settlers and up-country Indian traders to stream into Dares salaam for safety creating food and housing shortages. This drove out the poorer Africans to return to rural farmlands to survive, drying up retail sales for the dukawallas. A bigger loss to Indian business community was the confiscation of Indian goods and vehicles by the German authorities “for the war effort”, in exchange for German paper currency and colonial IOUs that proved to be worthless after the War. (19)
In an act of ultimate theft, the post-war German government honoured their obligations only in Germany so returning Germans settlers got full compensation but impoverished Indians traders could not. The conquering British colonial army under the command of the notorious racist, Gen. Smuts of South Africa, confiscated the trucks etc. from the fleeing German forces and refused to pay compensation arguing that they were seizing “enemy’ i.e German property, even though they were aware of that the ultimate owners were their own British Indian subjects. From historical records and family traditions, it appeared that all three sides in the East Africa War- the Germans, British & Belgians freely looted from the helpless Indian traders. (20)
BRITISH IMPERIAL RULE
After the British victors entered Tanganyika in 1916, they engineered the collapse of the German currency (by circulating forged notes) leading to widespread trade disruptions. Then on January 1st 1922, the German currency (and Indian Rupee which had been used in East Africa for over a century) were demonetized, impoverishing many who held those currencies. The Kenyan currency (the East African shilling) was made the only legal tender. (21) British banks and companies were given financial credit to acquire bankrupt Khoja assets.
The demonetization and preferential credit created a decades-long lag in commercial & industrial growth between Tanzania and Kenya. Khoja businesses families in Dar-es-salaam lost a couple of generations of wealth whilst Kenya secured for itself a role as a manufacturing powerhouse for the whole of East Africa. In fact, until the late 1950s, Dar es Salaam Khoja business houses grew only as wholesale and retail merchants.
The wartime African exodus out of Dar es Salaam also facilitated a British attempt to structure Dar es Salaam for a racist residential hierarchy - by creating separate zones for Europeans in Oyster Bay & Upanga and the Africans in Kariakoo and Ilala areas, whilst the center, (by now called Uhindini) was where the Khojas and other Indians were required to live. This congested bazaar area was deemed to provide both residential and commercial space for Dar es Salaam’s then fastest-growing community (rising from 2,600 in the closing years of German rule to almost 9,000 in 1937). (22)
During German rule, Uhindini consisted of two-and three-storey stone buildings and makeshift single-storey structures that doubled as both home and duka shop. However, in between the 1920s and ’30s, the growing prosperity of the Indian community resulted in the transformation of this area into stylized buildings incorporating a diverse array of architectural influences from Indian to classic European.
The communities still stayed close to their prayer houses-notably the Khoja Ismailis built in the vicinity of their old (and later, new) Jamaat Khana on Mosque Street, the Khoja Ithna-asheris congregated on the corner of India Street where they had built their mosque in 1904, whilst the Hindus built a number of different temples around Kisutu Street and lived in close proximity. Overall, though, they were more generally mixed. (23) For instance, the Dahya Punja Indian Library, built-in 1929 by a Khoja Ismaili (24) was located on India Street, well away from the Khoja Ismaili Jamatkhana and closer to the Khoja Ithna-Asheri Mosque. By its very name, it was intended to be for the enlightenment of all Indians and by usage, was open to all Dar es Salaam residents.
In the 1930s, the British cleared the racially mixed housing that had grown in Mnazi Moja but turned a blind eye to poorer Indians moving into Kariakoo, which was the principal African residential area and technically off-limits for Indian housing.
"Urban conditions were very bad in part because urban public expenditure, which had always been inadequate, was severely cut. This gave rise to increasing numbers of Indians renting accommodation from Africans in Kariakoo, the quarter nearest the ‘neutral zone’. (25)
On the “official” side of town, Acacia Avenue despite being the main European shopping thoroughfare gradually fell into the control of Khoja and other Indian shopkeepers.
In the late ’30s, Haji Brothers, a prominent family originally from Zanzibar set-up an iconic retail establishment at its center, near the Askari Monument. Moloo Bros, also a Zanzibar family started a branch curios shop around the same time on Acacia Avenue. (26)
But by & large, this land zoning structure between Uzunguni, Uhindini, and Uswahilini formed the principal residential locations for the town’s European, Indian and African communities and continued to entrench racial preference and segregation until independence in 1961.
