Great-gran was once a butcher

2011-08-01 00:00

IT’S rare, even these days, to find a woman working among the carcasses of meat in a butcher.

Ameena Fareed, who turned 89 recently at her Ohrtmann Road home, worked as a block-woman many years ago, alongside her husband in their butchery. She was given a rousing birthday party by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a host of relatives and friends.

Without any prejudice, the older generation of Indian men were a little orthodox in some cases, and believed that the place for their women was among the pots and pans in the kitchen, cooking up a good meal for their hard-working family, and tending to the household chores. But this was not to be with Ameena Fareed.

She arrived in Pietermaritzbug in the fifties when her husband, Sheik Fareed, moved to the city to manage the famous Pietermaritzburg Mutton ­Market in Pietermaritz Street. At the time, well-known photographer Denis Bhagwan, who ran a chain of photographic studios known as Crown Studios, tried his hand in the butchery business with Fareed.

This was a unique butchery, catering exclusively for a section of the community that did not eat beef.

Its popularity was measured by the crowds that filled the shop from as early as 4.30 am.

Ameena’s father, Hajee Elahie Bux, immigrated to this country when he was 11 years old, accompanied by his father, who died while en route to South Africa, and had to be buried at sea.The little boy was taken care of by passengers who knew his father, until the famous Rajab family of Durban “adopted” him.

As a young man, under the guidance of the Rajabs, who came from the same village in India as the Bux family, the young Bux achieved a lot. One of the turning points in his life was when he successfully launched Victory Minerals Works in May Street, Durban, a landmark that lots of Durban residents will recall.

Bux later married Sheriffa Shafera, and they had a daughter and two sons. The daughter, Ameena, was the youngest in the family, and when she turned 15 years old she was married to Sheik Fareed in an arranged marriage. Fareed came from a family of butchers, starting his first business in Westville. The Fareed family moved to Pietermaritzburg, and had nine children.

Around 1977, Fareed built his own home in Mountain Rise, and ten years later he died. Ameena took over the business and supported her family, nearly all of whom went through the “butchery”. Their oldest daughter, Gori, opened her own butchery in ­Allandale at one time.

Ameena, a sprightly 89-year-old, is a remarkable woman who still chooses to cook for her family and tend an ever-green garden, pulling out the weeds or supervising the gardener when he mows the lawn.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.