Reactions to the Exhibitions

During the Kampala to Leicester Exhibition at New Walk Museum we provided comment books so that members of the public could leave feedback and their thoughts.

We were overwhelmed by the positive comments and reactions, below you can read a selection of them that were left by the visitors.

We are presenting them here as they were written in the book and offer our apologies if we have mis-read any names or spellings.

I was born in Arusha, Tanzania in 1949, then we moved to Uganda, Kampala in 1958, studied there in East Kololo Primary School then Pillies Secondary School, and then worked as electrician in Kampala. We visited in Uganda in June 2012, Kampala has changed a lot, we had a great time there. In 1972 we moved to Leicester


Amrat Godhania

This is good memory of Uganda. I am very proud of to see my family photos, the picture by Hathi Studi.


Pushpa Redia

A great and very interesting insight into a very important moment in Leicester’s history. Thank you to everyone who helped put it together and telling the story to a new generation.

Phil Hibble (Leicester, Western Park)


I was nine years old when my family arrived in England. Me, my mother, father and 2 brothers and 2 sisters all lived in the army barracks in Lincolnshire for 3 months before moving to Hawick in Scotland. We moved there with 4 other families and lived there for two years before moving to Leicester. We have all lived in Leicester since then and have made good lives for ourselves.

Taran Vaja


This exhibition looks very inviting. The literature is clear and concise and the different textures and pictures really enhance the stories. Really enjoyed it- thank you. It is interesting to see how this significant bit of world history relates directly to Leicester and makes me proud to see how accommodating Leicester was to the refugees.

Anon


I was born in Serbia (Nis to be more specific) in April 1989. My parents were in the process of moving back to England then and so by Aug 1989 I was brought here. My parents had moved between England and Serbia a lot before I was born – my mother being English and my father Serbian, having emigrated here when he was 15. The rest of my siblings (1 older and 4 younger) were all born in LR1. I have lived in Leicester my entire life, bar University, and now work here as an adult.

Radeyka


I came from Uganda, arriving London on 2nd Sept 1972. Stayed with maternal grandfather for 2 weeks and then to Leicester to stay with relatives and then rented accommodation. Can’t believe 40 years have gone by! Love the exhibition. Thanks Leicester/ Leic. Museums.

Bharmt Ranji Thakrar


16th July 2012

Hello! Jambo!

My name is Baboo Sudra and I was born in Mbale Feb 1946. I came to Leicester in 1970 with my friends when I was 24 years. Our leaving from Uganda-London U.K. is all recorded by BBC, ITV etc. we were 96 people stranded in Yugoslavia. We fought ourselves and was given entry to UK. I was welfare officer with this group, I love DVD at this museum (?). This is just a brief short version of my journey to the UK from Mbale-Uganda. I must say British govt. at that time was very brilliant in giving help. I still live in Leicester.

All the best Baboo Sudra


17th July 2012

I was also a refugee from Uganda, as I had been living there for six years with my Asian husband who was a Uganda citizen. I was expecting my second child in Sept. 1972 and the Dr eventually agreed to induce him so we could travel. My parents had come to Uganda for the birth and I left with them and my two sons when Shailesh (?)  was 10 days old. The day before my dad was put in prison for a day as he was as he was with my husband in the car. We had a frightening journey to Entebbe and after several road blocks- having to unpack everything we arrived at the airport.

We came to Quorn as my parents lived there and my husband was able to join us on temporary papers issued by the British High Commission after 3 weeks.

We never thought he would have to leave as he was a Uganda citizen but it affected everyone-

This is an admirable exhibition and I am always reminded of Uganda as we celebrate my son’s birthday.

Alison Rathod.


19th July 2012

Thank you for putting on this exhibition. It’s excellent, informative and heartbreaking to hear of all the terrible stories that the Asians in East Africa had to endure before arriving in the UK. I think that it’s a part of British history that hasn’t been spoken about or is ‘common knowledge’. I am of East African/ Indian origin. I was born in Leicester in 1972 and remember some of the hardship that we had to endure or at least my parents had to suffer at the time. I like the positivity of the exhibition, the celebratory aspects of the successes that that the Asians have had in Leicester and how the place has slowly transformed for the better over the decades. Leicester is one of the most unified and racially cohesive and harmonious cities in the UK and it’s a good thing to show the history of how ‘we’ Asians came to be in this city. Thanks!

Raksha Patel


19th July 2012

I came to Leicester from Kaliro in Uganda. At that time there were lot of jobs in Leicester. I am well settled in Leicester. Best wishes to all Ugandans who are here UK.

