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With Rishi Sunak, another Obama moment in East Africa

The new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is African. Not birth, but his roots, which historians can trace back to East Africa.

Sunak’s father, Ashevir Sunak, was born and raised in the Kenyan colony, while his mother, Usha Sunak, was born in mainland Tanzania, then called Tanganyi Ka. They immigrated to the UK with their families from East Africa in the 1960s. His grandparents were born in Punjab, India.

According to the London historian Levin Opio, Sunak’s grandfather, Ram Das, had a relationship with Suhag Rani in the 1930s. ), and started making plans to immigrate to Kenya at a time when the colonial government needed skilled workers in a country where most Africans had no formal education.

“As the government strives to address the situation by encouraging Africans to attend mission schools , it seeks a temporary solution – encouraging skilled Indians to immigrate to Kenya to fill vacancies,” Opio wrote. Indians later dominated Kenya’s middle class, and by the end of World War I their numbers rose to 150,000.

Sunak’s grandfather sails to East Africa in search of new opportunities

Das , Opio wrote, bought a one-way ticket to Kenya and boarded a boat bound for Mombasa. Afterwards, he took the train to Nairobi, more than 400 kilometers away, where he started to do odd jobs while studying accounting.

“Soon he found a job as a clerk in the office of the chief secretary in Nairobi. Two years later, in 1937, as soon as he settled down, Das invited his His wife joined him in Nairobi. They were fortunate to have six children, three girls and three boys. One of the boys was Yashvir (Sunak’s father),” Opiyo wrote.

When Yashvir’s sisters went to India for further studies, he and his male siblings were sent to England. Yashvir started his O-level studies in Liverpool in 1966, before “going on to practice medicine and graduating in 1974” and becoming a general practitioner.

Sunak’s mother, Usha, was born in Tanzania in 1972, “a tax officer from Punjab” and graduated from Aston University with a degree in pharmacy Bachelor of Science. “The two were introduced by a friend and married in Leicester in 1977. They were fortunate enough to have three children, including the new British Prime Minister Sunak,” Opio wrote. Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980.

Another moment for Obama

When he When Prime Minister on October 25th, some citizens of Kenya and Tanzania, especially citizens of Indian origin, took over British top politics for someone who saw a parent born and raised in their territory. Position. They want him to strengthen foreign relations and advocate for minorities, but this optimism should be tempered by the fact that he is a member of the Conservative Party whose policies are not always favored these groups. Enthusiasm remains.

“This is another Obama moment for us. We are proud to see him bring Britain’s crumbling ship back to stability,” Kisumu-based Fish Dealer Julia Onyango told Quartz. However, none of Sunak’s relatives currently live in Kenya.

Facebook user Abdi Yufuf wondered , “So Kenya is where the Jordan River world leaders should cross to the Promised Land ?”

Patel Suri, an Indian-Tanzania investor based in Dar es Salaam, told Quartz, “Indians are smart people. You will find them globally CEO of many large tech companies. Rishi Sunak is no exception. At this point of political and economic challenges, he is smart and the right choice for prime minister.”



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