Fazal Remtulla Virani

Marhum Fazal Remtulla Virani

1892- 1971

Source: Khojapedia
Original write-up by Africa Federation Archives Section

Fazal Remtulla Virani: In 1908, at the age of 16, Fazalbhai travelled from India and landed in Tanga. After three days there, he went to Pangani where he joined the employment of Mohamed Karim for six months. He then worked for Mohamed Tharoo for three years. In 1912, he left Tanga with 4 labourers on a 20-day trip to Singida (300 miles away) on foot. Here, he worked for Jaffer Khimji for 12 months.

Fazalbhai decided to start his own business. He bought cattle in Singida and went on a 25-day journey on foot to Korogwe where he sold the cattle. He continued this business for three years. The business was going on well but an incident in 1916 made him drop the business.

While travelling to Korogwe, he reached Kondoa-Irangi where British rule was already established after the defeat of the Germans. The permit rules for moving cattle had changed and when he went to collect the permit he was told to come after a week. Two days later, he was apprehended and sent to a Nairobi prison. His 500 cattle were confiscated and fed to the military. When the war was over in 1918 investigations were made into Fazalbhai’s case and he was found to be innocent and released. He left Nairobi by train to Korogwe from where he travelled 50 miles on foot to Handeni where his cousin Gulamhussein Jeraj was residing. He took a break of three months resting at Handeni after the unfortunate prison term. He then left for the 80-mile journey to Pangani where he stayed for six months. He then decided to move to Dodoma travelling by bicycle.

In Dodoma, Fazalbhai joined the employment of Mohamed Remtulla for 12 months. He then moved to Kigoma where he worked with his brother for 12 months. He then moved to Uvira in Congo for six months and returned to his brother in Kigoma in 1921. In 1922, he moved to Lindi from Kigoma. In 1923 he travelled to Mtama, 40 miles away on a bicycle and established a shop. He stayed in Mtama up to 1939. At the time, Mtama had five Khoja families. Majalis were held at Fazalbhai’s home which was made of mud. In 1941, he moved to Kitangari where he stayed for four months and then moved to Luatala where he opened a shop and stayed for two years. In 1943 he went to Mingoyo where he stayed for seven years. In 1950, he moved to Chiungutwa (Masasi District).

Fazal Remtulla Virani passed away in 1971 and is buried in Lindi. He had four sons, Ramzan, Mohamed, Mohamedtaki and Asgher (all deceased) and four daughters Fizza, Shirin (deceased), Nasim and Khairun. Fazalbhai’s two brothers Pyarali and Mohamed are buried in Mingoyo (Lindi) and Lindi respectively.

May Allah SWT repose the departed soul in the abundance of His mercy and rest him amongst the chosen ones – Ameen

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