Like other Indians, Dar es Salaam Khojas began to participate in local and international politics in the 1920’s & the 1930s as there was a significant Gandhian influence in the diaspora. Habib Adat Dewji was a prominent businessman, who as the head of the Indian Association led a successful 22-day commercial strike in 1922 to retain the Indian book-keeping system for tax purposes. (27)
Subsequently, the Ismaili Khoja political involvement became inconsequential as their Imam, Agakhan lll was able to negotiate separate and superior rights for the community. By 1940, at the launching of the Ismaili Khoja-owned “Africa Sentinel”, Kassum Sunderji Samji, the leading Khoja Ismaili figure in Tanganyika, summarised this as follows “the patriotic and pro-British sentiment of the Khoja community found no proper representation in the local Indian Press and that the community wished for this to be rectified’. Africa Sentinel was succeeded by another Ismaili-owned Anglo-Gujarati paper, “Young Africa” which remained in print into the 1950s, though few copies survive. (28)
However, In the 1930s, Mohamed Ratansi, an Ithna-Asheri Khoja and Habib Jamal, an Ismaili Khoja agitated for greater rights for the Indian community and it was this activism that spawned the partnership of Julius Nyerere and Amir Habib Jamal which was so effective in the peaceful transition of Tanganyika to majority African rule.
The Second World War changed this gently-ordered colonial city. Food rationing, with the preferential treatment for Europeans, aroused African anger that lead to a countrywide strike in 1947 and effectively started the “winds of change”, which were so consequential for the Khojas.
Immediately after the war, the community grew prosperous from rising commodity prices and a burgeoning exports/imports economy brought on by the Korean conflict. There was a substantial re-development of Uhindini with an array of buildings incorporating many modern influences.(29) The Khojas also poured their life savings into new multi-story buildings in Kariakoo.
"...from a 1948 baseline of 72 units worth 4.8 million shillings, a peak was reached and sustained between 1953 and 1958 when 1004 units were constructed per annum worth 143.4 million shillings (30)
Between 1949-1951, new residential buildings valued nearly £1 million (US$50m in 2019 values), commercial properties of about £750,000 and industrial buildings of over £600,000 were completed. The following year the value of buildings under construction or planned, was as high as £7 million(an astonishing US$250 million, in 2019 values)(31)
Notwithstanding the controls imposed on Indian immigration by the British officials, ostensibly to protect Africans - but one has to contrast that to the heavy post-war European immigration into Kenya to appreciate the racial bias - the numbers of Indians rose from under 9,000 in 1940 to almost 30,000 by 1957. This was partly fueled by the renewed recruitment of Indian civil servants following the Second World War but above all by increased birth rates among Indians already resident in Dar es Salaam. (32) From the early 1950s, Upanga to the north of Uhindini experienced rapid development of coop housing, built upon the legal structures of the Cooperatives Acts that had helped the Chaggas, Sukuma and other African tribes to market their coffee and other produce.
While the British had envisioned a racially divided city, they were not able to enforce the rules due to chronic underfunding of government services and Dar es Salaam neighborhoods grew socially more diverse than neighboring capitals such as Nairobi or Lusaka. In 1956, the Khoja-donated ‘Native’ Sewa Haji Hospital was renamed the Princess Margaret Hospital. After independence, in an effort to wipe out the vestiges of colonialism, this iconic institution got another name change-but not to name of its founder-it switched to “Muhimbili Hospital”, so with the end of the British Empire, decades of Khoja history & philanthropy in Dar es Salaam were swept away.
In the 1960s, more real estate investment, in the form of self-help housing schemes modeled on the government-run developments for Africans in Kinondoni and other African areas, vastly improved the lives of the Khoja under-class.
"By the late 1960s, this community-based housing cooperative scheme had resulted in an investment in Dar es Salaam of approximately US S35-41 million (US$ 320 million in 2019 value) and a further US S2.6 million in up-country towns."(33)
Notwithstanding that this frenetic pace of investment continued even after 1957 when majority African rule was made official British policy and remained apace decades after Independence, the loyalty of the “Asians”, as Indians were now called, was always questioned by opportunist indigenous leaders and was a factor in the misguided nationalizations after 1971.
