Abdulla Sumar Merau

From Khoja Wiki
Abdulla Sumar Merau
Abdulla Sumar Merau.png
Town of birth
Country of birth
Date of Birth
  • 1887
Date of Death
  • 1964
Place of Death
Province of death
Place of longest stay
Profession or occupation carriedout for the longest period in life
  • Dukawala
Where-City or Country

Born in 1887 Mundra

Abdallah Sumar Merau was born in 1887 at Mundra, Kutch although the Sumars were said to originate from a district called Merau near Mandvi. As a youth, he worked on a “vadi” or the family farm and when of age, he was married to Sonbai Kassam, of Bhuj, Kutch.

In about 1925, Abdallah Bhai migrated to Africa with his family including his son, Ahmed, landing first at Zanzibar and later moving to work for Mohamed Jaffer, a well-known Lindi trader who assisted new migrants and often employed many of them in his shop. As was the pattern, Abdallah Bhai worked for his benefactor until he proved his worth and was rewarded with supplies and funds on loan, to establish his own little “kaduka” - a small ration store in the bush in the village of Mingoyo, about 20 km inland from Lindi where he built a traditional Swahili type house. It is a credit both to hospitality of the local African tribes and to the dogged tenacity of the Dukawallas that he could do that in safety.

He prospered and returned twice to Bhuj, once when one of his sons, Mohamed Sumar Merau fell ill with smallpox and later when he died, in October 1932.

Abdallah Bhai and his wife, Sonbai were both Shia Muslims of the Ismaili sect before coming to Africa but then opted for the Shia Ithna-Asheri branch which was more prevalent in Southern Tanzania. Such conversions were not uncommon within the large Muslim community in the tolerant and pluralist Tanzanian society.

He lived in Mingoyo until 1961 and only moved back to Lindi after his wife, Sonbai passed away. He died a few years later in 1964.