AFED Loan Recipient Memoir – “My Life Experience”
Alhaj Kassamali Akberali Parpia
Since the inception of the Africa Federation 75 years ago hundreds of our community students have been able to pursue their studies through Higher Education Student Loans, known as ‘HELP’. Many of the recipients till today remember and have deep gratitude for the loans given to them. One of the recipients of this loan is Alhaj Kassamali Akberali Parpia. He was born in Zanzibar and obtained his primary education at Sir Euan Smith Madressa and secondary education at Hindu Union Secondary School. As part of national service, he worked as Primary School teacher in Zanzibar before moving to Singida in 1969.
After his graduation, he started work at Dar es Salaam in 1976. He was Site Engineer supervising the construction of Ex-Telcom Tower (Tanzania Posts), Seminar blocks for Institute of Finance Management and Hall No. 7 of University of Dar es Salaam.
In 1980, he was Resident Engineer for CCM in Moshi supervising the construction of Regional Headquarters Cooperative College Expansion and National Housing villas. In 1994, he was CEO of Consulting Engineers Ltd and was responsible for designing and supervising a number of projects in Arusha including Kilimanjaro View Hotel, 24 villas for THB Estate company, 12 flats for Cooperative College, Pepsi factory, cork factory for Coca Cola and Leopard Hotel. In 1999 Br. Kassamali moved to Dar es Salaam and took a position as Resident Engineer for Zahra and Elia complex.
Br. Kassamali was also involved in community and non-community service during his stay in Moshi, Arusha and Mwanza. He was a committee member of Moshi Jamaat and member of the Education Board of Africa Federation in Arusha. He designed Jamaat flats in Moshi and supervised flats built by Mwanza Jamaat. He also designed and supervised Riyadha and Machame Mosques in Moshi. He was also Chairman of Lions Club of Kilimanjaro.
In 2005 he migrated to Orlando and in 2012 he joined as technical manager at MSP Data systems; a company owned by his son Shaukat Parpia. Br. Kassamali is also a Realtor with Charles Rutenberg of Orlando.
Br Kassamali is married to Nazma Fidahussein Allarakhia. He has three children; Shaukat Parpia, Murtaza Parpia and Fatima Rajwani and seven grandchildren.
Africa Federation is proud of Br. Kassamali Parpia for attaining the level of education due to his steadfastness and concerted efforts coupled with encouragement of his parents. His efforts paid off by being able to successfully complete Pre-University studies at Wadia College in Poona and five years’ course in Civil Engineering at M. A. College of Technology at Bhopal. AFED Loan was an initial motivation, however most important was his determination and seriousness in studies to achieve the goal that he had set for himself and for his future – Such achievements are but an inspiration to the other students to emulate him. He had gone through a lot of hardships and challenges but his strong determination ultimately paid off – Congratulations for the brilliant achievement!
As a proud recipient of Africa Federation Student Loan, Br. Kassamali penned an article in 1984 which was published in Federation Samachar. We hereby reprint the article for the benefit of our readers.
Dream Come True
If anything changed my life, it was a letter from the Council dated 23 April 1969. The letter mentioned that the Council had approved my scholarship loan application for further studies.
I was working as a Bank clerk in Singida N.B.C. and I had nearly forgotten that I had applied for the loan when I left Zanzibar. My parents were still in Zanzibar as my father was a civil servant. He hurriedly sent me a letter telling me to go ahead and not to miss such a chance. I was restless till I boarded a B.I. ship at Dar es Salaam in mid-May for Bombay.
In June 1969, with higher credits in science and Mathematics in my hand I got admission into a Pre-University course at Wadia College under Poona University. The going was difficult. Our Cambridge ‘0’ level mathematics was in fact mediocre in standard and I faced myself with tough competition. Nevertheless, with hard work, zeal and encouragement I found myself getting a good class in the finals.
To get into Engineering Colleges in India especially for a foreign student was not an easy task. Most of the institutions require you to either sit for the entrance exam or be selected by the Indian Government. A number of my friends who were with me either ended with BSc or dropped out. Hence, I was overwhelmed when I received a telegram from the Central Government that I had been nominated into M.A. College of Technology, for a five years integrated course in Civil Engineering.
Having settled down in the new campus at Bhopal which was being run by the central Government in conjunction with UNESCO, I thought my problems were over. No, they were not, they were just starting. Tanzania at that time was going through a critical economic phase and with it went off our monthly remittance. I was nearly stranded but with Allah’s help I was able to finish my studies with First Class Honours in 1975.
I began my career as an Assistant Engineer and gradually was promoted to Site engineer and Resident engineer. In Dar es Salaam, I had the opportunity to supervise the I.F.M. and Extelcoms buildings. In Arusha, the Arusha Technical College and in Moshi, I have supervised a number of projects including the CCM Regional Headquarters and the Co-operative College expansion. Apart from that I am also the Managing Director of Consulting Engineers Ltd and am a registered engineer with the Government of Tanzania Board of registration. I am also a Corporate Member of the Institution of Engineers Tanzania.
I am married with 3 kids and also active in social life being a committee member of a number of Mosque projects in Kilimanjaro region Jamaat, Lions club and Golden Crescent Group.
No doubt, nothing is always straight forward. I would not say I did not have my share of problems. One thing is but sure, if the Council had not encouraged me at that time to pursue my childhood ambition, my dream would not have come true.
Kassamali A. Parpia. B.E. (civil). MIET
Prepared by: Mustafa Pirmohamed
Article source: Federation Samachar, December 1984
AFRICA FEDERATION ARCHIVES SECTION
24th July 2020 (3rd Zilhajj 1441 AH)