People of Old Town: Cutchi Muslims

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The Cutchi Muslims are the most integrated Asian group in Mombasa. The extent of thier integration is reflected in the fact that a number of their offspring of thier mixed marriages have produced men and women of talent who have become prominent in national life. One Badala family, the #Bhalo family, has produced famous swahili poets, musicians, and men of religion.
Ahmad Nassir Juma Bhalo is the most famous Kenya Swahili poet, whereas the late Muhammad Khamis Juma Bhalo was a popular taarab singer. Sheikh Abdillahi Nassir Juma Bhalo is a one-time member of the legislative council and was in the Kenya delegation to the Constitutional Conference at Lancaster House, London. The then ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran,  the late Mr.Salim Juma also belonged to the Bhalo family.
Although the Cutchi Muslims are the earliest immigrants, they do not carry as much economic clout as other Asian Muslim groups. Apart from a few community halls and mosques, they have never made inroads to the commercial or economic spheres.  (See Islam in Kenya. Proceedings of the National Seminar on Contemporary Islam in Kenya, pg 57 Mewa publications 1995)
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