was ‘always others before self’
Trustee of Noor-e-Islam
Trust AND OF The Elimu Foundation
Sugra Anjarwalla, or Sugu as she was best known, died in London,
England on Tuesday 23rd October.
days and bygone days are never lost
'In truth they grow more wonderful
'Within the heart that keeps them'.
Poem by Sugu Anjarwalla, 1972
the last three years of her life she battled bravely with
passion for life, an absolute faith in religion and inspired
tenacity coupled with abiding humility, were the hallmarks of
defined and explained her substantial achievements and were as
much in evidence during her illness as ever before.
a century of life must seem a life not yet fully lived.
- - Sugra
Yet, what Sugu
experienced and achieved across a range of disciplines and interests,
how she helped and inspired so many, must shut the door on regrets and
allow only a celebration of life.
would not be on her agenda, for she would have had no time for such
time when many women were forced to elect between a career in the
workplace or being a home maker, Sugu managed, with consummate flair,
the competing demands of being a wife and mother, a businesswoman of
acumen and a passionate social worker and philanthropist.
was a member of Association of Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK)
since 1983 and served as Chairman of the Polio Clinic (now known as
the APDK Rehabilitation Clinic) for many years, undertaking
substantial fund raising activities for the APDK.
her time as Chairman, Sugu was instrumental in the building and
renovations of the improved clinic which exists today.
60-bed clinic houses and rehabilitates children from the very young to
teenagers, and includes a school for those with long term
her vision and drive which made this project a reality.
the last decade Sugu was a Director on the Board of The Aga Khan
Education Service, Kenya and The Madrassa Resource Centre.
remained a Director for an unprecedented three terms after they
refused her resignation at the start of her illness.
played a key role in the budgeting, marketing and curriculum aspects
of the new 'Centre of Excellence' Aga Khan Academy, which was the
first of its kind in Mombasa.
met both His Highness and His daughter on several occasions, His
Highness had once described Sugu as being a 'live wire'.
was also a Founder Trustee of Noor-e-Islam Trust and a Founder Member
of The Elimu Foundation.
the past 15 years her work for the Noor-e-Islam trust has helped
hundreds of people with educational and medical assistance.
recently however, The Elimu Foundation was a cause closest to Sugu's
in 1998 jointly with a number of friends from Kenya and abroad, The
Elimu Foundation was created with the aim of improving educational
facilities for the poor and under-privileged in Kenya and principally
at the coast.
substantial accomplishments of The Elimu Foundation perhaps best
illustrate what Sugu was capable of.
characteristic drive, single minded dedication and working as part of
an inspired team, she raised funds both in Kenya and abroad and then
put the funds to good use to help the poor.
date, The Elimu Foundation has renovated three slum schools in some of
the poorest areas in the coast, with the projects sizes totaling 30
million and affecting the lives of over 2000 children.
her work for The Elimu Foundation continued even from her hospital
bed, during even the particularly difficult periods of her illness.
had moved to England quite suddenly from Tanga, Tanzania, soon after
Nyerere's Ujamaa experiment in Tanzania had ruined her family's
substantial business interests, mainly in agriculture, in Tanzania.
was the time of Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond and Diana Ross and Sugu,
who loved music and had a substantial collection of records and
watched a number of her favourite artists live in concert through
her teens, including The Beatles.
became a self-taught photographer of some brilliance and, had she
wanted to, had the talent to make a career of photography.
degree in Human Geography and Economics, no doubt an attempt to help
Sugu answer how both she and Tanzania had ended up where they were,
formed the intellectual bedrock for Sugu's life back in East Africa,
after she married Salim and moved to Kenya.
her husband, she traveled widely and was open to and keen to
understand a wide range of cultures.
joined his family business and dedicated her talent to building a
loyal and motivated sales force and creating brand awareness of the
company's product range.
efforts in this field were pioneering in the East African context,
helping to make brands such as 'Dove' and 'Tena' household names.
was able to form relationships based on trust, commitment and mutual
understanding with her business partners, customers and employees,
just as with her colleagues and compatriots in her social work.
'others before self' attitude was apparent in all aspects of her life.
is survived by Salim and her three children Nurain, who is studying to
be an Architect at the University of Manchester, Khalil who is
completing his Masters in Engineering at the University of Oxford and
Nadeem who is completing his degree in Politics, Philosophy and
Economics also at the University of Oxford.