Chandrakant Gotil


19th July 2012

Mariben Devji Vadher

I came to Leicester from Uganda, Mbale in 1972 with my three children Ramesh, Bipin and Sinra. We joined my other son Chandu, who had come here previously to study. All of us are settled here in Leicester. Thank you for this exhibition and best wishes to fellow Ugandan citizens.

Vadher family


This has brought back so many memories for my mum and aunty. So glad I brought them.

Siyush Kotecha


Chandulal N Pancholi

102 Melton Road, Leicester LE4 5ED

I also came to Leicester direct from Kampala in 1972. I arrived at the airport with nothing except a small torn suitcase filled with fresh vegetables of Kampala- vegetables like; Mogo, Matoke, Dizi, Kapenda, Dodo and Pans. I had to borrow five pounds from a fellow passenger to come to Leicester to begin my success story, a success in life etc. from a very meagre beginning of 1972 I have become a successful businessman in 2012. I take this opportunity to put my regards to the government of UK to have taken us the Ugandan Asians and given us opportunities to start a NEW LIFE and today after nearly forty years, most of us have become very prosperous and happy. Thank you England- thank you to British government and thank you to British people-

Chanu Pancholi


20th July 2012

Our mum came from Uganda on 17th October 1972. The experience has left her very traumatised and she rarely speaks about it. I think it is very sad that they had to go through this at a very young age.

This exhibition has brought back very fond memories for her. She enjoyed her childhood very much in Kampala. Thank you for putting it on.

Coming to this country was very challenging because my mum’s family had to live in military camps for almost a year.

Leicester has provided a great opportunity to set up and expand business for my mum. My granddad had a fruit and veg shop on Roberts Road off Belgrave Rd called MANSUKH FOODS. This brought the Ugandan Asians together as they brought (sic) their groceries from there.

This business doesn’t exist anymore however my mum has got my grandad’s business passion and has set up her own business.

From Tina Tailor, Atish Parmar, Dhanisha Parmar and Anisha Parmar

Pushpa Parmar (mum) Arvind Parmar (Dad) Hargovind Pandar (Grandad)


This is an inspirational exhibition of triumph over adversity.

Anon



25th July 2012

This is an excellent exhibition.

In 1972 I worked in the voluntary sector, we collected donations of clothing, bedding etc., from the local community who unlike some politicians, responded generously to the plight and hardship of those coming to Leicester.

We set up a distribution centre in what is now the Chinese community centre at the end of Belgrave Gate.

Forty years on the Asian community has contributed greatly to the city of Leicester. May new arrivals be equally successful

Philip Parkinson(?)

Very interesting and insightful exhibition. Good interactive resources. Fantastic! Thanks.

Natasha Kidane


Is there any chance at all this exhibition could become permanent. As it is, in the same room. This funny little side room has had dull display after dull display in it over the past 10 or 15 years. This Kampala to Leicester exhibition is fascinating, relevant and there are always people in there! Some Asian, mainly white. The comments in this book are very moving and thought provoking, I feel. This book alone (not my contribution, the others!) makes this exhibition valuable. Please keep it. Unaltered. Permanently. Thx

P.D.


I have been living in London for 4 years and moved to Leicester and been living for nearly a year since September 2011 when I started my MA course. I have grew up in Bangkok, Thailand. I have got Iranian ancestor from my mother side but my dad is Thai. Enjoy living in Leicester and plan to live and work here after graduation. Well done with exhibition! Thank you.


 

Very interesting exhibition.

I came to London U.K. from Uganda when I was 16 years old. We were helped by British people very well.

My family came from Bushenyi, Kasesa and Katwano. We settled in Birmingham. We are all very well settled now.  I moved to Leicester in 1985, when I got married in Leicester. I like to live in Leicester.

R. Hussein


I have travelled from London to Leicester to visit my grandparents, cousins and aunty and uncle! My dad was born in Kenya and moved to London aged 9. His brother lived in Leicester. Both my aunties grew up in Leicester and therefore we all have close links with Leicester.

Taha aged 19, Nile aged 8


27th July 2012

Very impressive, and important history about us Ugandan Asians. Well worth the travel to Leicester to view.

Dinesh Tatti (from Carlisle)


28th July 2012

Very impressive and brings 40 years thoughts back when going through the place.

Bhogilal Shah and Ansuya Shah (from Manchester)


My mum and dad (saroj Mehta) living history of this exhibition. Mr and Mrs Kashnakant and Soroj Mehta.

Raj (from Manchester)


30th July 2012

It was very impressive and I learned a lot from this exhibition.

Siddhi


30th July 2012

I really liked this exhibition about Uganda and I really have learned a lot.

