Zul discovered early
enough in life that his true calling was hotel management.
He was one of the
pioneer students at the Kenya Utalii College in the mid 70s and
then he proceeded to Glasgow, Scotland for further training. In
the early 80s, he earned gainful experience at African Tours &
Hotels, Mombasa Beach Hotel, Ngulia Safari Lodge and Diani Sea
Lodge in both supervisory and management positions.
It was a matter of
time before the entrepreneur inside him took over and the world
witnessed the birth of Shehnai – serving authentic Indian
Mughlai cuisine right here in Mombasa!
Zul also served as
Director in yet another family business venture, Kitchen Masters
“A legacy is etched
into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
- Shannon Alder
Shehnai grew from
strength to strength as another member of Zul’s family, Mehboob
Harunani joined as his right hand and General Manager, infusing
new ideas into the business.
Zul’s brand soon won international
recognition acquiring affiliations to KCTA, KHC, Skal
International, FKE, Chaine des Rotisseur and Trip Advisor.
The icing on the
Shehnai cake was its rise in status to becoming a classified
five-star restaurant in 1999 and the accolades poured in one by
one including ‘Chaine des Rotisseur’, Kenya National Chambers of
Commerce, Mombasa County Awards (Tourism & Hospitality),
International Hotel and Quality Award (Madrid, Spain) and
certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor.
It is no wonder
therefore that various dignitaries from the public and private
sector, ambassadors, high commissioners, Hollywood and Bolly-wood
celebrities, royals from the middle east and the County
Governor, executives and other VIPs have visited Shehnai for a
uniquely Indian culinary experience.
A man of small
physical stature, yet larger than life, Zul always saw the glass
as half full rather than half empty.
He took on senior
leadership assignments and assumed chal-lenging responsibilities
The mover and shaker
that he was in the hospitality and tourism industry, his
services to community – both at the county and country levels
He rose to become
the Chairman of Mombasa Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) in
1989 and the Trustee of Kenya Coast Tourist Association since
He also chaired the
board at APDK Bombolulu.
Zul was a member of
Club of Kenya as well as an executive committee member
and Conselliur Culinaire of Chaine des Rotisseur.
In 1993, he was
appointed Director on the Board of National Water Conservation
and Pipeline Corporation.
In 2002, he took over the helm as
Chairman of Hotels and Restaurant Authority.
He served as a
trustee of Mombasa Cultural Carnival and member of Fort Jesus
Museum Advisory Board.
Zul’s social and
voluntary spirit knew no bounds as he joined the Mombasa City
Beautification Committee in 2002.
In 2015, he became
the President of Federation of Kenya Employers (Coast) where he
served till his last.
Zul hailed from the
Nasserpuria Memon Community and he was instrumental in
establishing the early childhood training course at Memon
College, as well as serving as its founding board member in
He was the also the
founding Chairman of the Memon Foreign Affairs Committee and
continued to serve since 2006.
The man in white was
admired at every level for being a stickler for time, discipline
He made a profound
impact in the various committees and organizations and the many
portfolios he held simultaneously and discharged so successfully
with dignity and accountability.
In the process, he
has guided, inspired and mentored many a newcomer to the
The impact of his
contribution will last well beyond his years.
Softly the leaves of
memory fall, gently we gather and treasure them all, unseen,
unheard, you are always near, so loved, so missed, so very
dear. - Unknown
For his wife and
three children Imtiaz, Saleem and Suhaila, here is a wonderful
husband and father gone too soon.
For the Mombasa
community and for our country, we lost a solid pillar of the
However, you cannot
miss Zul Harunani as you walk into Shehnai Restaurant even
From the beaming
usher clad in Indian attire to the soft instrumental music
within, from the muglai delicacies to the vegetarian delights –
all savored with Zul’s welcoming smile and his service par
Zul’s personal touch is never amiss in Shehnai.
Look for him …
May The Almighty grant him everlasting peace and a lofty abode
in the hereafter. Amen.