Sir Jayantilal Keshavji Chande, fondly referred to as ‘Andy’ and later ‘Sir Andy’ after his knighthood, was born on 7 May 1928 in a small non-descript town called Bukene in then Tanganyika. His father had migrated there from India in 1922. Andy did his schooling in India and returned home to make a fortune, lose it all and dedicate his life to the service of his country.
By the turn of the 1960s, Andy could be counted as one of East Africa’s wealthiest people of Indian descent. But on the Monday morning of 10 February 1967, Abdul Rahman Mohamed Babu, the Minister for Commerce in Nyerere’s government informed him that: ‘All the shares in your respective milling companies will henceforth be vested in the Treasury Registrar, effective noon today’. All Andy’s companies had been nationalized in under a minute, the time it took the minister to read the statement! President Nyerere’s Arusha Declaration had come into force.
The sad news of Wolfango Dourado’s passing was received by the world that knew him with much sadness.
Wolfe (as he preferred to be called) was born in 1935 in Zanzibar. After he obtained the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate, first class, he joined the civil service and was posted to the Administrative General’s office where he started at the bottom of the ladder. His thirst for knowledge and hard work soon paid dividends. His talents were recognized and he was offered a Government scholarship to study law at Middle Temple in England. However he refused this offer since he felt that the family came first and since his father had passed away he felt that he was the sole bread winner for his family.
Shortly thereafter, the offer of a scholarship was made yet again, but with a difference. His salary was assured him for the time he was going to be away for the duration of his courses. Wolfe graciously accepted the scholarship and once again because of his keen intellect he was able to graduate from Middle Temple and was called to the bar.
Ahmed Mohamed ‘Kathy’ Kathrada was born on 21 August 1929 in the small rural town of Schweizer-Reneke, about three hundred kilometres from Johannesburg. An immigrant from India, his father ran a small general dealer shop. The Kathrada family was not wealthy, but managed a comfortable standard of living. Relationships across racial lines were cordial, empathetic and generally peaceful though it was understood that political and economic bias was skewed towards white people at the expense of people of colour. The land upon which his father had opened his business could not be owned by him as Indians were forbidden from owning land.
As a child Kathy was blissfully unaware of the racial divide that existed at that time. His playmates were straddled across the racial divide, an Afrikaner midwife had facilitated his birth and his very first teacher was an African. However, at the age of eight he had to move to Johannesburg. The rural town had a school for whites and one for Africans but no school facilities for young Indians.