On 1st September 2021, Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) through its Vice Chancellor Prof. Laila Abubakar received a 42-year-old archive collection of the Coast Week newspaper from Mr. Shiraz D. Alibhai at the university library.
This priceless collection of one of the first newspaper in the country can be traced back as from 1978 – 2018 consisting of 52 publication per year concentrating on matters affecting the coast region such as shipping, tourism, entertainment, and many more.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony of the heritage, the founder of the Coast-Week newspaper, Mr. Alibhai said “I am convinced that it is the right thing and place, to hand over the story of my life, my heritage, my legacy.” He emotionally requested the Vice Chancellor, librarian and the whole TUM fraternity “to take good care of his baby’’.
The ecstatic VC appreciated the gesture by affirming the sentiments of Mr. Alibhai that the archive collection came at the right time and to the right place. It will play a major role in the media, printing and design students’ training and education. With regards to the evaluation and understanding of historical lifestyle and events of coastal line of Kenya. Challenging them to come up with thesis and academic projects on the same.
The bold move from Mr. Shiraz attributed to the history, friendship and memories he has with the institution from back then, when it was still Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education (MIOME) as it transitioned to date. He outrightly terms TUM as home, being a ‘Tudor Boy’ and having studied Accountancy in TUM in 1969.
The collective hope of the donors and TUM management will establish a professional digitizing center which will aid its preservation, and create a digital presence of the archives. It will improve the accessibility of the archives to all and sundry especially for research purposes even as it’s housed at TUM.
“The challenge of digitization, smart phones and social media is what led to the end of the Coast Weekly publication.” says Mr. Alibhai.
Arch. Taibali Hamzali, Chairman, Friends of Forte Jesus mentioned the intent to bring the photography collection of the Coast-Week Newspaper, once the digitization facility is up and running for better preservation, mounting and presentation. The photography archive, he says contains about 5-8 thousand pictures currently housed at the Fort Jesus Museum.
The guest of the hour and honour encouraged the TUM fraternity to take very good care of the
Coast-Week archive collection as it plays a significant role not only now but for generations to come.