Neha (age 7)


Very nice to see the Kampala to Leicester exhibition. We enjoyed it. Thx you.

Anon


I was only 3 yrs and 10 months when I came to Leicester from Kampala in 1972. I thank Idi Amin Dada as he has made my family life so much more happier as are well settled in UK.

Mr Bhavesh Dayadji Pattni (Kampala jeweller) (11 Melton Rd. Leicester)


I enjoyed the exhibition today. Best wishes to Uganda. My dad and Grandad wer born in Uganda!!!!!!

Anon (from London)


I was 18 when I came back to live in England from Sri Lanka. I lived in London for a while and then moved to Leicester in 1992 to start my University course. I love Leicester for it multiculturalism.

Sheera


I came with my family to England from Jinja, Uganda. This day in 1972 (30th July). So today is already a special day for us, 40 years in this amazing country. I was 4 years of age when I first arrived here.

Anon


I am honoured that this exhibition is here today so that I can show and explain the events that affected our family and friends to my daughters aged 13 and 11.

Often we hear stories from our elders of the good times they had in Uganda and the hardships they faced leaving it behind and starting afresh in a foreign land. This exhibition with photos, stories and television footage has helped us to understand these stories more graphically.

We thank New Walks Museum and Leicester City Council for providing the exhibition!

Rakesh Chhotalal Sakaria. Nikita and Shalayna (ex Jinja, now happily settled in Loughborough)


My father ‘Topan’ was in Uganda & came across to U.K. in the ‘60s, I am very keen to learn about his history and this exhibition has allowed this, well worth the coming

RAM 2012


My grandad was very special and he came from Uganda and brought his family.

Ame 2012


In 1972 my Dad came from Iganga with his family. He has worked hard and made a good life for us. I’m very proud of him.

Aryan aged 7


My father was born in and grew up in Jinja Uganda, and moved to England in 1972 at the tender age of 12. He often speaks of the alienation and sense of placelessness that he felt upon arrival on British shores, but also the welcome and wonder. This exhibition has brought to life some of what was previously just words. Thank you

R. Lakhani


I was born & brought up near Birmingham and came to Leicester 20 years ago. It’s a melting pot of people, not only from all over the world, but from all over Britain. Long may it be so tolerant.

Anon


I came to Leicester from Nairobi at around the same time as the Ugandan Asians. We were bused to Kettering College because there were no school places. Of my class mates – all spread around the UK – we are now all professionals. Thanks Leicester.

Bipin Jahjixan


My Grandad, from my Mums side came to the UK , 1968 from Kenya. He lived there since he was a child. And now he lives in Leicester.

Wadia Aghios, Zile Khan (grandchildren)


I was born in Masaka in 1951, had most memorable childhood in Uganda.

When Idi Amin came in power, he overnight changed the lives of all the Asians. They had to make decisions and manage to flee the country safely, leaving all their livelihood behind.

Leaving just a suitcase full of belongings to a strange country.  We came to settle in Birmingham and then moved to Leicester. I have to thank the British people for welcoming us and finally accepting that we are here to stay.

Thanks Vamla


What a brilliant idea to celebrate 40 years.

Anon


Sunday 5th August

What a brilliant idea to celebrate 40 years of the Ugandan Asians coming to Leicester.

I was a baby when we came, but from all the stories I have heard from my parents, I can recollect their horror stories in the beginning.

But now Leicester is our Home.

It is a beautiful place to live in harmony with all other cultures.

We just need to sort out the weather…..lol.

A lovely display put together by the Museum.

Neeta Kachela

Savitaben Kachela.

Sarlaben Chandarana


In 1972 I was at Stanstead Airport waiting for the planes arriving with the expelled Ugandan Asians. There were a number of voluntary organisations asked to form a welcoming group and friendly face for those arriving. I was part of the Salvation Army Team (from Colchester in Essex) who were able to distribute warm clothing and listen to some of the sad and harrowing stories. Most were very inadequately clothed having only very light clothing on as they arrived. They were so grateful for all the help we were able to give. We were very moved by the circumstances of this loss. I spent a number of days there and remember the lines of coaches labelled LEICESTER to which we had to drive them. This exhibition has shown what a success they have been able to make of these circumstances and to the benefit of LEICESTER. It was a privilege to be a part of it.

Ruth Baugay (here on holiday)


A fascinating and thoughtful exhibition with many inspirational stories. Students involved with interviewing Asian Ugandians were amazed by the tales that were told, often reflecting their own family heritage.

