I became aware of
We had arrived in
routines; and sure enough multi-ethnic audience would flock to the Empire Cinema to see their favourite Raj Kapoor and hear “Awara hoon”.
In later years, I found that a significant number of Hindi tunes were adopted for Swahili songs. Elements of Hindi music were also adopted for some taarab music. This could only happen in
Indian weddings were held with proper pomp and ceremony in
There was a tea/coffee house cum Arabic restaurant; opposite our house in Sokomogo, The radio in the restaurant was constantly tuned to radio
Arabic legends like Om Kultum, Abdul Halim Hafiz, Farid-el-Atrash etc. This appreciation of Arabic music stood me in good stead when during the course of my career; I worked in
This early cultural exposure in
I had a keen interest in sports and followed the national cricket and football teams. The make-up of
In my view, Harji Mawji was perhaps the best Zanzibari cricketer. He was a genuine all rounder in
the mould of Gary Sobers. Actually, I have always considered Gary Sobers to be in Harji Mawji’s mould; as Harji came before Sobers. Harji was a prolific batsman, a very good medium pace bowler who also bowled spin and an excellent fielder. Harji was not adequately challenged in
Harji and his family were of modest means and there was no prospect of him coming to
I have fond memories of my years at
Harkishan Bhagat, Abdul Latif, Irshad Dalal, Abitalib etc. In another sense, the ethnic distribution of the class did not reflect the percentage make-up of the Zanzibari population.
I have to conclude by noting that my mother Mrs Shukla was a teacher at the
My mother tells me that when the late Abeid Karume was President; his then young sons, Amani and Ali, used to come to the
Mrs Shukla is almost 90 years old and keeps remarkably well for her advanced years.