Author: Boeta Moosa Patel (Snr)
The Anter family was a very large family in the early part of the twentieth century. Esa Anter was married to Saadia. Their children were Nynie, Sulaiman (Goc), Achmat, Dout and Laama. Manie and his wife, Fatima, had many children. They were Sariefdien, Raieda, Zeitoen, Zainuniesa, Fatima and Abduraghmaan. Only Fatima is still resident in Paarl, while Zainuniesa (Jaynie) Mohammed is resident in Port Elizabeth. It was actually the same Zainuniesa, who supplied me with many names of her family, when I spoke to her in Johannesburg. Incidently, she was married to my nephew, the late Achmat Mohamed. Sulaiman and his wife, Kubera, were the parents of Ebrahim, Zurina and Toyer. After Sulaiman passed away, Kubera married Fakier Richards. More about the Richards family will follow later.
The Abrahams couple, Mogamat and Gabeba (nee Anter), had ten children altogether. The eldest daughter was Fatima. She married Usman Maymen from Cape Town. Their offspring included Asma (Esme), Yusuf (Joey), Asa, Umar (Maartjie), Gabieb and Gabieba. The eldest daughter, Esme, married Imam Naaim Moerat and is the mother of Nooruruddah and Sheikh Mogammad Moerat. Imaam Naaim, of course is the son of the late Imam “Gammie” Moerat and Hadja Sietie (of whom we’ll mention more later on). The eldest son of the Abrahams couple was Umar, who married Auntie Myla. The other children were Mogammad (Bellie), Amiena (who died at a young age), Esa (who married Auntie Mariam, a sister of Auntie Myla), Mansoer (who died at the age of 10), Rugaya, Saaid (Aitjie, who married Jamiela “Sielie”), Abu Bakr (Tokka) and the youngest was Hassiem, who was the last of this clan to pass away. Hassiem married Rushniyyah and gave some of his children the names of his brothers and sisters, such as Amiena and Mansoer. Aitjie, Tokka and Hassiem would each walk around with a basket of koeksisters and a fork on Sunday mornings, selling koeksisters to the residents of the Ou Tuin area.
In June 1933, Auntie Myla gave birth to her daughter. The beautiful girl was named Fatima, after Auntie Myla’s mother, as well as Boeta Umar’s eldest sister. However, because she was born in June, everybody started calling her “June” (a name that sticks until today). It was, incidently, at the residence of June, in Athlone, that I interviewed Auntie Myla. Late in 1936, Auntie Myla accompanied her husband on the holy pilgrimage to Makkah. There was no hajj air travel in those days. They had to travel by boat, a journey that would take no less than six months. June stayed behind with her grandparents, Hadjie Achmat and Hadja Fatima Moerat (Boeya and Oemmie). She was only three years old, not realising that she would never see her father ever again.
The late Hadjie Umar was regarded as not only a very handsome young man in Paarl, but he was also exceptionally learned in the Qur’an and Islam. He carried out the duty of khaliefa to younger boys and girls. Two of his Qur’anic pupils were the late Isghak and Yusuf Latief, the eldest sons of the school principal, Hadjie Aziz Latief. Hadjie Umar and Auntie Myla were, therefore, the perfect couple, because she simply loved the Qur’an. All the people spoke highly of Hadjie Umar’s character. He was a very humble and respectful man. He would not pass any adult, Muslim or Christian, without a greeting and a kind word. It, therefore, came as quite a shock to Paarlites, when they were informed that the good young man passed away in Makkah. He attracted pneumonia and died in Makkah as a result. He was, subsequently, buried at the holy grounds of Jannatul Mu’alla, the cemetery of Makkah. Auntie Myla had to return all alone to Paarl in 1937, because they were the only pilgrims from Paarl, who undertook the journey in that year.
Auntie Myla was only 27 at the time of her return to her 3 year-old daughter and parents in Paarl. A few years later she married a fish dealer from Wynberg, Hadjie Achmat Mohammed. This man, incidently, was the stepson of Hadjie Ebrahim “Fisher” Mohammed, who was married to Auntie Myla’s sister, Hadja Gadija (Auntie Poppie), after he lost his first wife. Auntie Myla and Hadjie Achmat had only one child, a son named Ebrahim, who presently lives in Wynberg.
The late Mogamat (Boeta Bellie) married Sis Rachmat and they had many children. They were Salaama, Mogamat Salie, Gadija, Ismail, Gabeba. Iederies, Gamza, Jaynab, and Moosa. Most of these children have passed on. The late Boeta Esa married Auntie Mariam and their offspring were Heshaam, Achmat (Broertjie), Soudah, the late Aakiel, the late Taarieq and Naaiela.