Naseem Jivanjee has so many fond memories of the Karimjee Secondary School in Tanga that it hurts the Oakville woman to see her alma mater in Tanzania in ruins.
The retired social worker and her classmates – all Tanzanians of Asian descent – were forced to flee their homeland during the 1960s and 1970s at the height of the political turmoil in East Africa, amid the surge of nationalism among native Africans.
“We had a good facility, good labs and great teachers. It was a very good school,” noted Jivanjee, who is of Ismaili Muslim background. “Then the communist government took over. There was no money for maintenance. It’s just so rundown.”
Last week, on Nov.8, Jivanjee, a retired school social worker, and more than 200 Karimjee alumni and supporters in Canada gathered at the Thorncliffe Banquet Centre not only to reminisce about the good old days over coconut chicken, yam, beans and Mandazi doughnuts. The group raised $20,000 at the dinner to buy books and bunk beds for the deteriorating school, and refurbish its science labs with equipment, water and gas connections.