Sunday, 20 December 2009

Aga Khan Primary School, Kampala

Photo from Harji Website
I went to Aga Khan Primary School in Kampala. My memories consist mainly of my first and last class. In the first form, my teacher was Mrs Barrato - I remember sitting on the mat humming, thinking no one would know it was me making the noise!

In my final form at this school my classmates included Naznin Virani, Meboob Jamani, Nazma Dhanani, Minaz Abji, the twins Salma and Shamshad Hajiani, Shafique Bhatia and Merunnissa ? to name a few. Teachers included my form teacher Penny Jiwani, Mrs Mascaranas and Mr Ramji the RE teacher. We had sewing classes in that room over the canteen, where I was constantly scolded by Mrs Sakar Devji, as I was terrible at needlework. My sewing always had blood stains on it from pricking my fingers with the needle! Miss Shahsultan Meghji and Miss Zarina Gulamhusein used to teach us how to cook. I can remember the queen of puddings well because I dropped it and broke the dish on the way home :(. If you are one of my classmates please do comment on this blog.

Some of my best memories are of standing in the Assembly in the hot sun while Mr Jinnah and Mr Hinchcliffe stood high up on the terrace (where the man with the bike is standing in the picture), and singing Bhali Bathowo ginan. At morning Recess time we would buy boiled mogo sprinkled with red chilli powder and salt; so delicious. We would go home for lunch and come back in the afternoon. No food in the afternoon, Chachi use to give us a flask of Ribena which we would drink in the break.

When we got home at about 4.00 o’clock, we would have chai and nasto. Chachi and Malek used to make enormous quantities of various nasta. The store / larder had huge tins about 2 feet high and 1 foot wide full of sev, ghatia, puri, thepla, chevro, mogo katri etc. Then at 6.oo o’clock the men (Bapa and Chacha) would come home from the factory. Special nasta were made for them. Samosa, batata vara, bateta champ, chane atta ja bhajia, dal ja bhajia, kebab, mayai waro pao etc. We children would join them and eat again.

We would have our supper at about 8.00, kitchri and doodh or gosh jo shaak. So much eating but we were very slim (they used to call me a scarecrow, because I was so thin and lanky with big feet!).

All these memories flooded back when I saw this picture of my primary school.

My next project is to make some of those nasta, starting with Thepla.


Anonymous said...

salma and shamshad are my sisterinlaws we all leave in toronto. shamshad is mukhanima of our main jamatkana

Saju said...

I would love to get in touch with them, email me? at

v jamal said...

hello, i am vali jamal, original ugandan asian, currently writing a book on the same. i should like to include this item on the akps in it, if you'l agree. what years were you at the school? my sister malek taught there until 1966 and three sisters went there.
write me at

Minaz said...

A friend passed your blog since I was mentioned. My name is Minaz Abji and I live in Washington DC and your blog brought memories of my time in school.

Farid Lalani said...

I was a year behind this group,recogonized some of the names. Dont forget the famous Mr. Diksit
Farid Lalani

Anonymous said...

Mr Dixsit aka molabux
Good thing he is not teaching anymore because the kids would have a field day with his name !

Naznin Virani said...

Thanks for the blog Saju. Very well written! This has brought back a lot of memories. Nazma Dhanani used to be my best friend. I would love to get in touch with her. I also remember Salma and Shamshad very well. My email address is

mille said...

Hi, I was thrilled to read this website, cause I leave in Norway, right at the topp of the world at the north pole. Born in Katera, and then my family moved to Kampala, and me and my to sisters attended AKPS.
Is Virani your mothersname or are you married into Virani family? Keep in touch, maybe we can share a few memories. Ya Ali Madad.

Saju said...

Mille, my family name is not Virani, it is Meghji.

Saju said...

thanks for your nice comment.

Zainab said...

Hello, I am Zainab Kayamali and studied at Agakhan Primary School from 1951 to 1959 and my sister Atia Kayamali also was in the same school from 1950 to 1959 and all these years I am searching for my classmates. I would love to get in touch with all my classmates.

Saju said...

Hi Zainab,
You may want to leave a comment in the Aga Khan School Blog, you may get a response from there

Saju said...

p.s there is photo of primary school picture from 1956, you or your sister may be in it.

Salim .H said...

