BY SULTAN JESSA
BURNABY (British Columbia) – Canada: A prominent businessman who went on to serve as a Member of Tanzania’s Parliament and also as the Deputy Mayor of Moshi passed away recently.
Mohamedali Natha Hirji – more affectionately known as the “Renaissance Man” – would have turned 88 in June.
He is survived by his wife Zera, three daughters, four grand and five great grand children.
Born in northern Tanzania, the well-known Hirji family operated several businesses including the dealership of the British American Tobacco (BAT) as well as Afrigas distribution in Moshi and Arusha.
Other businesses the family operated included Coca Cola Bottling, Unga Limited, Brook bond Tea, and Plaza and Palladium Cinemas in northern region of Tanzania.
Hirji was nominated and appointed as Member of Parliament by the ruling Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) party.
This was soon after the country achieved independence from Britain in 1961.
He was a great admirer of Tanzania’s first President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
Hirji, who also served as the Deputy Mayor of Moshi, moved to British Columbia in 1974 and lived in Burnaby.
An all-rounder sportsman, he played tennis, field hockey, soccer, cricket, golf and squash and won many trophies for his athletic skills.
He also had a great passion for politics, photography and travelling.
A close family friend said Hirji taught by example and constantly stressed the importance of family unity, human values and integrity.
“He never took his health for granted and was a great believer in healthy lifestyle,” the friend said.
“He exercised until his untimely death.”
What a very succinct obituary For Mohamedali uncle !! Thank you sultan He was indeed a renaissance man. He was ahead of his time He made us all proud. He spoke Swahili like a native , English like an Englishman and Kachi like he just came from Kathiawar What a gifted man !!
A remarkable individual who served his family, his Imam and country so very well. He had a great sense of humour and was always unassuming.. Rest in peace, amen Farouk BKS Verjee