ALHAJ MUSTAFA GULAMABBAS ABDALLA KANJI AWARDED THE PRESTIGIOUS IMAM ALI A. S. CITATION
Born in 1954 in a beautiful city of Mombasa, Kenya and grew up in a very religious environment whereby his father and siblings were all Zakir-e-Hussain. His father was known for his charismatic voice having got the nickname of Mulla Bulbul.
Mustafa bhai started community work soon after he returned from United Kingdom qualifying as optician and opened his first optical shop in Nairobi in 1980. He got married in July 1981 and has been blessed with a daughter named Tanweer E Kulsum and a son Mohammed Abbas, with three grandchildren.
In 1990 he was invited by Mulago National Hospital and other opticians in Kampala to come and dispense special cases for contact lens wearers and finally in 1991, he landed permanently in Uganda and opened several optical chains under the name of City Optics.
From 1992 to 1994 he served as Honorary Mukhi and thereafter Assistant Mukhi from 1994 to 1996. As Kampala Jamaat had very few members and not having many facilities he along with his wife Raihana decided to dedicate their time in social community work starting with arranging ghusal khana, organizing Alams & Shabi. After opening various suitcases left by our exodus members of punjas and chadars were found hence making a small Zari room in one of classroom where Muharram programs started. He also arranged different programs including calling recitors during Muharram.
While performing duties of Mukhis office he also in 1994 to 1997 served as Sports Chairman. Since he was a keen sportsman, he took interest in arranging various sports facilities for our members starting with volleyball after fajar prayers, with kind donations he managed to build a proper volleyball ground and later on the multi-purpose facilities which are being used to date.
The limelight of his career came when Kampala Jamaat hosted the first Africa Federation Conference meeting in 1996. Also being a key member of the team which hosted grand banquet dinner for President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who was the fourth President of Iran (1989 – 1997). Marhum Rafsanjani was in Uganda for an official tour and it was during his last term in office.
In 1998 to 2002 he took the leadership role of Kampala Jamaat being the President and with his very able and mature team they went from strength to strength. They managed to renovate the parking area of the Mosque complex, encouraged to reestablish the school, renovated various properties especially Plot 6 Wilson Road which had caught fire just as he took the chair. The Mini Triangle Tournament was introduced calling and hosting teams from Mwanza and Bukoba. His dedicated wife Raihana bai who supported in the affairs of the community made sure that Madressa and Mahe Ramadhan Quran khani was arranged for both ladies and gents. During this time, he received donation from Br. Sikander Kara and they managed to open an orphanage for local Africans.
Mustafa bhai’s dedication and love for the community didn’t stop and he was nominated as Honorary Secretary from 2004 – 2010, during this time he supported and helped several young Presidents’ to operate and lead the community successfully. He was nominated councilor during Marhum Zulfikar bhai Khimji Chairmanship of Africa Federation and elected councilor later for Kampala Jamaat attending several Supreme Council meetings.
During this time Mustafa bhai was in the forefront and instrumental in encouraging and participating in the first RENT TO OWN scheme and the first in African Jamaats. The rent to own scheme which became part of a limited company named Abbas and Masumin Property, Mustafa bhai was nominated into the Board of Directors, he has since served and as caretaker of this marvelous scheme.
In the year 2010 – 2014, he migrated to Dubai (U.A.E.) for better business opportunities, he was blessed to open optical wholesale business and also Nursery School. However, having spent all his life in East Africa, he was pulled back and landed back in Kampala.
Having the enthusiasm and love for the community, in 2015 Mustafa bhai was nominated in the Board of Trustees and is currently Chairman of the Trust Board for the past eight years and still very active in participation of various projects.
He was also nominated as Director of Bilal School from 2018 to date, the school started with kinder garden and nursery with Primary section and in 2022 expanded and built its first ever Secondary unit.
Murabi Mustafa bhai having a lot of historic information became the chief producer of the Centenary documentary which Kampala Jamaat will celebrate in September during the 86th Supreme Council Conference to be held in Kampala after 25 years.
He is also currently in various Sub-Committees such as Building, Education, Ghusal Kafan and Welfare.
During the Covid-19 era he managed to build a new Ghusal Khana at Kabrastan for ease of burials with generous donors.
He is honored and thankfully to Allah s.w.t. with the blessings of 14 Masumin a.s. for having the opportunity to serve as Khadim for this great community. He is proud and confident that the upcoming generations are taking Kampala Jamaat to better heights and will shine for future to come.
The Executive Committee is grateful and honored to have worked alongside Murabi Mustafa bhai sharing knowledge and experience from time to time. We pray to Allah s.w.t. to grant him long and healthy life to continue his noble services and tireless efforts to the community at large.
KSI Jamaat of Kampala
22nd May 2023