Coming Full Circle.
Jitu was a hard worker for many organisations across Uganda. He not only enjoyed his working life but also made the most of Uganda’s weather, food and culture. Overall, it was a fulfilling lifestyle that, at forty years of age, he wasn’t prepared to lose.
Jitu struggled to accept that he would indeed lose it following Idi Amin’s announcement of Ugandan Asian expulsion. Like many others, he initially thought it simply couldn’t have been true. But the harsh reality did eventually set in, and Jitu immediately sent his family to safety in India.
With a bit of help, Jitu also managed to escape, albeit narrowly, the chaos into which Uganda had suddenly erupted, and flew to the UK to begin a new life. There, now living in a camp, he was pleased to encounter kindness and calmer conditions, although the country would still take some getting used to.
Adapting was challenging, but his life gradually started to improve from there. Driven by his goal of being able to bring his family to the UK to be with him, Jitu hopped between a range of jobs, much like he did back in Uganda. And after countless struggles, he was finally able to buy a house of his own and move in with his family.
Below is an extract from Jitu’s gratifying story.
“I hired a taxi with a few others and we made our way to Kampala where we would be catching a government bus used for bringing Asians to the airport in Entebbe. There were military personnel everywhere, which heightened our tension. There were many checkpoints at which they would stop cars at random and instruct the passengers to get out of their vehicles while they searched them for valuables like gold and money. Our driver—a local Ugandan—was kind enough to warn us that there could be such trouble on the way and told us to give him some bribe money. He left it on the front seat so that if we got stopped we wouldn’t be detained. And indeed, at one point we were stopped by soldiers holding guns and told to step out of the taxi with our hands behind our heads, including our driver. One solider looked into the car and swiftly told us to get moving. When we got back into the car, we noticed the money was gone. Our driver’s foresight had saved us.”
We will be releasing contributors’ full stories at a later date, so please stay tuned for them. If you would like to read a full story now, then please see the first five stories posted here on our website.
This is a project by AFFCAD UK to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the exodus of Ugandan Asians, by collating and archiving the stories of those involved. If you would like to contribute a story, do get in touch here.