MARCH 15, 1981


Your Highness Prince Aga Khan, the Provincial Commissioner for Nyanza, Mr. Francis Cherogony, Mrs. Cherogony, The Provincial Commissioner for Western Province, Mr. Nashon Ngugi, Mrs. Ngugi, Members of the Parliament, Justice Scriven, Mrs. Scriven, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and your Worship.

It is indeed an extreme privilege for me to take this opportunity of offering a very warm and cordial welcome to your Highness, to our Lake-Side Town of Kisumu and express our deepest gratitude for accepting our invitation to this banquet. I also wish to extend a very very warm welcome to both the Provincial commissioners, Mr. Cherogony and Mr. Nashon Ngugi, your Worship, Councillor Ezra Gumbe and each and everyone of you who are here with us tonight. We feel immensely happy and deeply honoured by your presence at this banquet.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it was originally scheduled that His Highness would be accompanied by Her Highness Begum Salimah and his sister princess Yasmin to this banquet. But suddenly His Highness's eldest son, Prince Rahim was taken ill and therefore, both, her Highness Begum Salimah and Princess Yasmin have not been able to be with us this evening to grace this occasion. However, on behalf of all the guests present here, I would like to pray and wish a very speedy recovery to Prince Rahim.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the name of His Highness Prince Aga Khan is a house-hold name throughout the universe and I do not think that we need any introduction to any one of us present here tonight. To the people of Kenya the name Aga Khan is synonymous with health, educational and other philantrophic areas. We all know about the fine Hospitals and Nursing Homes which are run under his patronage throughout the major cities of this country. The fine schools at all levels enjoy such a fine reputation that you often find the name in the newspaper headlines reading - "Aga Khan School Tops C.P.E. results in the country". In particular, this is a very common phenomenon with our Primary School in Kisumu which has occupied the top rung of the ladder for the past several years. All the citizens of Kisumu are proud of this school and it is not uncommon to find it exceedingly difficult to obtain an admission at this school at any given time. All other secondary schools bearing the name Prince Aga Khan have been enjoying a fine reputation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, His Highness's philantrophic activities are not restricted to Kenya alone. We have recently read about the opening of the first phase of the medical complex in Karachi. This is the Aga Khan Medical and Teaching Hospital that has been elevated to the status of a University by the Pakistan Government. This complex is expected to have a capacity of 700 beds and will train not less than 100 Doctors each year. It will undoubtedly be one of the most modern and best equipped hospitals in the developing world. In our country, all Aga Khan Hospitals and Nursing Homes enjoy a fine reputation which is in keeping with the motto of the Ismailis - "Nothing but the Best". In Kisumu, we also have a modern medical centre which has been providing excellent service to the residents of Kisumu and for which an extensive development plan is in the pipeline. I sincerely hope that the plan will materialize and will be a blessing to the residents of Kisumu.

Your Highness's Dynamic Imamat and its philantrophicity has extended far and wide into the Islamic World. Your recent award to Islamic Architecture has captured the global attention. This gesture is exactly in keeping with the teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammed and later of the Imamat's Fatimid Era in Egypt. The gesture has also brought tremendous awakening about the Islam in the non-Islamic Worlds.

The world today is going through a serious economic crises, gripped with un-ending inflation and a political turmoil in some of the countries. We, Ismailis, are indeed very proud to have His Highness as our Imam and Spiritual Leader whose constant guidance and help in both, worldly and spiritual matters has been a source of great encouragement to the progress of the community.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, it will also be appropriate for me to acknowledge, with appreciation and gratitude, to our beloved President His Excellency President Daniel Arap Moi for preaching and steadfastly adhering himself to the Nyayo philosophy of love, peace and unity. This philosophy has brought a remarkable transformation into the lives and development of Kenya nation and this philosophy is being gradually adopted by several national forums and I take the opportunity to publicly record my own and my community's gratitude to our President and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, before I conclude my address, I would particularly like to publicly convey my personal and my council's most sincere gratitude, thanks and appreciation to the two convenors and their team of workers, members of the banquet committee who, over the past two months have put in every inch of their strength in the preparations of the magnificent banquet that you see. The magnificent decorations and the other arrangements that prevail in the banquet hall bear adequate testimony to the intelligence and the hard work put in by the team of the banquet committee. I would particularly like both the convenors, Councillor Azim Premji and Councillor Sadru Tejpar, along with their team of committee members to be please up-standing so that the guests can applaud them adequately. Thank you very much.

Lastly, my thanks are also due to the residents of Kisumu and in particular, the Provincial and District Administration and also the local authorities, headed by His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Ezra Gumbe. My council has had every support that we have sought from these administrations, including all the citizens of Kisumu, Commercial Houses and the Manufacturing Enterprises. To all of them, I say a very big thank-you and to the Provincial Commissioner, Sir, in our national language Bwana Cherogony, I say "Asante sana" and to you, your Worship, Councillor Gumbe, in our Kijaluo language I say "Aero Kamano".

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I end by expressing our profound appreciation to His Highness, your honour, you your Worship and all the dignitaries and each and every one of you who have been present here for gracing this occasion tonight with your presence. Thank you very much and I wish you all a very, very enjoyable evening. Thank you.

Source: Darbar-e-Shah Karim 1981

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