Firoz Merali Jiwa
- Akberali Merali Jiwa 1908
by Shenaz Jeraj, Edmonton, AB, August 11, 2011
Grandfather was Akberali Merali Jiwa who was born in Tanga in 1908; his father had arrived in Zanzibar and was a rickshaw driver
Grandfather had 10 children; dad (Nurdin) was number three; dad was born in Mombasa which was grandmother's birthplace
Grandfather started a bicycle repair business and collected stamps that brought exposure to many Europeans
Uncle Kabir (first child) was sent to England in 1959 to study Pharmacy; however he was more interested in Photography and never came back
Dad was more of an entrepreneur and started playing with chemistry sets that got him into making medicine for insect/snake bites, etc. (the reason why Kabir was sent to England to study Pharmacy); dad started making a few bucks on his homemade medicine
British law in East Africa curtailed Dads plans to make homemade medicine as it required a professional Pharmacy designation
Dad switched to making ink and erasers as a result, which got him into the Stationery business that grew and lasted until we left
Grandfather’s connections with the Europeans assisted in getting clients with Smith McKenzie, Barclays Bank, Amboni Estates, etc.
Dad went to Heidelberg often to purchase the latest in Offset Printing equipment
While in Europe, a trip to Cologne and Paris got him into the perfume business that Sultan Chacha ran
With Kabir Uncle in London since 1959 and Dad purchasing a home for him and us, meant we could go study in England and be back, which many of my uncles and aunts did
The 10 children in order are: Kabir, Malek, Nurdin, Gulshan, Sadru, Sultan, Farida, Firoz, Anise and Shaukat; there are many grandchildren and now great, great grandchildren
Dad did a lot of Seva: Social Welfare member on the council; built JK (project managed), built Widow Flats, built the cemetery, built duplexes for the needy in the Jamat, started Ismailia Corporation which guaranteed 6% savings interest and a loan program, etc.