This, the third financial catastrophe to hit Khojas, was ostensibly introduced to advance Tanzania’s socialist goals by the nationalization of exploitative “second homes”. "Between 1971-1973, the “Acquisition of Buildings Act 1971, allowed the government to confiscate, without compensation, nearly 3,000 buildings in Dar es Salaam, of which 96 percent belonged to Tanzanian Asians" (34)
"The final spate of acquisitions ended in 1973 by which time 2,994 buildings had been acquired worth an estimated 500 million shillings; almost all had belonged to Asians." (35)
The law was cleverly crafted to exclude African landlords by targeting multi-storey buildings over a value that exempted the bungalow-type homes favoured by Africans both in Uswahilini and across the country. A survey of housing in Dar es Salaam 10 years earlier had found "over 12,000 houses were African-owned—with 18 percent of men and 47 percent of women owning one house or more." (36)
In breach of its avowed socialist policies, the government also fraudulently confiscated the cooperative housing schemes of the poorer Asians- these relatively new urban dwellings were much coveted by the elites cadres of the "parastatal sector" and their friends - under the legal fiction that the co-op society was “one single owner” and it owned “multiple” units, so it fell under the axe of the Act. “While formally exempted from nationalization, a large percentage of Ismaili cooperative housing was also acquired because tenant-purchasers had rented units to third parties". (37) In fact, as the law was crafted, even if one unit out of 300 was a rental, all the rest of the owners lost their life savings.
"Notice of acquisition appeared in the local press and was immediately followed by the arrival of the police who took possession of the building and attached assets. Basically, individuals were evicted — amidst the scarcely concealed glee of Africans — sometimes without being able to remove personal possessions. In Dar es Salaam approximately 1578 buildings were acquired - fewer than 250 of which were eventually returned — affecting 5300 private tenants (38)
"In the initial surge of acquisition not only privately owned buildings but also those belonging to communal associations - mosques, guest houses, and community halls — were also acquired. While the latter were eventually returned, the entire process of appropriation caused a major panic in the Indian population. At the same time, houses belonging to and occupied by individual families were also nationalized and then rented back to their former owners and sitting tenants." (39)
The Dar es Salaam Khojas, who unlike many Indians, had put “all their eggs in one basket” were devastated. Generational life savings were wiped out and families became tenants in their own homes. The predictable consequence was a loss of business confidence and shut-down of the economy. The longer-term consequence was that most of the Khoja (who had owned a majority of the properties), as well as other Indians, lead a mass exodus out of Dar es Salaam (and Tanzania) mostly with nothing more than the support of families living elsewhere.
During the hard days of economic wilderness that followed, many up-country Khojas who did not have the resources or inclination to leave Tanzania, moved into Dar es Salaam for greater community support and to hold on to a precarious living.
In the 1990s, a change of government and liberalization of trade and economic policies brought renewed opportunities and once again the Khojas, like Phoenix, the legendary bird have rebuilt their lives and their prosperity.
It is a testament both to their tenacity and Africa’s abundant opportunities that for more than 150 years, the migrant Khojas of Western Gujarat have managed a peaceful and mostly prosperous existence in Dares salaam.
Sultan Majid also of migrant heritage, would have been pleased with this outcome of his dream of an “Abode of Peace” (another translation of Dar es Salaam)
NOTES & REFERENCES
(1). Brown, Walter Thaddeus A pre-colonial history of Bagamoyo: aspects of the growth of an East African coastal town(PhD. thesis for the University of Michigan-1970)(Univ.Microfilms, 1983 - 640 pages)
(2) LeRoy, Père 17 April 1886, 2K1.1b7, "Archives Générales Spiritains, Chevilly-la-Rue, France". We are indebted to Steven Fabian for his notes on this source and to Gerard Vieira and Vincent O’Toole at the Archives Générales Spiritains.
