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British Ugandan Asians at 50

Highlighting the experience of British Ugandan Asians in and after 1972, and the many volunteers who helped them.


We have accumulated a collection of transcripts, from the interviews, etc, etc

Also, if you would like to read more transcripts of interviews with Ugandan Asians, please click here to read some wonderful stories collected by the charity AFFCAD UK.  

Sheena‘s Story

I was 22, recently arrived from Scotland, having just graduated (Business Studies and Economics) and in my first job as a College Lecturer, in North London Polytechnic/College in 1972 /73.  (I don’t think it exists any more)

One of my first classes was a group of adult students (mostly men as I remember), many of whom had recently arrived from Uganda. I think the course was a TOPS course (Government sponsored for adult retraining), and I remember they all seemed very old to me!

I was engaged to teach them business studies, accountancy, and Value Added Tax which had just been introduced.

What I understood about business then could have been written on a postage stamp and these wonderful people quickly recognised this and created their own curriculum for us – and in the process gave me a priceless education about what it meant to be a ‘self-starter entrepreneur’ running a business!

One of my favourite ‘students’ was a Mr Siddiqui – one of the oldest in the class. (He was probably in his 40s!). He was a real gentleman and as far as I was concerned, he knew everything. I learned quickly that experience matters more than theory.

For me it was a life-changing experience as I never forgot their kindness and patience (with me!). I eventually left education and some years later went into business on my own when I was able to put into practice the lessons I had learned from them.

Wonderful people. Wonderful memories.

Best wishes for a memorable 50th anniversary.