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Community mourns loss of Bhana Daya

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Bhana will be remembered as a modest and driven person who would never turn anyone away

Bhana Daya

WELL-KNOWN local businessman and prominent member of Kimberley’s Hindu community, Bhana Daya, has died at the age of 81.

Born in 1936, the owner of Numain Cash & Carry was exposed to the retail industry at an early age when his parents opened a cafe in the Diamond City.

This weekend his younger brother and business partner, Dhiru, described Bhana as a modest and driven person who would never turn away anyone in need.

While there was only a gap of two years between the two, Dhiru recalled how Bhana had played a significant part in his upbringing after their father died before the birth of his second son, the youngest of three children.

“As children, we had a small cafe in Kimberley,” said Dhiru. “After my father died, my mother, who had grown up in India before immigrating to South Africa, decided to run the shop despite not being able to speak English or Afrikaans.

“My brother went to William Pescod High School where he completed his Standard 8 (Grade 10), before leaving school to help with the family business.”

Dhiru said that his brother had a flair for the industry and used his various talents to ensure prosperity for his family.

“He was a really talented carpenter and had a vision for the cafe,” Dhiru recollected. “When he decided to do the shop’s fittings himself, the results were incredible and people were very impressed with the quality of his work.

“He later decided to make the move from retail to wholesale and Numain Cash & Carry was opened.”

Over the course of the next half century, the brothers worked side-by-side. As a stickler for detail, Bhana fulfilled most of the businesses’ administrative duties.

“Numain celebrated its 50th anniversary in June and Bhana dedicated more than five decades of his life to this business,” added Dhiru. “Throughout this time, my brother ran the administrative side of the wholesaler superbly.

“He was a quiet, humble person but could also be quite stubborn.

“Bhana had a very kind heart and was always willing to help our employees and the community in general wherever he could.

“Apart from the shop, he was also very active with the Hindu Temple and was a pillar of the community. He would also often host swarmies at his home when they visited Kimberley.

“I will also always remember him as a man who was passionate about physical fitness, an active cyclist who enjoyed weight training and an avid yoga practitioner.”

Bhana is survived by his wife, Chanchand.