(3) Gray, John-“Dar es Salaam under the Sultans of Zanzibar” -Tanganyika Notes & Records (hereafter TNR) 33 (1952) (pp 10-17)
(4) Glassman, Jonathan- “Feasts and Riot: Revelry, Rebellion, and Popular Consciousness on the Swahili Coast”, 1856-1888 (Portsmouth, 1995), (pp.183)
(5) abid Gray, (pp 10-17)
(6) Johnston, Harry 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 160)
(7) Casson, W. T. ‘Architectural notes on Dar es Salaam’, TNR 71 (1970), (pp.183-184)
(8) Seidel, A-"Dar-es-Salaam: Die Hauptstadt Deutsche-Ostafrikas" (Berlin, 1898) (pp.29-30)
(9) see http://khojawiki.org/Dukawalla
(10) Information courtesy of Lilian Sykes of Dar es Salaam.
(11) Dar es Salaam report cited in G. Hornsby, ‘German Educational Achievement in East Africa’, in Tanganyika Notes and Records 1964, (pp 86)
(12) Howard, Edward Irving, Lawyer - Speech Notes Agakhan Case 1866, Bombay Oriental Press -1866 (pp 71)) There was a Khoja English language school in Bombay in 1866.
(13) Freundeskreis Bagamoyo E. V. “The Story of Bagamoyo” (http://www.bagamoyo.com)
(14) Oonk, Gilsbert: “South Asians in East Africa (1880-1920) with a Particular Focus on Zanzibar” (pp-29)
(15) Brennan, J. & Burton, A. L. Y (2007). Dar es Salaam. Histories from an Emerging African Metropolis. Oxford: African Books Collective.
(16) Kassum, Al Nur - "Africa’s Winds of Change - Memoirs of an International Tanzanian" (pp.2)
(17) abid- Seidel, Hauptstadt, (pp.29-30).
The Europeans had started this partiality towards the Catholic Goans in Zanzibar in 1860's when they were given exclusive "ship chandling" (supplies) contracts and it was carried well into the 1950's all over East Africa, where they had easier access to civil service and banking jobs. (see https://issuu.com/wogoa/docs/wo_goa_something_is_always_brewing._5be5e87916524d/20)
(18) abid - Brennan & Barton
(19) Sandrock , John E - "A Monetary History Of German East Africa" (pp 25) http://www.thecurrencycollector.com/pdfs/A_MONETARY_HISTORY_OF_GERMAN_EAST_AFRICA.pdf The reverse even carried the phrase “One hundred percent of the face value of this banknote is deposited with the Imperial German East African government” which was also repeated in Swahili. (20) – G. Baron Tombeur de Tabora, "La conquête du Ruanda-Urundi, d'après des ouvrages recentes" (unpublished manuscript, Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale, n.d), 24; Th. Bechler, Zur Kriegszeit in Deutsch-Ostafrika, im Kongo und in Frankreich Kriegserlebnisse und Gefangenschaft der Unyamwesi-Missionare der Brüdergemeinde in den Jahren 1914-17 (Herrnhut1918), 54; Karl Roehl, Ostafrikas Heldenkampf. Nach eigenen Erlebnissen dargestellt (Berlin: M. Warneck, 1918), 139
An excellent account of the looting of Indian shops by Belgian & German troops in Tabora is found in the following paper “German and Allied War Crimes in the East African Campaign, 1914-18” by Michael Pesek, https://www.academia.edu/3340564/German_and_Allied_War_Crimes_in_the_East_African_Campaign_1914-18''
(21) The Metallic Currency Ordinance (1922) established the East African shilling as only legal tender in Tanganyika Territory.
(22) abid- Brennan & Barton
(23) Sutton, ‘Dar es Salaam’ (BIEA)-‘Uhindini Building Survey, 2004’ (data stored in BIEI Library) (pp.12)
(25) Campbell, John R. -"Culture, Social Organisation and Asian Identity: Difference in Urban East Africa"- Identity and Affect: Experiences of Identity in a Globalising World-Pluto Press (1999) (pp.179)
(28)Letter to A.C.S., 19 June 1940, TNA 28798 (f.2). Quoted in "POLITICS AND BUSINESS IN THE INDIAN NEWSPAPERS OF COLONIAL TANGANYIKA-James R. Brennan.
