- British India
Born in 1860 Mundra
Pirmohamed Janmohamed Dosani, was born in Mundra, Cutch India in 1860. He migrated to Zanzibar after the death of his wife Fatma, sister of Khaki Sajan, six months after their marriage. Pirmohamed’s only sibling Remtulla Janmohamed was a Mukhi at Mundra Jamatkhana. He did not migrate to Africa. However his only daughter, Fatma was later married to Musa, son of Jaffer Najak of Lindi.
Pirmohamed’s second wife was Jibai, also called Chagbai and sister of Nasser Kurji. He had two children with her, son Abdulla and daughter Sakina who later married Abdulla Hameer.
After the death of his second wife, Pirmohamed travelled to Lindi around 1900 and married Sakina, sister of Rashid Alidina. Sakina had three children: Abdulrasul, Jenabai, who later married Mukhtar Moledina and Kulsum who died at a young age.
Pirmohamed’s son Abdulla migrated from Zanzibar with his father when he was child of six. In Lindi, Abdulla worked for Esmail Khimji for a short period during his youth. During the First World War, Abdulla, his family and other community members had to leave Lindi by canoe to the nearby port village of Mingoyo for safety, as the battles raged in nearby areas. Others had to flee to Chingungu near Ndanda.
Around 1916, at the age of 23, Abdulla went to Zanzibar to get married to Sugra, daughter of Jaffer Hameer. After marriage, Abdulla lived in Zanzibar and worked for his father in law. He later decided to return to Lindi where, on 11 May 1920, he started a small shop in the Ndoro area near Mpilimpili. Abdulla had ten children; the first three Mohamedrafiq, Fatma Kanji and Zehra Dinani were born in Zanzibar. Fizza, Mohamedhussein, Yusufali, Nargis Jaffer, Gulamabbas, Kaniz and Haiderali were born in Lindi.
In 1933, Lindi Jamat offered Abdulla a newly constructed one-storey house to move into (Golfa House). This property was owned by the Jamat and stood at the corner of Gold Coast St/Queen’s Avenue (now Ghana/Uhuru). The shop at this premises was previously rented to Lindi Stores, while the residential upper storey was reserved for Jamat guests, especially visiting Aalims. Over the years, a total of four generations of the family lived in this premises. Abdulla originally started a provision shop at this premises famously known as Bachupira shop. The shop gradually developed into selling a great variety of provisions and a one-stop-shop for everything food e.g. sugar, rice, soap, ghee, flour, all kinds of nuts, dried fruits, tinned food, fresh imported fruits including pomegranates from Spain and apples from South Africa, desi herbal medicines. The Bachupira shop acted as agents for chocolates from UK and Belgium, hand-woven Muslim caps from Singapore and fishing gear. The shop had a huge credit customer base. As such, things like a kilo of potatoes, a bottle of paan chutney, or an ounce of saffron would be invoiced monthly and paid monthly.
Abdulla was a softly spoken, gentle and kind man. He was very honest in his business dealings. When paying wages to porters he would ensure they got their wages immediately after their work. The porters had a tendency to move around town looking for whatever job was available and would come to take their wages whenever convenient. Abdulla would ask others to look for those who had left without taking even a day's salary so that he could pay them before he closed the shop at the end of the day. He always wore a black topi (cap), had blue eyes and wore thick lenses in his glasses due to his poor vision.
Abdulla’s brother Abdulrasul had three children: Fidahussein, Mohamed and Zehra (Sumar). Fidahussein served Newala Jamat for many years, with ten years as President. Marhum Mohamed Pirmohamed served Dubai Jamat as President in 1980s. It was during his tenure that the Dubai KSI mosque was constructed.
In 1954, Abdulla with a group of community members from Lindi made a six month journey to Iraq for Ziyarat and then to Cutch, India.
In his younger days, Abdulla was a good reciter of Marsiya as he had very good voice. He also carried out treasurer and Nyaz duties of the Jamat, keeping inventory and revenue records. His son Marhum Yusufali also served Lindi Jamat for nearly 30 years including as a Treasurer and a Trustee. Abdulla’s other son, Marhum Gulamabbas was Marsiyah and Majlis reciter in Lindi and also a Mukhi at Mehfile Murtaza, Karachi. Gulamabbas passed away in Orlando in 2018.
Pirmohamed died at his Ndoro home in Lindi on May 15, 1915. Several of his descendants including his son Abdulla (1893-1959) and grandson Yusufali (1927-1991) are also buried in Lindi.