Kanji Ramji originated from Samaghoga, about 14 miles from Mundra, Kutchh. He had a religious proclivity since childhood. His habits were very simple and he lived a saintly life till last breath, so much so that the Imam during his first visit to East Africa said, 'What should be the momin's qualities, habits and manners are seen in Kanji Ramji. Everyone must follow them accordingly.' (Zanzibar: July 5, 1899). He was also the Mukhi and became known as the 'Dini Darwish of Kutchh' due to his pious life.
He was born in Kera, Kutchh in 1851 and came to Zanzibar by a sailing vessel in 1863 at the age of 12 years. He proceeded to Bagamoyo to work as an assistant to Sewa Haji Paroo (1851-1897). After having earned enough money, he began to organize caravans for domestic travelling. His business expanded, at first slowly but later more quickly. He had extended his operations all along the caravan route, opening branches of operations of his firm in Dar-es-Salaam, Sadani, Tabora, Ujiji and of Kalima and Tindo in the Belgium Congo.
Alibhai Lalji is reported to have migrated from Junagadh, India to Mombasa, Kenya in 1880 to explore business opportunities. His son Hussain also came from India in 1912, and settled however in Mwanza. Later on, his son Hasan Ali and the rest of the family joined Hussain in 1920 in Mwanza. They jointly ran a general store, called Alibhai Lalji & Sons, and made steady progress.
Hasan Ali liked modernity in dressing and eating. He was meticulously dressed and was easily distinguished in a crowd of Asians. Due to his modern tastes, he was nick named as Hasan Ali Fancy.
Amir Ali Muhammad Ormadawala was born in 1917 in the house of Mohammad Hirji of Amerali. His father died in 1918 when he was hardly a year old. His mother, Sambai had a religious proclivity and rendered her services as the Mukhiani of the Ormada jamat.
Vali, the son of Rehmu Bhagat was a devoted person in Bhuj, Kutchh. He left Kutchh for Sind, and ultimately settled in Karachi. Soon after the retirement of Mukhi Alidina Asani (1793-1881) from the post of the Estate Agent in 1873, Imam Hasan Ali Shah appointed him the second Estate Agent for Karachi and Sind. The Imam also bestowed upon him the title of Varas. His descendant became known as the Valliani family in Karachi and Sind. Varas Vali rendered his services with devotion and died in 1878. The third Estate Agent after him was Varas Basaria, who died in 1918.
Soon after the Fatimid Khilafat in 1171, Saladin (d. 1193), the Ayyubid ruler massacred the Nizari Ismailis in and around Egypt. Most of the Ismailis migrated to Syria and settled in the surroundings of Khwabi and Kadmos. With them came the grandfathers of Amir Ismail bin Muhammad, who made Tanitah, a village near Kadmos as their abode.
Virji Kamadia, known as Vira Bhagat was Mukhi of the Junagadh Panjibhai Club. His family's profession was to cut the stones to be sold in the market. He sustained a close relationship with Wazir Ismail Gangji (1788-1883), from whom he acquired religious knowledge, and he gradually became a missionary. Jamal Megji, the son of Virji Kamadia was a brilliant orator. He delivered his first waez in Junagadh and won the hearts of the jamat, including Varas Ismaili Gangji, who said, 'Your status will become too high.'
He was known as Brigadier General Amir Ass'ad Shah Khalili, and was born in 1915. He took up a military career in Iran and became an officer in army of His Imperial Majesty the Shahanshah of Iran. He rose to his rank very soon and served as Adjutant in the Defence Ministry. As his services were required in the Police Force, he was seconded to the Police of the State and retired as a Chief Police. He had many medals and decorations to his credit.
Varas Amir Chand (1837-1911) sprang from a noble family of gupti Ismailis in Punjab. He was employed in a governmental department in Amritsar and retired in 1880. He inherited land from his forefathers, and became one of the most famous landlords in Punjab. In 1882, Imam Aga Ali Shah appointed him Kul Kamadia for Punjab, Frontiers and few regions near Afghanistan.
The genealogical tree of the renowned Lakha family draws back to their forefather named Surji. His son was Jairaj, and grandson was Manji. The son of Manji was Lalji, who had four sons, Punja, Virji, Lakha, and Kalyan. They lived in a village, called Berberaja, about 12 miles away from Jamnagar, Kutchh.Lakho, better known as Lakha, was a hawker and lost his house in a terrible famine. Reduced to extreme destitution, he wandered from village to village in search of livelihood. His son Kassim, who was born in 1853, had to toil and moil in Kutchh.
He was born in Bagamoyo, Uganda. He was a trader and became known as the 'uncrowned king' in Uganda until 1922. The High School of Mombasa stands out as one of the shining examples of his many large-hearted charities. According to the report of the Times of India (June 8, 1919), the British bestowed him the title of M.B.E. (Member of British Empire) in appreciation of his invaluable services and loyalty to the British government.His appearance in the arena of community services began with the establishment of the Ismaili Council on November 5, 1905 when he was appointed as one of its member.
Hashim Gangji was a native of Bhuj, Kutchh but migrated to East Africa in 1871. His son Abdullah was however born in Zanzibar in 1906, where he did his early schooling and subsequently went into business. He was an eminent clove merchant.
101 Ismaili Heroes - Volume 1 - Late 19th Century To Present Age
By Mumtaz Ali Tajddin Sadik Ali - firstname.lastname@example.org