I remember selling copies of "Young Africa" in Dar es Salaam streets when I was eight or nine, for the Publisher, E.E.Kahan" I. I. Dewji
(29) Markes, Sarah-. “Street Level, a collection of drawings and creative writing inspired by Dar es Salaam” (https://darsketches.wordpress.com)
A lasting & indelible monument to the presence of Khojas (and other Indians) in Dar es Salaam is the plethora of unique residential and commercial buildings constructed by them. This remarkable book provides an insight into the creative aspirations of this minority community and its astounding confidence in their adopted home.
(30) Mwita, D. M. 1978. ‘Urban Landlordism and the Acquisition of Buildings Act’. Unpublished LLM thesis, University of Dar es Salaam. (Appendix viii, pp. 291)
(31) Campbell, John ‘Culture, Social organization and Asian identity: Difference in Urban East Africa’, in Campbell and A.R.Rew (eds), Identity and Effect (London, 1999). (pp. 188) By the late 1960s, the Jubilee Trust had invested up to $40 million in property in Dar es Salaam.
(32) Hill, J.F.R. & Moffett, J.P. – “Tanganyika: A review of its resources and their development” (Dares Salaam, 1955) (pp.805)
(33) Walji, Shirin R.-"Ismailis on Mainland Tanzania, 1850-1948" (1974) (pp 214-15)
(34) Nagar Richa -‘The South Asian diaspora in Tanzania: a history retold’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 16 (1996), (pp. 70)
(35) abid-Mwita (pp 28)
(36) Leslie, J. A. K. “A Survey of Dar es Salaam” (London, 1963), ‘Survey appendices’
(37) abid- Mwita (pg214-16).
(38) abid: (pg. 301).
(39) abid-Campbell (pg. 189)
PHOTO GALLERY OF DAR ES SALAAM THROUGH HISTORY
UNDER SWAHILI & OMANI RULE
GERMAN COLONIAL RULE
- Dar es Salaam Harbour circa 1890.png
Dar es Salaam Harbour circa 1890.
- Hindu Merchants, Dar es Salaam, 1890.png
Hindu Merchants, Dar es Salaam circa 1890.'
- India Street, Dar es Salaam, after survey circa 1900.png
India Street, Dar es Salaam circa 1900(German caption says this was done after a survey.
- A German Government Mail Streamer in Dar es Salaam circa 1906.png
German Mail Streamer, circa 1906
- Cultural buildings in Dar es Salaam countryside circa 1906.png
German Cultural Centre, circa 1906.
- Dar es Salaam Harbour circa 1906.png
Dar es Salaam Harbour, circa 1906.
- Dar es Salaam Hospital (countryside) circa 1906.png
Dar es Salaam Hospital, circa 1906.
- Banyanis (Hindu) Brahmin merchants, Dar es Salaam, circa 1912 GCS.png
"Banyanis" (Hindu) Brahmin merchants, Dar es Salaam, circa 1912 (Photo credit German Colonial Society)
- Indian Chilren playing as Europeans 2, Dar es Salaam, circa 1914 photo GCS.png
Indian students playing European, Dar es Salaam circa 1914 (Photo credit German Colonial Society)
- Indian ladies, Dar es Salaam circa 1914 photo Baals.png
Indian ladies, Dar es Salaam circa 1914 Photo (Credit: Baals)
- Indian Retail Store, Dar es Salaam circa 1906-1914Photo GCS.png
Well-stocked Indian retail store, Dar es Salaam, circa 190-1914 (photo credit: German Colonial Society.)
- Indian School Children Dar es Salaam circa 1914 photo O.A. Becker.png
Hindu students, Dar es Salaam circa 1914 (Photo credit: O.A. Becker)
- Indian Shop Dar es Salaam, circa 1914 Photo GCS.png
Dukawalla (small retail store), Dar es Salaam, circa 1906-1914 ( Photo credit:German Colonial Society.)
- Von Wiesemann Monument Dar es Salaam 1910.png
After their victory, the British colonial authorities replaced the statute of the German Governor, Hermann von Wissmann with that of the Askari, at his feet.
BRITISH IMPERIAL RULE
A TIMELINE OF THE KHOJA HISTORY OF DAR ES SALAAM (Courtesy of Khojapedia.com)
1840’s – Khoja & Banias (Hindu) merchants establish Dukas (shops) in Mzizima Village but only Khojas have spouses and family living here.
