Born in Zanzibar
by Nusri Hassam, Vancouver, BC, December 14, 2011
My step great great grandmother Labai Vellani came from India to Zanzibar in a steam ship ("esteember", as I recall her telling me in her very authentic kacchi).
What she didn't tell me is that she came there for a divorce!
After being given the divorce, which only the Khoja Ismaili Council in Zanzibar could, she was told she was useless if she went back to India and her life would be in danger.
My great great grandfather was on the Council and ended up marrying her as his second wife.
She ran his businesses very successfully for him.
During the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, she fled to Tanga and came to live with us in Tanga and then we eventually brought her to Canada with us.