Shokat Alibhai

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Shokat Alibhai
Family tree List | Extended

Born in

In 1952 the 2 older sons of Mohamedali, Shokat aged 19 and Anver aged 17 were recruited by their maternal uncle Taki Rawji to join the rapidly expanding business, Rawji Fils. Shokat left Darand went to the head office in Stanleyville; Anver was sent to the Kindu branch. During that year in Kindu, Anver though still only a teenager, managed to expand the business quite significantly. Recognising his own capability he was no longer satisfied with a salary and he successfully negotiated a 30-70% partnership for his family in the Kindu Branch.

Hassan, the 3rd brother continued his studies at the Indian Central School in Dar till 1957 after which he joined Bapa and Anver in the Kindu branch. He stayed on here till the rebellion in 1964 and after a bad attack of jaundice he went to Leopoldville to recuperate. Together these 3 young Alibhai brothers had become very active and productive, more than proving their worth and it was now appropriate to push for an Alibhai partnership in the entire Rawji enterprise. A deal was eventually agreed and they were given a 30% share of all Rawji businesses in the Congo.

Expansion

Anver's business acumen was well appreciated by his uncle and in 1958 he accompanied Taki to Europe to visit the grand Bruxelles Expo ( the first major World Trade Fair after WW2) for which the Atomium and other important roads and monuments were constructed. It was Anver's first time out of Africa.

People would have stayed on in Kindu happily, but rebellions swept the area once again in 1974 forcing many Europeans and Asians to leave, and conditions once again deteriorated very rapidly. Anver remained with the Ebrahim Haji Freres in Kindu till the branch closed down in1972. He then started his own shop and after it was nationalized a year later, he left Kindu to work with the Rawjis in their Beltexco branch in the portcityof Matadi till 1978.


The following year, depressed after the death of his baby daughter, he left the Rawjis and went to Stanleyville, now called Kisangani, to join his brothers Yusuf and Mehboob who were back with 'Ebrahim Haji'. In 1980 Anver joined Amir Samji who had an important wholesale business in Stanleyville /Kisangani and continued there to become the general manager as the business expanded significantly.

Yusuf and Masum had migrated to Canada with their families in 1974 after nationalization of foreign businesses in the Congo. Yusuf returned from Canada in 1977 to re-join the Hajis. The Hajis had recently got back some of their properties and shops completely devoid of goods, and needing to be re-stocked. He stayed with them till 1981. Kaniz and the brothers re-joined their families in Canada and are at present living in Montreal.