1862 – Bandar es salaam - founded by Omani Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar near Mzizima Village.
1872 – Hurricane destroys many Khoja business & houses.
1873- African boycott of Arab rulers forces Indian traders to move out to nearby villages.
1885-Berlin Conference allocates most of Tanganyika to German colonialists.
1887-Town "taken by imperialist Carl Peters for German East Africa Company."
1891 - Capital of German East Africa relocated from Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam.
1893 - Dar es Salaam Botanical Gardens established.
1894 - Lighthouse built.
1897 - Ocean Road Hospital built.
1899 - Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung (de) (newspaper) begins publication.
1900 - "Port facilities" built.
1901 - Lutheran Church built on the Waterfront.
1903 - New Boma (district office) built.
1905 - Baugesellschaft Daressalam (construction firm) establishes.
1905 St. Joseph's Cathedral consecrated on the Waterfront.
1906 - Kaiserhof (New Africa Hotel) in business.
1907 - Morogoro-Dar es Salaam section of Central Railway Line completed. More Khoja families settle in Morogoro/Kilombero/Kilosa.
1911 - Post office built.
1914 - Kigoma-Dar es Salaam railway begins operating-More Khpja traders and families establish shops in and along the railway towns, Ifakara, Dodoma, Tabora and Kigoma.
1916 - 3 September: Town captured by British colonial forces.
1919 - Town becomes capital of British Tanganyika Territory.
1922 - State House built.
1926 - Legislative Council of Tanzania headquartered in Dar es Salaam.
1929 - Tanganyika African Association active.
1930 - Daily News begins publication.
1933 - Yacht Club opens.
1940 - George V Memorial Museum opens.
1950’s – Rapid construction of multistory commercial-residential buildings in Uhindini.
1972- Nationalisation of Buildings Act begins emigration of Khojas from Tanzania and influx of Khojas from up-country towns to Dar es Salaam.
1990- Liberalisation of the economy begins a growth of new commercial and residential development in Dar es Salaam by Khojas entrepreneurs.
PHOTO GALLERY Of THE KHOJA IN DAR ES SALAAM
- Khoja Shopkeeper, Dar es Salaam circa 1914(Photo GCS. .png
Khoja shopkeeper, Dar es Salaam circa 1914(Photo credit German Colonial Society)
Cosy Cafe, c1900-1912 Originally started as a bakery by a German named August Treuheit, Cosy Cafe saw its limelight as a popular bistro-café, operated by the Bhaloo family for many decades through the 40-70's. It was one of the haunts of Julius Nyerere and other pre-Independence political activists but its greatest local fame was as a rendezvous for many a love affair amongst young Khojas. (With the kind permission of Sarah Markes, Artist https://darsketches.wordpress.com) See Special Note below on Randal Sadleir
- Gate Post of the Khoja Ismaili Cemetery, Dar es Salaam..jpg
"The enigmatic Gate Posts of Eternity on Ocean Road in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, once marked the entrance to the Ismaili burial grounds".David Stanley
- Street Cricket , Dar es Salaam.png
Special Note on Cosy Cafe & Randal Sadleir
Speaking to a nationalist rally in the early days, Nyerere had declared that 'Kutawaliwa ni fedheha' and Sadleir probably saved him from prosecution, and the country from probable turmoil, by pointing out to the authorities that this meant “It is a disgrace to be ruled” rather than “We are ruled disgracefully”. The two became close friends, drinking companions at the Cosy Cafe, and Sadleir acted as an intermediary between Nyerere and the new Governor, Sir Richard Turnbull, assisting at what proved to be an unusually harmonious transition. from 'Tanzanian Affairs issue 95 - Obituaries.'
