Community Is The Key.
Pyar, like his father before him, lived in the modest settlement of Kaberamaido, Uganda. There he ran a shop with his father and started a family of his own. Between his calm working conditions and varied leisure time playing sports and picnicking by lakes, Pyar felt content with the fulfilling Ugandan life he had built.
At 34 years of age Pyar was unprepared for the sudden announcement that all Ugandan Asians had to leave the country. Nevertheless, after some unfavourable incidents involving citizenship and the Ugandan police, Pyar and his family managed to escape to the UK.
Thankfully they were met with kindness which balanced the new and unfamiliar cold climate. With help from camp volunteers and family, Pyar was able to secure housing and work. There were challenges along the way, but he and his family did manage to settle into a happy life in the UK.
Below is an extract from Pyar’s gripping story.
“Before we escaped town some officials took me to the police station. I asked them on what charge they’d done so, but I already knew that there was no charge—this was a way for the police to extort money from us. They made up a charge, I gave them what they wanted, and they released me.
Thankfully we didn’t encounter any more trouble in our town. Our shop stayed open and we tried to sell as much stock as we could, albeit cheaply. Time was of the essence. I also recall many people posting luggage, and buses carrying it away. Much luggage never ended up reaching its proper destination—it was lost along the way or stolen.
I still remember the day we said goodbye to our home and our shop. I gave the keys to my cousin because he hadn’t left yet. But eventually the locals took charge of it all.”
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.