Lots of memory and good to know how things were

Salim H.

nuraz said...

hi,my name is nuraz,this blog has brought me a happy tear in my eyes,i remember Mr Dixsit,Mr Jinnah used to be my math teacher,fellow classmates,alnoor,shafiq,nazmina hassim etc,i leave in dallas texas,my email is,

Hamza said...

Saju, this is the second time i come across your name today. saw agakhan school blogspot and even found a photo of my primary school class. memories. Minaz Abji I remember you very well.

hamza Zakaria

Barbara said...

Hi, I am Barbara Mayanja, and I joined Aga Khan Primary from Aga Khan Nursery in 1966. I remember my older sisters taking about Mr. Dixsit. But I found Mr. Jinnah, Mr. Hinchcliff, Mrs. Mascarenas, Mrs. Devji , Mr. Ramji , and Ms Lutwama (one of the few African teachers) at the school. I have a photo taken in 1969 and my classmates where Bilkish Sundrani (father worked in Nakivubo Stadium), Shahnaz Huddah (Stayed near the school?), Shahnaz Alibali (Alibahi’s Garage), Nashrine Jaffer (Jeffries Ice Cream and Park Hotel), Shyrose (?), Umeshafiq Bandali Jaffer, Nimet (Jaffer?), Marion Kabali-Kaggwa, and Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Ramji’s daughters. Then among the boys was Fred Walter, a boy whose family had a large furniture shop on Kampala Road and he stayed in a house opposite Jamat Khana, ( grey Peugeot pickup used to drop and pick him and other family members from school),a boy called Najib, and another boy whose family name was Bawa Singh. Then another boy was born in Bugerere and he was fluent in Luganda. Also I remember a Zulfikar, and Mark Hartman (had a sister called Sarah and a brother called Lee),who came while in P6. Anybody still there, I would love to hear from you.

Saju said...

Barbara, I have posted your comment in The Agakhan School Blog too.

Saju said...

Please can you email me your school photo so we can put it on the Aga Khan School Blog

Julie said...

Dear Saju and Barbara, I was so thrilled to read comments you posted about Agakhan Primary school in Kampala. Sure it brought back memories- plenty of them! I will share with you more memories in case you maybe interested.
I was in Agakhan from 1967. So Mr. Jinnah, Mr. Hinchcliff are names I identify with. I am seriously looking for my classmates- Nelina, Jasyree(remember you loved Enid Blyton and other novels?), Vinay Lalani(I think) and Issac(a ghanian whose dad was a diplomat in Uganda then). You two guys used to sit behind me and Jasyree in class. And our stream was "A"! please do get in touch if you remember me. And I will try and find out if I still have some old photos we took at the school(IF it is there because we lost a lot of things during the past wars). i am happy that i got this site. looking forward to hearing from you again. Julie (surname used to be: Nyeko). Name changed now. Will tell you more in next message.

Anonymous said...

Dear Saju,

Sorry for the delay in sending the photo to you. This was because the photo was in Uganda while I was based in Afghanistan until end of last year. I have sent it through ismailimail who forwarded it to you. Please acknowledge receipt. Thanks


Anonymous said...

Oh by the way Julie, I remember the Ghananian family, I think there were two girls or so who were Isaac's siters. I alos I remember the Oryemas - Margaret, Irene, Christine and some young siblings. I remember John Babiiha and his sisters. Then I remember the three Kenyan sisters on was Florence and another Beatrice. I do not remember the third but their surname was Richard (interesting) and their dad was the "Domestic Bursar "" of Kyambogo College then.

There was a boy called Komakech whose dad was a police officer and Norah Mwaka whose dad was a military officer.

There were two Uganda families that each had a Fatima, then there were the Kakomas, the Wasakas, there was Noeline (now Mrs Wavamuno, Geraldine Mukasa and her sisters Margaret and Susan, and their cousin Pamela Kamanyi the Kirondes, the Mukalazis, the Kagimu Mukasas, the Ssebowas, the Tibagwas, the Engwaus, and the Semakaddes. From my family there was Winnefred, Harriet/Jennifer, James (RIP) and Carol Mayanja.

Anonymous said...

My name is Farid Somani.Remember the school and my schoolmates Farouk think Bhanji and Hassan Dharsi who are in UK.Altaf Rajani and think there was an Amin Ladha.I might be mixing it up with the secondary school but recall had an isreali girl and a boy called ashak.Wonder where everyone is and what kind of lives they had.My email is

Nazir Rahemtulla said...


I was in your class from PS6 onwards. Email me at if you remember me.

Nazir Rahemtulla