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Lindi Notes - Jamat - Kilwa Jamat History


Historical records note that the first Indians were in Kilwa in 1850s when most were wealthy merchants.

Around 1900, some Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri families moved to Kilwa Kivinje from Zanzibar. They are:


1.    Haji Nanji Kara

2.    Nurmohamed Manekia

3.    Jaffer Somji

4.    Siwji Somji

5.    Kermali Dhanji

6.    Bandali Bhimji

7.    Bachubhai Meghji

8.    Ramzanbhai Hassam

9.    Ahmed Walji

10.  Gulammohamed Jivraj Bhojani

11.  Kassamali Bhimji

12.  Hassanali Dharsee

13.  Kassamali Chagan

14.  Hussein Dewji

15.  Merali Mawji

16.  Jaffer Aladin

17.  Suleman Walji


The population of Khoja Ithnaasheris was about 150 -200. Masjid, Imambara, Guest House and Kabrastan was about 1 mile from town. Members of the community used to go to mosque daily by walking or by rickshaw. During the month of Muharram, those brothers who were staying in small villages such as Njinjo, Miteja, Muhoro, Mbawara etc used to come to Kilwa to take part in azadari. Majlis was recited by Zakire Husain Marhum Haji Habib Sheriff Manekia, Marhum Haji Gulamabbas Merali Mawji and Marhum Haji Pyarali Hassanali Rahim. This was the period from 1930s to 1960. Before that, Mulla Yusuf Abdullah (the grandfather of Marhum Husseinali Yusufali) was reciting majlis. There were 4 bohora families who used to attend majlis too. However they would not attend on 8th as they observed Ashura night.


The first President of Jamat was Nanji Kara and the last were Haji Gulamali Kermali Dhanji and Haji Anverali Manekia.  The last family to move from Kilwa was Husseinali Manekia who moved in Sept 1971.

The following families are currently taking care of the properties:

1.    Gulamabbas Hussein Dewji

2.    Kermali Dhanji

3.    Habib Sheriff Manekia

4.    Hassanali Dharsee

5.    Jaffer Aladin


The 1960 directory of Africa Federation shows the following businesses of Khoja Shia Ithnaasheris in Kilwa Masoko and Kilwa Kivinje in 1960:


Habib Sheriff Manekia

Mohamedhussein Jaffer Somji

Abdulla Damji

Bandali Bhimji

Gulamabbas Hussein Dewji

Kermali Dhanji

Mohamedali Aladin Dharsi

Ramzan Hasham


In 1905 HIs HIghness the Aga Khan visited Kilwa and held a session with three muumineen from Shia Ithnaasheri Jamat. They were Sheriff Noormohamed Manekia (grandfather of Husseinali Manekia), Suleman Walji and Suleman Bhimji.


Source: Husseinali Manekia



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