The Birthday Gift.

Shilpa loved sports as a young girl living in Jinja, Uganda. For her tenth birthday, her father gave her the opportunity to visit London with her friend’s family. She was thrilled.

Before even reaching the UK, Shilpa enjoyed many new experiences. And upon reaching London, her trip continued to improve—she felt enthralled by the city. But it was the summer of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attacks, which she witnessed on TV.

Moreover, the announcement of Ugandan Asian expulsion coincided with her trip, and her family would have to flee to London themselves. But in her youthful innocence, she was simply excited at the prospect of remaining in London forever!

Below is an extract from Shilpa’s enchanting story.

“With the consent of the friend’s parents, my trip to London to watch the Olympics was confirmed. I’ll never forget the exhilaration I felt as a ten-year-old girl while watching my mother pack my bags for me. There was worry on her face, though, because I don’t think she wanted me to go; I’d never been abroad without my parents.

On the day my trip began, I put on a new frock that my mum had made for my journey. I then went to see my grandfather and receive his blessing; he wished me a safe and happy trip. I also gave our family’s German Shepherd, Caesar, a pat on the head. If only I’d known that I’d never see them both again.”

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.