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stories and histories SAKKAR SACRANIE

The founder of Central High School in Blantyre, and her early contribution to women empowerment in Malawi

Sakkar Sacranie was born in Dar es Salaam in 1924. When she completed her primary school in Tanganyika, she went to India where she did her secondary school.

After her Cambridge examination she went to a University in India where she graduated with a Bachelor degree in Economics in 1947.

It was that same year she met Sattar Sacranie of Nyasaland and they got married.

Abdul Sattar Sacranie was born in Nyasaland. A lawyer by profession. Sattar Sacranie was more involved in African politics that he wanted to be first president of Nyasaland African Congress in 1944.
His close friend Levi Mumba became the first president instead.

Sattar was arrested in 1950 serving a Member of the Legislative Council (Legco) for pushing the interests of the Africans.

He later became the President of the Nyasaland Asian Convention Party. Sattar Sacranie dissolved his political grouping and opted to support Dr Banda and Malawi Congress Party at Lancaster Constitution Talks he attended in 1961.

Sattar was supposed to stand for Soche constitueny in the 1961 General Elections but Dr Banda asked him to pave way for Colin Cameron, another lawyer who fought for the Africans.

Sattar became the first Mayor of Blantyre after independence in 1964.

After independence Sattar's wife, Sakkar saw that there was a shortage of International Secondary Schools in Malawi. During the colonial days most students were sent to Southern Rhodesia for Secondary School education.

Sakkar Sacranie came up with the idea to open the Central High School in Blantyre. She went to Dr Banda who gave her the permission to open the school which was opened in 1966.

Before she built the school buildings, classes were being conducted in country clubs. She opened the Mount View Primary School in 1968. Her vision was to make her schools the first multi racial schools in Malawi.

Sakkar Sacran ie was one of the pioneers of women empowerment in Nyasaland and early Malawi. She assisted a lot of African women in establishing businesses. She also helped African girls with school fees to emprove women education in Malawi.

Because of her efforts in African women empowerment in Malawi, she was elected vice chairperson of Chitukuko cha Amai m'Malawi (CCAM) which was formed in 1985.

It was during her time that CCAM taught women how to run businesses, cook and local Malawian fashion. She established restaurants, tailoring shops and retail shops for the women during her leadership of CCAM.

Sakkar Sacranie was also the pioneer of fashion shows in Malawi which she organised with African women. She was disappointed when CCAM was disbanded.

Sakkar Sacranie was also one of the board governors of Macoha (Malawi Council for the Handicapped). She used her influence to raise funding for Macoha for years.

Towards independence in 1960s, it was at Sattar Sacranie's house that Willie Chokani, Orton Chirwa et al., used to spend most of their evenings discussing politics.

Sakkar Sacranie left a lasting legacy in Malawi especially with her schools, Central High Seconday School and Mount View Primary School.

Some of the great football players in Malawi to have been taught at Sakkar's Central High are; Ernest Mtawali, Harry Waya, Lovemore Chafunya, Holman Green Malunga, Kennedy Green Malunga, Chance Vinnie Gondwe and others.


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