Special Note on Dar Street Scene
by Naren Varambhia
The photo above shows the crossroads at Zanaki (Selous) and India Streets. The cream building on the right-hand corner had a Konkani cafe called Osman's T-Room. We used to call it "Kasuku's" because it had an African Grey parrot (Kasuku) on the premises. The cream building had a chemists' shop called "Tanganyika Chemists" on the India Street side and next to Kasuku's and owned by the same Brahmin Family who owned Universal Spares. Dr. Chakera's surgery was near the Tanganyika Chemists.The 1st building on the left (a bit dark), was a Daudi Bohra individual/community-owned multi storey residential/commercial complex and was called "Nyumba Maili" because the shape of the building was like a steamship. There was an upmarket/pricey shoemaker called "Tapu Ruda" on the corner with Kaluta (Harding) Street. He clientele was mainly Europeans who had their shoes hand-made; The round grey building on the left of the photo had an automobile spare parts shop called "Universal Spares" on the corner. On the Zanaki side of the building, it had offices/shop of "House of Manji" the Baring biscuits manufacture from Nairobi? Kenya. The building after round building was owned by cousins of Dr. M. T. Chakera and called Abbros Mansion. The ground floor was occupied by The Bank of India. On the opposite side of the Bank of India Branch, we had the famous "Dar es Salaam Hotel" restaurant owned by a Gosai Family. It did roaring trade in Vati dal Bhajiyas and Kachoris. The Vadgama Family migrated to Canada and the Gosai Families to Leicester where they still have Sweet and Farsan mart as well as a restaurant on Melton Road, called "Sharmilee". Further down, you can make out the dome of the KSI Mosque. The dome looks like as if it is constructed in sand and cement. The original dome was constructed in red corrugated iron roof sheets. The construction of the original dome was overseen by my Late Paternal Grandfather (Dada) Knaji Mulji Varambhia; The 1st building on the right-hand side of the photo is the Telephone Exchange building which also had a tall metal pylon next to the building in India Street corner. In the old days, there used to be competition as who could throw a coin over the top of the pylon.
SOME DAR ES SALAAM KHOJAS AND THEIR LIFE STORIES IN OUR DATABASE
Click names for their stories:
DARESSALAAM THROUGH THE CHANGING TIMES
By Abdulrazak Fazal
The journey to Dsm from Zanzibar in those days of the early 50s was mostly by the ships 'Al Said' or 'Al Hadhra'. Recalling vaguely that adventure; the early morning, docks, porters and passengers yelling at each other, boarding the ship, the siren and the ship drifting away, passengers spreading mats and placing refreshments, the open deck and then the rains.We reached Dsm in the afternoon. The ship did not anchor at the harbour. We’d to be ferried in a motorboat that had come to collect us. The journey took some 5 hours unlike today.
The first sight of Dsm that comes to mind was the exquisite Ithnashri 'Musafirkhana' minaret that was opposite my uncle's house where we had put up. Dsm then was wondrous and had its ethereal beauty. There was a marked difference between its houses and the Zanzibar stone houses that were adjacent to each other and almost clinging to the opposite ones. Also the roads were wider compared to the stone town that abounds in gullies and alleys. Oyseterbay breathed refreshing coolness. Right opposite the house was 'Osman Tea Room' where we'd go to buy 'paan'. In the evening i accompanied my uncle to the 'Tanganyika Printers' across there to collect his Gujarati periodicals. Next to it was 'Kalyanji Bhanji' where he bought the 78 rpm records. The hits then were songs from 'Barsaat', 'Awara', 'Deedar' and 'Beju Bawra'. On Saturday nights it meant seeing a film at Odeon where we'd our tickets reserved through Manubhai.
It is said that when Mehboob Khan's Aan, the first Indian film in colour, starring Dilip Kumar was being released at Odeon a procession with drummers was taken out through the streets of Dsm. The procession was led by the Aan banner carrier riding on a horse and announcing over loudspeaker the release of the film.
Today the evenings in Dsm unlike the past are uneventful and drag. Once there were as many as seven Cinema Houses (Odeon, Empress, Avalon, Cameo, Amana, New Chox and Empire besides the Drive in Cinema) that have been forsaken for some new set ups. On Wednesday evenings all roads led to the Drive In as cars and pick ups packed with cine goers headed for the film there. Honestly speaking the 'multiplex' despite modern technology do not attract the old timers. Nothing to beat the pleasure of seeing a film in those old theaters. Also gone are those days when spectators thronged Government Service, Gymkhana and Chungani grounds to watch thrilling cricket and volleyball contests between various communities. Today Gymkhana provides membership to only the elite group that dominates its golf course and tennis courts. In the earlier days the Isherwood Cricket Tournament played among the schools thrived. The Azania/Aga Khan encounter was always a thriller. The Azania boys were groomed by their teacher CD Patel who himself represented Tanganyika. Nowadays students no more give priority to Azania but prefer private schools like the Agakhan Mzizima, Shaban Robert or Almuntazir. The rich opt for International School run by the Americans.
