MARHUM GULAMALI BHAI JIVAN PANJWANI
Sharing the Dar es Salaam experience of the early 1900’s

 Gulamali bhai Jivan Panjwani was born on 18th March 1882 in Hadiana, Gujarat, India. He arrived in Mombasa in 1902 after a sea journey from India. At Mombasa he stayed at the home of Walji Bhanji for 22 days. He then travelled by ship to Dar es Salaam. He has narrated the following details regarding Dar es Salaam.
 
The Jamaat of Dar es Salaam was small and the Imambara was made of corrugated iron sheets. It was German rule and the tiny town was surrounded by thick jungle all around. The wild animals would frequently enter and move around in town. One of the smooth roads in Dar es Salaam was called Ring Street but later on due to collection of water upto 4ft deep during rains, the area came to be known as Mchafukoge.

There were no motor vehicles at that time. Travel was mostly by foot or using porters to carry people in litter. People were used to the conditions and were ever ready to travel on foot.
 
Our community in Dar es Salaam was led by Alhaj Sachoo Peera and Alhaj Nasser Mawji. Alhaj Sachoo Peera had very good reputation in government circles. Due to his influence, the community was able to obtain free plot for construction of mosque and Imambara. The Cemetery (KSIJ Kabrastan) on UWT Rd (presently Bibi Titi Mohamed Rd.) was donated by Murrabi Alhaj Sachoo Peera.
 
In 1902, Kilwa and Bagamoyo were main trading centres.  There was a lot of trade between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Island. Dar es Salaam began to develop after the construction of railway line. As Dar es Salaam developed, the importance of Kilwa and Bagamoyo diminished gradually. During the First World War whenever heavy artillery fell on Dar es Salaam, people moved to the bush for refuge. Once things returned to normal, people would move back into town. Whenever the government sensed danger it would advise residents to move out by taking out a red flag through the streets. Ultimately, the Germans were defeated and the country fell under British rule. In 1918, there was an influenza epidemic which killed a lot of people among the native population.
 
Dar es Salaam began to develop after the First World War and the development was very quick after the Second World War. Our community also grew very fast and a new Imambara had to be constructed in 1942.
 
Gulamalibhai was President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat in 1939-40. He married Sherbanu daughter of Bhanji Kurji.  His children were Akberali Panjwani (former Hon Secretary of Dar es Salaam Jamat), Alihussein, Hassanali, Shirin Hassanali Virjee, Rubab Pirmohammed Walji, Fatima Habib Chagani and Amina Akber Chagani. Dr Sibtain Panjwani, the past Secretary General of The World Federation (1996 – 2003), is his grandson. Gulamalibhai passed away in Dar es Salaam on 26 July 1967.
 
Source: AF Trade Directory 1960
 
These dedicated and visionary leaders and members of our community mentioned above sacrificed their time, resources and supported the community to grow and the benefits we relish today. Let us remember them all with Sura-e-Fateha for their maghferat and pray to Allah (SWT) to grant them heavenly abode in the proximity of Aeema-e-Tahireen (AS) – Ameen.
 
 
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20th October 2018 / 10th Safar 1440 AH

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