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BY:Abdulrazak Sheriff Fazal
It was the routine weekend chore at the Nathoo’s residence. The shirts and flannels being ironed and the cricket bat dusted and given a clean swipe for the youthful Kazim was having his Sunday game for Union C against Upanga B the following morning. Following in the footsteps of his fabulous dad, Mohamed Nathoo, Kazim was an upcoming cricketer who had performed very well during the season. Union Sports Club had high hopes in him for its cricket history abounds in hereditary talent. The names Tejanis, Kabanas, Sheralis and Nathoos sound synonymous with its cricket.
Sadly the Nathoo household would never be the same again for Kazim bed his final farewell in the morning and never returned. That fateful Sunday of 1st November had its usual normality and the Daressalaam traffic functioning with its usual regularity. The excited Kazim at the back of the pick up van on its way to the Kinondoni ground was enjoying his drive along with his friends and discussing the game. From nowhere across the United Nations Road emerged this calamitous saloon car causing a head on collision with the pick up. The accident was fatal and while everyone sustained injuries Kazim’s was severe. He was rushed to Muhimbili hospital where he was declared dead. Within no time life assumed its cruel and drastic turn. Kazim remained no more and it shattered the Nathoos.
How sad! Just 11 days earlier the youthful and cheerful Kazim had celebrated his 15th birthday and was blossoming into a smart lad. He was somewhat shy, handsome and featured by a bright and smiling countenance. He had a wonderfully vivacious personality and at times could be even naughty as accompanying his dad he would be often seen playing his childish pranks or speaking in jests. At the same time Kazim was very well mannered. From my personal experience he was highly disciplined. As a scorer for USC he furnished me with all the details enabling me to compile my reports. Just a couple of weeks earlier in the midst of an electricity cut off, I called him to read out the score sheet for me. With a candle in one hand and receiver in the other he obliged without any hesitance. Also during tournaments I could easily rely on him to go round the ground and with his amiability and smartness sell off the remaining souvenirs. Indeed he shall be missed a lot.
Kazim with his solid background excelled in his curriculum. He was studying in form 3 at Daressalaam’s leading school, the Agakhan Mzizima Secondary School, and pursuing science subjects. He also participated in religious classes at the madressa. Obviously sport was his favourite activity. He was a wonderful table tennis player and won a number of trophies in various tournaments. He had even won the championship trophy in the youths’ tournament. Besides cricket and table tennis he also played squash and volleyball.
Kazim had accompanied his dad to Lusaka in the Tarmohamed tournament, Mombasa in the Supreme Council tournament and twice to Dubai, in fact once representing USC in table tennis. His cricketing achievements included 65 runs as his highest score and a haul of 4 wickets for 16 runs. Once he hit Mohamed Rahim(Mapra) for 4 fours in an over.
Kazim had traveled widely. At such a tender age he had the remarkable achievement of visiting Mecca for umra on as many as five instances. He had also performed ziarat(pilgrimage) at the holy spots in Iraq, Iran and Syria. He had also paid visits to the UK, USA, Canada and India.
What an irony that the game that has earned Mohamed Nathoo name, fame and delight also snatched away his most precious jewel. Earlier it had also accounted for the death of his elder brother Yusuf who collapsed at the ground while playing for the veterans’ team.
Kazim’s funeral took place in the sullenness of that Sunday night. It was well attended by community members as well as outsiders, mainly Daressalaam’s cricket fraternity. The funeral cortege stretched right from the Ithnashri mosque up to the cemetery at UWT road where the burial took place. The sight of the Union C boys walking under the coffin and clinging to it was indeed heartrending. It was an emotional send off. It will be difficult for the Nathoos to deal with the loss but then life goes on. Good bye Kazim!
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