Ladhabhai Meghjee was born in Nagalpur, Kutch, India in 1890. Like many other Khojas Ithna-Asheris at the time he migrated to Zanzibar at the age of 13 in 1903. After working in Zanzibar for two years, he joined Nasser Virji and worked at their branches in Ujiji, Bukoba and Mwanza for 7 years. In 1912, he started his own business in Mwanza initially on a small scale and which continued to progress with time finally resulting in a significant business empire.
Ladhabhai was keen in KSI Jamaat for its development and similarly in public affairs.
The Mwanza Musafarkhana was built under his leadership in 1937. Ladhabhai had also donated land for the construction of the mosque in Mwanza. The name of Ladhabhai will forever be remembered for his noble and philanthropic contributions to the community towards religious activities and community development.
The Mwanza Masjid was built in 1952-1953, the Masjid required major renovations and refurbishments both, interior and exterior to bring it to a good standard, and upgrade various other facilities like electrical, carpets, ablution area etc. During the visit to Mwanza Jamaat by the Chairman of Africa Federation, Alhaj Amine Bhai Nassor and his delegation in October 2022, in the meeting with the current office bearers, among several matters discussed was regarding the Masjid renovations which Africa Federation pledged to undertake through its Housing Development Board, the announcement was made to the community members vide circular dated 9th January 2023. Some pledges were received from our community members for this noble work. Those who wish to donate are most welcome for this Thawabe-Jaariyah. Refer to Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 2:261, Allah (SWT) refers to those who make contributions in the way of Allah (SWT):
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed which grows seven spikes, in each spike is a hundred grains. Allah multiplies His reward for whom He wills, for Allah is vast and knowing”.
By the grace of Almighty Allah (SWT) the renovation works started on 1st June 2023 undertaken by the Housing Development Board of Africa Federation in collaboration with Mwanza Jamaat.
On 26th May 2023, The Housing Development Board Chairman Alhaj Akilbhai Hirji made a 2-day follow up visit to Mwanza to finalise the scope of works for renovations and a plan was agreed for restorations. The visit was fruitful with all areas checked and agreed on the plan accordingly with Mwanza Jamaat officials.
A team of technicians in various fields which included electricians, masons, tilers, plumber, carpenters, painters, pavers, semi technicians and a foreman was sent from Dar es Salaam on 30th May 2023 to carry out the works. The accommodation for the team was arranged by the Jamaat.
Alhamdulillah, the work is progressing well, expected to be completed before Muharram 1445 A.H. and expectation that the KSIJ Mosque will be among the best ones in Mwanza.
On 15th June 2023, Alhaj Akilbhai Hirji, accompanied by Br. Mohamed Moledina, member of Housing Development Board of AFED visited the site to assess the status of the ongoing work and map out the best course of action for completion as the major refurbishment work was over and the remaining work, such as painting and tiling had begun.
The renovation work consists of concrete work, new screed with waterproofing, plaster repairs, tiling, painting, new electrical work, new plumbing, extension of the entryway, redesigning of the front entry corridor, redesigning of an existing wudhoo area, redesigning of the Kahawa serving area and benches, redesigning of the masjid columns, gypsum ceiling, and replacement of the terrazzo with tiles or paving as necessary.
We wish to thank the donors who have supported towards this project so far. However, we still need further support as the donation received is minimal. We request all members of the community and the Mwanza Diaspora to come forward and offer their contributions towards this noble work.
Africa Federation Secretariat and the Housing Development Board would like to record its appreciation to the Mwanza Jamaat Chairman Alhaj Arshad Jetha, Hon. Secretary Br. Mehdi Karim and Br. Fadhil Alishan, member of AFED Media Team for their cooperation and support to the renovation works of the KSI Jamaat Mosque in Mwanza.
BILAL Mosque in Mwanza Visited:
On 16th June 2023, Akilbhai Hirji had an opportunity to meet up with Alhaj Sibtainbhai Meghji, Bilal Muslim Mission Lake Zone Chairman where he was briefed on the on-going construction of Bilal Mosque complex. Akilbhai later visited the site to see the progress and evaluate the situation and provided some advice on the way forward. Alhamdulillah, the outcome of the visit was fruitful and it was pleasing to witness the great work done by Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania with the support of Sibtainbhai and his team in Mwanza.
The Mosque complex project is divided into three phases, the first phase consisting of the Mosque, Ghusalkhana, five classes of Nursery School and two blocks of washrooms. There are still two more phases of this project to include Madressah and Pre-Hawza classes, student’s Dorm, Caretaker’s and Maalim’s flats.
The foundation stone-laying ceremony of this project was carried out the Africa Federation Chairman, Alhaj Amine Nassor on 28th October 2022. Africa Federation has funded the first phase of the project as the work continues.
Africa Federation wishes to thank Alhaj Murtaza Najafali Alloo of Mwanza for donating the plot measuring 2.3 acres in Nyamhogoro area about 8 kilometers from Mwanza town where the Bilal Mosque Mwanza is being built, May Allah (SWT) increase in his tawfeeqat and grant him and his family members long, health and successful life, Aameen.
Community members who wish to donate towards this noble Thawabe-Jaariya project are welcome to do so. Please contact the Africa Federation Secretariat Office in Dar es Salaam or the Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania Head Office in Dar es Salaam.
Below are some photographs showing the Bilal Mosque Mwanza in progress.
Africa Federation Secretariat and Bialal Muslim Mission of Tanzania management wishes to thank Alhaj Sibtainbhai Meghji and his team for their tireless efforts and supervising the Mwanza Bilal Mosque project, May Allah (SWT) grant them all more tawfeeqat with long and healthy life to continue in promoting the mission of Ahlulbayt (‘A), Aameen.
Housing Development Board
20th June 2023 (1st Zilhajj 1444 A.H.)