Lulu Buksh: a sad loss PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 December 2007 23:38
LULU BUKSH: A SAD LOSS

Let's forget about politics and remember Lulu Buksh; his life story takes us back to a time when Fiji could claim to be the way the world should be.


Fiji Times - 12/9/2007

Friends and family remember Lulu

Legendary radio personality Lulu Buksh died last week at the age of 81 following a short illness.

Lulu was born Mirza Namrud Buksh in Navua in 1925 and was the third of seven children to a Muslim father Mirza Salim Buksh and part European mother Sarah Florence Whippy.

His mother was originally from Wainunu, Savusavu. His daughter Jacqueline said her father was given the name "Lulu" by his grandmother because as a toddler he used to sleep all day and cry all night. Lulu is the Fijian word for owl. "He loved the name and has used it since," Jacqueline said.

Buksh who was described as a man of strong with a great sense of humour, was one of the first in Fiji to team up with another renowned former radio personality, Mere Lomaloma on the FM96 breakfast show.

They were the first duo to host a radio breakfast show in the country. One of the many people who worked with Lulu was Communications Fiji Limited managing director, William Parkinson who said that Lulu Buksh never grew old and it was evident when he did the Mere and Lulu Show on FM96 in the late 1980s and early 90's.

He also hosted a radio programme called "Through the eyes of the Lulu" and hosted ten television episodes of "Look Back with Lulu". Lulu Buksh, who was 85 years old, started his career as a Customs
officer in the 1940s where he worked for 28 years and pursued various business ventures after that.

In one of his last interviews, he said "I never worked for anyone in my life after that."

One of his most successful business ventures was Lulu Buksh Auctioneers and his eldest son from his second marriage, Steven has taken over the business. He also had a little restaurant at the Suva's
Defence Club and cooked and sold food at the Royal Suva Yacht Club.

He was later known for the "FM96 breakfast show with Mere and Lulu" during the 1990s. His former co-host Mere Lomaloma-Eliott said she would never forget the moment when she was told that she
would have to work with Lulu on the FM96 Breakfast Show. Lomaloma also said that they had a lot of arguments on air, and for those who remember the Mere and Lulu Show - there were a lot of
arguments, but that just brought them closer and the show even got better.

"He was a great colleague and I was indeed privileged to have worked with him. His sense of humour was his "lifeline". He would walk into a room and within seconds people would be laughing..that
was one of his many gifts.

Asked if Lulu had a serious nature, she said, "Of course he did, just look at him and all his children and that speaks volumes". "He loved each and every one of them. I remember asking him as to
when he will stop having children...he replied , "well Mere you definitely do not read your Bible the way I do...because if you did you would know that God said "Go out and multiply and not divide" and
that is exactly what I am doing!

But what Mere found irritating was Lulu's habit of always clearing his throat over and over again. "That used to really bug me. He also had to have chillies in everything he ate even fresh cucumber sandwich. He was very sensitive and very opinionated and at times I had a difficult time trying to work with that but as years went by we were able to better understand each other. Mere said she missed Lulu's jokes and smile when their show ended after a run of seven years. "He enjoyed reminiscing about the old days and also had a special way of imitating people on air..he did it well.

She said it was difficult to work with but as she observed him, she came to understand him. "Likewise he needed to know me better, we excelled in many different ways. The age difference was not a
problem at all. I am thankful for this one in a lifetime opportunity to work with a great man like Lulu Buksh.

"He was always genuine and witty. I also miss his famous dhal soup...this was a magical concoction...everything was thrown into that soup.....ha..ha."

Over the years Lulu had also become one of the best auctioneers in Fiji after a long broadcasting career with the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited and later FM96.He also created Lulu Buksh
Investments Limited and Lulu Buksh Mart Limited. As a young man, he spent most of his time in Navua and later moved to Suva to pursue a career as a customs officer. His youngest son Tyrone
Buksh said he was an outspoken person who was always full of humour.

"He was always entertaining people and making a joke." Tyrone said his father loved the feeling of being around his family, especially his three grandchildren. "He was a living history, never forgotten and will sadly be missed by all," he said.

Buksh first suffered a mild heart attack and mild stroke at his Delainavesi home in 2005 when he decided to give up his auctioning career. Former Fiji resident Floyd Robinson who now resides in New
Zealand paid tribute to Lulu adding that Fiji had lost another famous radio personality. He said Lulu made listening to radio stations informative and with his story-telling, he was able to take listeners on
a historical journey of not just Suva but Fiji.

"Apart from his humour, Lulu Buksh also had a pleasant voice. Famous radio personalities may leave us but their legacy lives on and the challenge is for existing personalities to keep up the good work,"
he said. His father Mirza was one of the first Fiji Indians to gain formal education in Fiji. His father was chosen as one of the representatives of the Indian community on a number of occasions
and helped form and supported a number of social and religious organisations and also served one term as a nominated member in the Legislative Council.

Lulu's father was one of the early group of Fiji Indians to acquire sufficient formal education to be employed in Government service, also interpreting for Indian labourers. In 1922 Mirza together with
Odin Ramrakha and Vishnu Deo helped the Raju Commission that made inquiries into the conditions of the Indian community in Fiji and was one of the founding members of the Indian Reform League, the first social and sporting organisation formed for Fiji Indians.

He was also a founding member of the Fiji Muslim League in 1926. The eldest child from Lulu's second marriage, Jacqueline said she missed her father calling her." He used to call me the most when he needed anything. I would usually tell him why don't you call one of the others, but he used to love calling me all the time," she said. Lulu said in an interview with "Fiji Living" last year that he lived all over the place, in Navua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, Tavua and then Suva. He had five children from his first marriage, Farida, Farouk, Lillian, Zara and Sean

He then married Sara Tupa and together they had five more children, Jacqueline, Sophie, Ethan, Tyron and Renee. Sara said their children wanted to record everything their father achieved and remembered. "But he always delayed it and then he got sick," she said. "At that stage he could not remember everything he used to." Lulu was known to have boasted that he had a child in every town, some even claim that he has 25 children.

Lulu was known to put his money where his mouth was and has contested the general elections since independence up until 2001. In that interview Lulu labelled the current political situation as a "load
of s.....".

Lutu said in that (ast interview, "I would like to be remembered as the Lulu Buksh of my younger days. Life was really exciting in those days."