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November 15, 2018

Tailor of Kenyatta’s trademark jacket dies

The late Parmar Dhanji with Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui during this year's  Madaraka Day celebrations at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
The late Parmar Dhanji with Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui during this year's Madaraka Day celebrations at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

The man who made the trademark Kudu leather for President Jomo Kenyatta in 1968 has died.

Dhanji Liladhar Parmar (pictured) died yesterday morning aged 82.

Shailesh Kumar, the former Lions Club chairman, said Parmar was the first Asian in Kenya to receive a Head of State Commendation. He suffered a heart attack.

Kenyatta’s successor, former President Moi, awarded Parmar Head of State Commendation in 1995 for his philanthropy.

Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui yesterday said the trademark brown jacket worn by Kenyatta was made by Parmar.

In 1968, Kenyatta asked Parmar to make him a jacket of the hide of a Kudu, a spiral-horned antelope in the

African savannah.

In early 1968, then in his 20s, Pamar was a little-known tailor operating from his father’s shop on Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru town. He specialised in making jackets, belts, handbags and other accessories out of sheepskin.

Born on August 7, 1936, Parmar has never missed a national event for the past 50 years. He was also involved in community charity projects. “His tailoring skills won the heart of the then President. He will be remembered for attending all national days celebrations,” the governor said.

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