Book Launch of "A REGAL ROMANCE" and Other Memories by Ameer Janmohamed

Ameer Janmohamed

Coastweek – – 150 friends, literati and members of the publishing world in London gathered for a sumptuous lunch at the Oatlands Park Hotel on Sunday 20th.

April 2008 for the formal launch of Ameer Janmohamed’s book “A REGAL ROMANCE” and Other Memories. Hom Paribag of Society Books welcomed guests and gave background information. Margaret Laird the book editor then gave her evaluation of the book.

Ameer Janmohamed

Coastweek – – Seen [from left] Jullian Freidmann (Literary Agent), Quassim, Hom Paribag (of Society Books – Publishers), Zeenat, and Lily Mebratu (She designed cover for the book).

This was followed by remarks from the Kenya born author who said he had derived original inspiration to write this book after having coming across Cynthia Salvadori’s trilogy “We came in Dhows”, and Shariffa Keshavjee’s “Bwana Mzuri”.

Ameer Janmohamed writes about his family and life in Kenya in the early and mid 20th century.

The title of the book is derived from the REGAL THEATRE in Mombasa which was built by his grandfather and his brother in 1931, and includes a fascinating history of the Theatre.

He writes about colonial rule, war years in Kenya, race relations and early education, with a history of his alma mater, the Aga Khan High School in Mombasa.

He gives an insight into Rotary in Kenya.

Ameer Janmohamed Ameer Janmohamed

Coastweek – Some of the guests queuing up to have their copies signed by the author

He was Governor of the Rotary District which included Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius and La Re-Union.

The book is lavishly illustrated with nostalgic photos, some dating back to 1918.

Prof. Quassim Cassam, Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at University of Cambridge writes: “….this is more than just a family history.

It also paints a vivid and insightful picture of life in Kenya before and after independence.

With its tales of migration, the Empire and race, this very personal story is also a social history.

Anyone interested in the culture, outlook and history of ethnic Indians and the Ismaili Muslim community in East Africa should read this fascinating book”.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

7 thoughts

  1. it’s available on
    interesting reading !! provides a lot of history of early settlement in Kenya. The land on which the theatre was situated on digo road was sold to Diamond Trust Kenya. As per google earth it appears unbuilt; land lease expires 2030?


  2. Hi Ameer, I read your book one night last March when I had gone to Mombasa for my aunty Guli Somji’s funeral. You and Zeenat came from London, I from somewhat nearer – Kampala. My uncle Ismail Ebrahim Jamal lent me his copy. I wrote you about this once I returned to Kampala. I thought the book had lots of potential – I mean the Regal Cinema was where lots of romances matured into lifelong partnerships. I can’t say that happened in my case, but I do have lots of affection for the cinema from vacations spent at my nana bapa (Premji Dhanji)’s house with uncles and aunties. Oh, we did sneak into the Regal for the matinees. I often think we should do interactive books where we come in from our own angle about a certain place, person, or event. With the internet our servant that should be easy now. I am still writing my book on
    Ugandan Asians: Then and Now, Here and There, We Contributed, We Contribute
    which is all you need to know about it! It should be out Inshallah in August (2009), around 400 pp of text. For the time being I have left it interactive allowing people to come in with their special memories of growing up in Uganda, pioneering the UK before 1957 and Canada before 1972. It’s for UgAsians. Farouk BKS Verjee thought the cover picture of his family members could be used in his article. I myself think it’s a fabulous picture of fab times. Could we use it? With proper attribution to your book?
    Regards to Zeenat.
    V I V Jamal
    Kisaasi, Kampala


  3. When I asked Mohamed Keshavjee about personal history, he said
    ‘Human intervention providesf the vital link of the lived experience,the wisdom of yeasterday and reality of today. The author of oral history minds the past disceningly, gives new meaning to it. It is this type of endeavour that can give modern society the ability to mediate their present diasporic reality in in increasingly globalised world.’
    I think this is true of the ‘Regal Romance’ and the work done on the Valli Hasham family.
    Fond memories of ‘The Regal Cinema’ in Mombasa.


  4. I truly enjoyed that day!! My children have learnt a lot about how wonderful is to celebrate past experiences and still be full of joy for many more to come!! We had the pleasure of having it signed too!


  5. I was present at the Book Launch of “A Regal Romance”, a luncheon in a beautiful setting, Oatlands Park Hotel. This is a superb historical book with lots of insight into the family and photographs that will be a vital book for our sons, Imran and Salim, your grandsons and the future generations to come. Thank you, Dad.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.