.


  OBITUARY  

July 25 - 31, 2008

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


 HOME - click this banner to return to http://www.coastweek.com

.

 
 
 

.

.

AMIRALI MAGAN VISRAM

FOUNDER of THE five star SUN N'
SAND BEACH RESORT
AT KIKAMBALA

Coastweek - - Amirali Magan Visram - the Founder and Chairman of the prestigious five star Sun N Sand Beach Resort passed away peacefully on Saturday - June 28, 2008 at approximately 8:30 in the morning.

The seventy-three-year old humble Hotelier had just finished saying his morning prayer and with his eyes shut, departed this world to go and be one with our creator.

His untimely demise is not only a big loss to Sun N Sand family but also a major blow to the entire tourism fraternity.

As we think of him, we realize what a wonderful man he was all his life not only to his family but to one and all, rich or poor, in the manner that he respected everyone with humility and compassion and today we not only grieve his absence but more importantly, rejoice his wonderful life and legacy that he has left behind.

He was the last born in a poor family of eleven that lived in Oyugis within Nyanza province.

Coastweek - - Amirali
Magan Visram - Founder
and Chairman of Sun N
Sand Beach Resort.

Due to lack of school fees, he had to drop out of standard seven and never saw the inside of a classroom again.

He took up various odd jobs during Kenya's pre-independence period moving from one town to the other until 1959 when he took up a job at a Mombasa pub, where he started his career in the Tourism sector.

As a true visionary and one with exemplary entrepreneurship skills, he moved to start his own little pub known as the 'Rainbow Bar' which turned out to be the most vibrant, talk of town night spot.

Towards the end of the sixties, Amir was the proud owner of not only the 'Rainbow Bar' but also two other bars within Mombasa Island.

He sold the three Bars and temporarily left the Tourism industry to move into the timber business, which led him to becoming the owner of Coast Saw Mills which later became one of the largest timber factories in Mombasa (Coast Saw Mills) in the late 60's.

However, as the saying goes...once a hotelier, always a hotelier and on 23rd May 1971, Amir and his wife Roshan took over ownership of an isolated piece of property in Kikambala, little known Kikambala beach hotel, which at the time of acquisition was a seven room hotel with a total work force of 14 people, and changed the name to Sun N Sand Beach Hotel.

The long and challenging journey of refurbishing, rebuilding and expanding the property started at that very moment and in 1974 and 1975, the workforce had grown from 14 to 28 workers.

More extensions followed between 1981 and 1992.

By this time the number of staff had grown drastically to almost 350 while the bed capacity increased to 570.

Ten years later, it was time for another refurbishment and therefore, in January of 2003, Amir took a very bold step to re-invest over 400 million Kenya shillings in a major project whose objective was to face-lift the general outlook of the hotel and add more value to it.

This was successfully achieved as confirmed by the Hotels and Restaurants Authority who assessed and approved the Hotel's elevation from four-star status to the highly coveted and prestigious five-star.

The newly refurbished Sun N Sand was officially opened by H. E. The President of the Republic of Kenya - Hon. Mwai Kibaki on December 29, 2004.

Today, sitting on approximately eighteen acres of land along the famous Kikambala beach, 28 kilometres north of the main Mombasa Island, the five-star Sun N Sand Beach Resort has a capacity of 600 beds and a work force of 450 staff.

At that time when many investors were leaving Kenya, Amir, with his courage and boldness, he stayed behind to build what has turned out to be a leading and highly respected hotel outfit.

Amir was a true humanitarian - he used the business to achieve tons of social good, whether at a small individual one on one level to the many people he employed, benefiting thousands of families locally each year, directly or indirectly, or to his very generous support of local and international institutions over the decades.

His was indeed a true example of a very interesting and praise worthy mix of business and philanthropy.

As the Founder and Chairman, Amir ensured that Sun N Sand Beach Resort continued to be a living example of private sector participation in social development to the Hotel staff and the neighbouring community at large.

Over the years, Sun N Sand Beach Resort has continued to sponsor directly and in-directly various community development projects geared towards the improvement of living standards in the community (of approximately 20,000 people) residing around Kikambala area.

In a bid to curb contraction of water-borne diseases while ensuring that water is no longer a rare commodity - Sun N Sand started providing free potable municipal water to the Kikambala community.

To improve early childhood development - Sun N Sand built a nursery school for the Kikambala community.

To protect the rights of children - Sun N Sand and UNICEF signed a memorandum of understanding to protect children from various abusive practices in the tourism industry particularly commercial sexual exploitation of children.

In order to ensure that health-care is readily available - Sun N Sand inaugurated a community health centre while at the same time facilitated the training of community members in basic primary health care.

Sun N Sand has engaged community members in numerous income generating activities.

To improve the well-being of a local government primary school - Sun N Sand, through the generosity of our hotel customers, continues to give donations in both cash and kind.

Through the efforts of Sun N Sand, E-School learning was commissioned at the Kikambala Primary School keeping on record as being the first one in a primary School on the Continent of Africa which was officially opened by H. E. The President of the Republic of Kenya - Hon. Mwai Kibaki.

Amir believed strongly that Profit alone is not the measure of a successful business but the impact the business has on the lives of the community around should be the underlying premise of a business.

His deep religious convictions and the time he always made for his faith was remarkable and although we have physically lost Amir, his work and legacy will continue to live on and inspire others to emulate what he started.

We pray that Almighty accept his soul in his abode and rest it in eternal peace ... amen.

 

.

 

Copyright '96, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, 07, 08, 2009.
Coastweek Newspapers Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Comments and questions: coastwk@africaonline.co.ke

.