Three Continents, Three Generations



Radio producer Neil Kanwal traces the history of Kenyan Asian migration to Britain, a path followed by his own father's family across three continents and three generations.

In 1896 the British sent thousands of indentured labourers from India to Kenya, to build the Uganda Railway from Mombasa on Kenya's coast to Lake Victoria in Uganda. It was a remarkable feat of engineering and initiated a growing Asian presence in the country. Travelling on the same railroad today, Neil examines how the community prospered over the following decades.

Professor Yash Ghai shares memories of his formative years in the segregated society of colonial Kenya, whilst back at the British Library the presenter studies the records of the India Office to find out more about the challenges they faced.

During the sixties and seventies, facing uncertainty in a new, independent Kenya many utilised their link with Britain to settle in the UK, causing alarm amongst the government and public. From adjusting to British life, to the affect of migration on their identity, the programme concludes with the experiences of some of the 100,000 Kenyan Asians who made Britain their new home.

In this documentary the presenter embarks on a personal exploration of the unique experiences, culture and movements of Kenyan Asians, in a story of Empire, identity, discrimination and migration.

Producer: Heather Davies

A BlokMedia production for BBC Radio 4.