Mansoor Ladha’s ‘Memoirs of a Muhindi’ successfully launched in Calgary


‘Memoirs of a Muhindi’ successfully launched in Calgary

Journalist, travel writer & author Mansoor Ladha had a successful book launch of his recent book — Memoirs of a Muhindi: Fleeing East Africa for the West — in Calgary recently attended by a packed diverse crowd of friends, book enthusiasts, and well-wishers.

The book launch was outstandingly emceed by former MLA Shiraz Shariff and was highly endorsed by university professor Rafik Kurji who found the book so interesting that he finished it in one day! The engaging audience asked many questions relating to nationalization and the journey to Canada, including how to share the immigrant’s journey with the youth. Mansoor’s presentation included interesting excerpts from his book and he provided the background behind the stories.


Professor Rafik Kurji (right), Assiatant Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Accounting & Finance at Mount Royal University enjoyed Memoirs of a Muhindi so much that he finished it in a day, shares a lighter moment while MC Shiraz Shariff (left) and Mansoor Ladha watch.


Above: VIP Line-up – Mansoor Ladha (center) pictured with MLA for Chestermere-Rockeyyiew, Leela Aheer and the first Ismaili MLA in Alberta, former MLA Shiraz Shariff.


Memoirs of a Muhindi is a story of a descendant of immigrants, brown in colour, living in a black society (Tanzania), who later became a brown immigrant living in a white society (Canada). The book sheds light on the experiences felt by immigrants, the challenges of cross-cultural differences, the hurt of discrimination, and other hardships of displacement. Many of us have gone through this and our stories have similar journeys.

When Ugandan president Idi Amin expelled people of Asian descent from the country in 1972, he unleashed an intolerance that set off an exodus from the entire region. In bordering countries of Tanzania and Kenya, businesses were nationalized, properties confiscated, people harassed and livelihoods upended.


A prominent family doctor, Dr. Nizar Kassam, gets his book signed by the author.


The author pictured with his wife, Anaar and son Hanif.

Mansoor Ladha, who was living in Nairobi at the time, had to decide whether to stay or go. Canada became his new home – where he found considerable success, as did the rest of the Ismaili community – while East Africa’s fit of bigotry only left it behind.

Memoirs of a Muhindi, which has been widely acclaimed, has been endorsed by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who described it as “a valuable voice.”

He said: “Mansoor Ladha adds vivid detail to his personal story while colouring in the lines of the family stories of many Canadian.”


Above: The book launch also provided a good opportunity for informal discussion. Dr. Richard Sigurdson, (center), Dean of Faculty of Arts and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, discusses with the author and his son.


Top & bottom: A cross-section of the attentive crowd that attended the Calgary book launch.


Mansoor, who has held senior editorial positions with newspapers in Canada, Tanzania and Kenya, had the distinction of being the only weekly newspaper owner of colour in Canada for several years. Now retired, he has freelanced as a columnist and travel writer for several leading western Canadian newspapers

An award-winning journalist, he was chosen Citizen of the Year by residents of Morinville, received the Silver Quill Award by the Alberta Newspaper Association for distinguished service to newspapers and bestowed an award for volunteerism by the Governor General of Canada.

He has also published A Portrait in Pluralism: Aga Khan’s Shia Ismaili Muslims.

Memoirs of a Muhindi: Fleeing East Africa for the West is available, Chapters/Indigo, Costco and local book stores. Signed copies from

(All book launch pictures courtesy of Mohamed Ladha of Treasured Images.)

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

3 thoughts

  1. Hi – I just finished reading this excellent book. It captures the issues and problems of pre and post independent East Africa, during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, for the Asian and Ismaili communities very vividly.

    I especially liked the anecdote about the ultimate compliment that the late President Nyerere of Tanzania, gave Mr Ladha, in his University student days, that because of the way he spoke Swahili, he was a real MuAfrican and not a MuHindi!!.

    I guess he is now a MuCanadian, like so many thousands of the Ismaili and other Asian communities, who had to migrate Out of Africa to Canada, because of the many issues and problems outlined in this book.


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