Mohamed Khalfan

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Mohamed Khalfan
Town of birth
  • Bhavnagar
Country of birth
  • India
Date of Birth
  • 1835
Place of Death
  • Zanzibar
Place of longest stay
  • Zanzibar
Where-City or Country
  • Sultanate of Zanzibar
Khalfan 1835

Born in 1835 Bhavnagar

Khalfan was a young man, newly married, when his family in Gujarat, India, allowed him at his insistence, to board a dhow for the port of Lamu in Kenya like the others of his age who had proceeded. He intended to return and collect his wife the following year. That sadly did not happen. The sea at the Lamu harbour was extremely rough when the dhow anchored. The roving boat taking him with his baggage to the land capsized. He died of drowning and the body was buried in Lamu. That was about the year 1835.

The news of death reached the family and the pregnant wife months later when the seasonal sailing wind changed for dhows to make a return voyage to India. That tragedy however, was not to mark the end of the adventure and determination of migration for the family. The child born in India was named Mohamed. He too as a young man, followed the sea-path of his father twenty years later, in about the year 1855 with a difference. He landed in Zanzibar.

Mohamed married one Lidubai whose paternal lineage of four past generations is remarkably still known as Hema Parpia Hedau Devani. There are a few families in East Africa whose paternal lineage from the present generation of the youngest child, is traced to the same Devani. It is rare to know the names in a lineage of past 11 generations spanned over three centuries.

Reference: Secretariat Africa Federation Archives Section 21st November 2015 (8th Safar 1437)

Mohamed Khalfan arrived in Zanzibar in 1855 from Jamnagar.

His sons were Ali (born 1860), Abdulrasul Ali Mohamed Khalfan (born 1887) and Alhaj Abdalla Ali Mohamed Khalfan (born 1889).

Abdulla Khalfan together with his three sportsmen friends, Alhaj Habib Abdulla Janmohamed, Alhaj Hassanali Gulamhusein Khaki and Alhaj Hussein Karim Hirji were the four founders of the Jaffery Sports Club in about the year 1922.

By the 1920s, when the Zanzibar jamaat had 5,000 members, the Khalfans were established business owners in Zanzibar and in Mombasa.

Alis two sons also served as Presidents of the Zanzibar Jamaat, and Abdulrasul adopted several orphaned children.