Mustafe Memishi was born in Macedonia, and Sanije was born in Albania but was exiled to Kosovo. They migrated to Australia in 1964 and 1967, respectively, although they did not know each other at this time. They met in Melbourne and married in 1969 and had four daughters. In 1997 the family made an emotional journey back to Albania after the end of the communist regime.

During this visit the couple's daughters, Esmine and Lirije, purchased a traditional Albanian folk costume, which represents the long and rich heritage of the family's homeland and was a self conscious act of taking a tangible part of their cultural heritage back to Australia. The Memishi daughters wore the costume to the Albanian Festival at Footscray Park up until the mid 2000s.

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