Abduhl Sheikh

Born: 10th March 1942

Nairobi, Kenya

Date of interview: 24th May 2006

Map showing where Abduhl Sheikh came from

So then moving on to, you were saying you had to leave. How did this come about?

After independence, the Kenyan government decided in conjunction with advice from the British government that the civil service would be, what they called 'africanised'. It was run by ... The people from this country, the local Asians who were born and bred there and Africans. And all of a sudden Jomo Kenyatta decided that everybody must be replaced and everything must be taken over by the African. When I say African, I mean black in colour. Those were, I consider myself, being born over there, I considered myself as an African as well, but a lighter shade of pale so to speak. But in their eyes I was an Asian. So the British government gave assistance to all the whites who were there. They were called expatriates. So they got their compensation for losing their job and all that. They got assistance. They went straight back very, very quickly. because of the international pressure that the British government said enough is enough. As a result of this Africanisation programme and because nobody advised me at the time that I should, had to apply for a citizenship, a Kenyan citizenship. One would assume automatically that if you're born there you're automatically a citizen. My wife is still citizen of Kenya. I wasn't. Why, nobody can explain to me. Nobody told me. So one day I received a letter saying that you're not a Kenya citizenship, you are given six months notice to wind up and go and that was it. No use fighting or doing anything.