Author: George Delf.
Delf, George. 1963. Asians in East Africa. LONDON NEW YORK NAIROBI: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.
For the twenty million people of East Africa the 1960s will mark the first challenging experience of full membership of the United Nations. After thousands of years of tribalism, with its static disciplines and short frontiers, came the sharp shock of colonialism. For a while the flood of new experience swept over these countries with little opposition or question. The source of power was with the white man. But it is not only the trees and plants which grow fast in this part of the world. Colonial rule had barely passed the half-century mark when it became redundant. Grasping a new range of knowledge with renewed vitality, the African people have learnt to assert their will. It is the dramatic resurgence of self-confidence which must astound the outsider, and it is the lust for self-expression which now dominates the character of these lands.
It is within this explosive situation that 300,000 Asians have had to shape their lives. With few exceptions they foresaw as little of today's pattern as did those who held the reins of power in London. Only ten years ago there were many who counted on another century of white rule. Even in the mid-fifties few had realised that the water had already begun to spill over the dam wall. Today, on the brink of African independence, the immigrant communities are bewildered and apprehensive. The pattern of their thinking has been destroyed and they have little time to adjust themselves to a new and complex reality. Economically, politically and socially the immediate future will be difficult. Most of the Europeans, but not all, could leave Africa without great hardship. For most Asians, many of whom have never been outside Africa, a move to India or Pakistan would mean a desperate struggle for survival in countries already overpopulated.