This picture book will take you through a journey starting in the beginning of the 20th Century into the present time. India was under the British rule and Kenya was part of the East African Protectorate, considered to be part of British India. The colonial govrnment had started the building of the Kenyan-Ugandan Railway line since 1895.
This was supposed to assist the white settlers in improving accessibility to remote areas, develop their commercial enterprises and reduce slave trade. To make this possible Indians were recruited to provide cheap labour for the building of the rail way across the still being explored mountains and forests of the dark continent. The Indians tantalised by better prospects came in thousands looking for opportuniies for a prosperous life.
Little did they know that they would have to give their sweat and blood for the project to materialise. They would have to live under harsh conditions, be victims of deadly diseases, fall prey to racial discrimination and be the food of the man eaters, the lions of Tsavo. But the attraction of a new world was too great for the adventurous and brave Indians who started coming to East Africa as traders, shop keepers,merchants, tailors, barbers, priests and labourers in the Railway sector.
I pay tribute to all those 'heroes' who came to East Africa at that time and helped in changing the face and the history of the African continent.My grand father, Mohamed Ali Lone, was one of them.
A pure Kashmiri by descent, born in Jammu in 1900, m arried at a very tender age to my grand mother, Hussein Bibi, he soon was the father of a boy named Sharif and a daughter, Sakina. He was known for his good looks, integrity, politeness and a hard working personality. Being ambitious and adventurous, he procured a job as a 'fitter' with the East African Railways. India was still under the British Empire at that time and Kenya was also part of the colonial rule. Mohamed Ali with his young family embarked on a ship from Bombay to Mombasa and started his tumultous but prosperous life in East Africa where his future five generations were to live, struggle and survive!
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