Those restaurants famous for the peculiar taste of their specialties like Dsm Hotel (kachori & sambharo), Naaz ('mix'), Pandya (thali), Embassy (bhajia), Pakodiwala (bhelpuri), City (shrikhand puri) and Koyas (icecream) have disappeared from the scene. Now appear barbeques occupying part of Jamhuri Street (formerly Ring Street). The 'A.T.Shop' and 'K.T.Shop' famous for the taste and flavour of their kabab and tea still flourish. Purnima caters to those with taste for vegetarian food. 'Raj Kapoori Paan' shop is no more there. The good old Abdulbhai is said to be somewhere in Toronto. Also Mehta Paan and Iceland have quit the scene.
In the 50’s Kariako was a slum area and bushy while Upanga was hardly inhabited and not much heard of. Leave aside the Msasani, Mikocheni, Masaki and such places which were as good as non existent. People still flock Oysterbay but it is devoid of its past sophistication. Its supply of 'kitale with mbatata' continues. The commercially inclined Slipway and Sea Cliff also attract the public. Unlike today Acacia Avenue with its Askari monument was familiarly intimate, and alongside the stretch of 'Nano Dario' (sea shore) that made a lively resort and welcomed the crowd even beyond midnight. Today Dsm is metropolis. The skyscrapers adorn the city including the once shanty Kariako and Simbazi. Dsm stretches beyond Mbezi. Msasani, Masaki and Mikocheni portray spectacular bungalows and where the affluent reside. Many have shifted from the city to these newly developed localities.
In the past children played tennis ball cricket and volleyball in the openness of the veranda (lavani). I recall the Ithnashri mosque that was small and its attendance hardly a hundred. In the evening the elderly gathered in groups and sat on the pavement around the lime tree. It had scenic beauty. Today it is transformed into a grand monument. The Bohoras have also grown in number. They have put up their new mosque adjoining their cricket ground at Upanga. Their major functions are now held there.
The Ismailis formed the majority and numbered more than 15,000. They reigned the place and Daressalaam's initial development must be attributed to them. In fact full credit to them for inhabiting Upanga by putting up scores of structures. They built as many as 5 'jamaat khana' (Dur, Upanga, Karimabad, Kariako and Changombe) but the IPS retreat and their exodus mainly to Canada has left only 1500 Ismailis today. The irony of time!
The enterprising Hindu elders still sit outside their Kisutu temple. Even in today's time people visit TB Seth library to read the Indian periodicals and papers. I'm reminded of the late Urmilaben Jhaveri who had shared her story of the library on our 'Namaskar East Africa' forum. Sadly she died recently in Noida, India. Her Husband Kantilal Jhaveri, Mwalimu's associate, had passed away earlier. Today the 'navratri gharba' at 'Luhana Mahajan', 'Bhatia Vadi' and several other spots do not stretch beyond midnight unlike the past when they continued till the wee hours and 'jalebi & ganthia' feasted. The 'diwali' night illumination and firework around 'Odeon Roundabout' that attracted hundreds is a thing of the past. Now it is a limited firework display at the Patel Ground.
The Sikh gurudwara stands tall at 'Kidongo Chakhundu' along Mnazimoja. It is famous for its 'langar'. The good old pal Dr. Kulbirsingh Gupta being our main acquaintance. I understand through this forum that even he has left for the States. Most of the old inhabitants, Sikhs as well as other community members, have fled Daressalaam and emigrated to the UK, States, Canada and Middle East. The present lot is mostly from upcountry. The expatriate class that was on the rise is now declining. The US $ costs around sh 2300 and that affects the consumers. Karibu Dsm the 'Tanzanians living abroad' but do not crave for a vision of the same time period Dsm or you are in for a disappointment.