Mohamed Hussein Nathoo
It is with immense sorrow and grief that the Africa Federation Secretariat received the sad news of the sudden demise of Murrabi Alhaj Mohamed Hussein Ali Nathoo, who passed away in Dar es Salaam on Thursday 17th August 2023 and was buried the same night.
Born in Zanzibar on 11th February 1946 he was among the nine children blessed to his parents Hussein and Rukiya Nathoo. He obtained his primary and secondary education in Zanzibar. Mohamed Bhai’s sporting career started in the narrow streets of Zanzibar with volleyball and cricket as his favourite games, he represented his primary and secondary schools in both these games and played for the Ithna-Asheri Gymkhana ‘A’ division in cricket and Zanzibar Combine in volleyball at the young age of 16. He was the grandson of Murabbi Hajji Ali Nathoo, a selfless, devoted leader of the community and a philanthropist who played a major role in the construction of the Zanzibar Kuwwatul Islam Jamaat Mosque, famously known as Junni Masjid in the Kiponda area, the first Mosque of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheries in the world built in 1881 in Zanzibar. Hajji Ali Nathoo served as the President of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Kuwwatul Islam Jamaat Zanzibar for 28 years, he passed away in 1957 at the age of 86.
Mohamed Bhai’s sporting career started in the narrow streets of Zanzibar with volleyball and cricket as his favourite games, he represented his primary and secondary schools in both these games and played for the Ithna-Asheri Gymkhana ‘A’ division in cricket and Zanzibar Combine in volleyball at the young age of 16.
Upon his migration to Dar-es-Salaam in 1967 he joined the Ithna-Asheri Union Sports Club (Union Sports Club) and played for its volleyball and cricket team until 1995. He was a proud part of the cricket championship that the club enjoyed for 18 years out of 20 years (1973 – 1992) and 4 years in volleyball 3 a side Championship (1968-1972) until the traditional volleyball style was abolished in Tanzania in 1972.
His consistency and flamboyant style in the game of cricket provided him the opportunity to play for the Tanzania National Cricket team for 15 years from 1972 to 1986 and had the privilege to lead the side for 4 years. During his captainship in 1984, Tanzania won the championship of East and Central Africa after a lapse of 16 years; for which he was honored with the Tanzania National Award in 1984.
He was declared the Sportsman of the Year and awarded the prestigious Abul Fazal Trophy by the Africa Federation in 1975 and was bestowed the Abbasi Medal in 2008 by the then Chairman of Africa Federation, Alhaj Ramzan Nanji.
On his retirement from active sports, he decided to serve the Union Sport Club in a leadership position and was its Chairman, from 1996 to 2000 before he took up the Chairmanship of the Ithna-Asheri Union from 2000 to 2004.
He was elected as the Vice Chairman of the Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat in 2004 and continued to hold the position for three consecutive terms under the Chairmanship of Alhaj Anwarali Rajabali Dharamsi. In February 2010 he took over from Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi who became Chairman of the Africa Federation, Mohamed Bhai completed the remainder of the term as President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat up till July 2010.
At the Federation, he served as the Chairman of the Sports Council for the term 1998 – 2001 and was also a nominated Councillor for nine years. He remained available to the AFED Office Bearers whenever required. He was also a member of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) of the Africa Federation from 2007 to 2010.
Marhum Mohamed Bhai was an ardent supporter of Ithna-Asheri Union and Union Sports Club during his entire tenure in Dar es Salaam, he would leave no stone unturned to defend Ithna-Asheri Union and Unions Sports Club during its thick and thin. Being one of the stalwarts of Union Sports Club he was highly respected by the sports officials and sportsmen from different clubs within and outside the country.
AFED Chairman, Alhaj Amine Nassor:
“It is with a heavy heart that I convey this message of condolences to the family of Marhum Mohamed Bhai Nathoo. Mohamed Bhai played a crucial role in the sports arena of the community in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Equally, he was dedicated and a committed member of our community having served in various capacities both in the Jamaat and in the Africa Federation, his sudden death is saddening and has deprived the community of a kind-hearted and devoted member, may Allah (SWT) grant him maghfeerat and grant solace to the bereaved family members, Ameen”
Indeed, to Allah, we belong, and to Him we shall return. May Allah swt behakke Aimmal Athaar a.s grant you plentiful forgiveness and blessings, Mohamed. The news this morning of your departure has hit us like a vast mountain crashing down upon us, we submit to the will of Allah swt. He wants you back to fulfil a vacancy up there. You will forever be remembered and remain in our memories, Mohamed, until we are reunited again. Adios, dear friend.
KSIJ Dar es Salaam:
A tireless Leader, Volunteer and a Beloved sportsman.
Although he was best known for his cricket acumen, Al Haj Mohammed Nathoo’s involvement in community affairs is well known. His life’s main work was of a visionary, with a sporting character from his young days in Zanzibar where he was born in 1946.
Later he moved to Dar es Salaam and continued with his ardent sportsmanship & community work.
When he was in his prime youth, he joined the Ithnasheri Union Sports club continuing in his work to establish a strong cricket fraternity and Volleyball.
His acumen for leadership had no bounds and he participated in all Community meetings be it Jamaat or Ithnasheri Union.
Nathoo was propelled to prominence when he captained the TANZANIAN side of cricket and brought home the trophy after 17 years. That was indeed a feather in his cap. Indeed, a proud moment for our community at large. His leadership qualities enabled him to lead the Ithnasheri Union actively and participate in Dar es Salaam Jamaat meetings.
He was Vice President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat under Alhaj Anverbhai Dharamsi and later took the helm as a President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat when Anverbhai propelled to be president of the Africa Federation.
He was very actively involved in the Africa Federation and World Federation as a Councilor.
Although later in his age he retired from both sports and public life but still had community at his heart.
Alhaj Mohammed Nathoo was a constant presence at religious functions, and community events and was a regular in Jamaat Prayers.
Alhaj Mohammed Nathoo touched the lives of younger community members and old alike in his astute presence in sports has made many young cricketers emulate him.
Alhaj Mohammed Nathoo will be remembered as part of the bedrock of the community.
The Dar es Salaam Jamaat Managing Committee offers its condolences to the family.
We pray to Allah (SWT) to grant him the highest stations in Jannah with fourteen Masoomeen (AS).
and grant his family patience and relief at this difficult time.
May Allah SWT repose the departed soul in the abundance of His mercy and rest him amongst the chosen ones – Ameen. We request our readers to remember marhum and all the Marhumeen with Sura-e-Fateha.