Amina Gunduwala, One of SA’s & Lenasia’s Oldest Resident Passes Away at 100-Years Old

Amina with her children, Samad, Abdul Rahman and Ayesha. Pic: Supplied

South Africa and Lenasia has lost one of its most honourable, humble and oldest citizens, Amina Gunduwala. 

Amina passed away at the age 100-years-old in Lenasia on Friday. 

Born in India on 25 June 1921, Amina hailed from Samrod village and got married to Ahmed Gunduwala in Lajpor, India. 

Amina emigrated from India by ship for Mozambique in 1948 with her husband Ahmed and her three children, Muhammad, Abdul Rahman and Ayesha who was just six-months old. 

The journey from India took a toll on Amina’s health who became very ill during the long voyage which could last up six months. 

Amina and Ahmed had a fourth son Samad who was born in South Africa. 

She later moved from Mozambique to Ottosdal, the former Western Transvaal and ran a cafe where she used to fry fish and roast peanuts. 

Even though Amina had no formal education and training, she had the aptitude and the ability to manage finances, customer service and even stock management. 

Apartheid had a devastating impact on Amina, forcing her to send her children to board with families and attend schools in Schweizer Reneke and subsequently Brits. 

Amina left Ottosdal around 1975 or 1976 and came to Lenasia, one of the suburbs allocated to Indian people by the apartheid regime. 

Granddaughter Rehana Moosajee said Amina was admired by all for her hard work from the fields of India to the table assisting to make Samoosa’s  at her daughter Ayesha’s home industry business. 

“She was known for her spectacular sense of style and being immaculate in every aspect of home-making. Ma had green fingers and loved gardening and would cook the fresh vegetables from her garden. Perhaps, the biggest inspiration was Ma’s love, care and hospitality for each person who visited.” 

Amina had six grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren all of whom she showered with much love and attention.

Moosajee said Amina will always be an inspiration to everyone she met, for her courage, fortitude and wisdom that went beyond education.

Amina was laid to rest the at Avalon Cemetery in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Friday.

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