Forty years have passed since we Ugandan Asians were banished from our lush homeland by President Idi Amin. In the autumn of 1972, more than 28,000 deportees, dazed and bereft, arrived in the UK. They left behind homes, businesses, insurance policies, bank accounts, land, deeds, shrines, graves, mosques, temples, churches, jewellery and many their hearts. They were British passport holders. Those without went to Canada, Scandinavia, the US, India and Australia.
Some fell apart. My father-in-law starved slowly to death. When I tried to feed him he turned away, complained it didn’t taste like food in Uganda. One friend had a breakdown and was sectioned. Ugandan-born Zarina Bhimji, the Turner Prize-shortlisted artist, creates haunting photographic images of that loss of place and identity, the stolen possibilities.
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