Lisa Vann (Rushey Mead Secondary School)


7th August 2012

Great to see the Exhibition. I was at Shenton Primary School and Panorama Programme took a recording of the school children where I was filmed on East African Asians in Leicester, the Exhibition is a good history of what it was like to come from Uganda to Leicester.

Abdul Osman (Lord Mayor of Leicester)


8th August 2012

This is a great exhibition, and it taught me a lot about how my family, especially my grandma had to adapt to her surroundings in Leicester. I have learnt lots of different things about Uganda and how hard it must have been to start with so much in Uganda and lose much of their life to come here. Overall a great exhibition, Very informative.

Khimi Karavadra


8/8/12

I came to Leicester in 1973. I was in Kampala (Uganda). I was working as an electrical Engineer in Marksele University.

P. S. Lotaygish (?)


An interesting and educational exhibition. Gave us an insight as to what problems our parents went through to get here. Sad and happy times. Love the vibrant display with colours and materials – great!! Really entices you in.

Jaz


8th August 2012

It was a great experience to look at local history.

Sheena and Tash


Fascinating. Thank you for organising an impressive display.

Roshini Mistry and Dilip Mistry (daddy)


9/8/12

Dr Lakhani, Mrs Lakhani, Sonam Lakahni, Priyanka Lakhani and Rahul Lakhani

Really enjoyed our visit today to this fantastic exhibition. It has been emotional to see and hear. My dad Mayur moved to Leicester in 1972 from Iganga, Uganda. We are very proud of our family and his achievements. As his daughter I hope that that my generation can accomplish half as much as they did.

Pryanka Mayur Lakhani (Rothley, Leicester)


Bhulabhai Patel family from Iganga. Moved to Leicester 1972. Love the exhibition.

Pravin Patel (Kaku)


10/8/2012

Susan Patterse – Mountsorrel, Leic.

Very interesting exhibition – was looking forward to the visit following the coverage on Radio Leicester. Let us all to continue to live in peace and harmony together. This is a reminder of how difficult life can be be for people – gratitude is the secret of a happy life.


10/8/12

Excellent display. Brings home to you what people have to go through.

Anon


My grandparents and mum and dad moved from Kenya to England, I am very proud of them all.

Anon


Hi my name is Kanti Lalji (Tapu) Bhimji Mandalia. I came with my Ben (Javiben) and my brothers & sisters from Jinja, Uganda in Oct 1972. I have some memories of my childhood in Jinja, visiting the park, making ‘bearing gadis’ and clipping my tooth while riding one and falling off. We were first settled in Newbury Camp for 3 months and move to Leicester after help from my uncle. Had to go to Spence St baths for the weekly baths and sometimes having a bath in the kitchen in the cold. Watching movies at Evington cinema. Would love to visit my palce of birth, Jinja. Thank you for the exhibition.


11.8.2012 Fareena Porter (nee Mughal) and Andrew Porter

Really fantastic exhibition. Very moving. My father and his family were part of the many expelled from Uganda and settled in Leicester. He is no longer with us today but would have been proud to see the achievements.


11.8.2012

Rashmita Sanghera, born in Kampala, family moved to India to live with grandma. About 6 months later we boarded a plane for London, UK. We moved in with my uncle in Roseglen, London. Then we moved within six months again to Tameside, Manchester to be with our aunt. We had our education and upbringing there. Then I moved to Oxford for five years then to Leicester where my sons were born.

The exhibition has brought back my childhood memories and the terror we faced when the soldiers came to forcibly remove my parents and us from our house in Uganda, Kampala. I saw the temple that was opposite our house for the first time-wow.


We really enjoyed our visit today. It brings memories when we first arrived in Leicester in 1972. Great exhibition but sadly Corah and Dunlop has not been mentioned. Extremely proud of all Ugandan Asians.

Anon


11/8/12

My father Pranjivan was one of the main newspaper distributors in Uganda. We were lucky enough to have a privileged lifestyle and live with the whole extended family in a large house in Masaka.

On 4th August 1972, our lives were turned upside down. We arrived in the UK at Stansted airport on 4th November 1972. My first memory was seeing snow on the ground and the freezing weather and having no warm clothes to wear. I was with my mother, my four younger sisters and baby brother of 2 years old. We were lucky that we already had family here. My uncle arrived to pick us up and we made our way to Leicester. Life was tough to begin with; all we had was one suitcase each. 10 years later, we received a phone call from London, saying that my father has arrived in the UK, but his health had worsened after being tortured by Amin’s government and suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. We rejoiced as a family that he was still alive and welcomed him home. Our family has now settled very well and are spread across the UK. My mother (Sushilaben Pathak) is a proud grandmother to six grandchildren who are all aware and proud of our historical journey. My sisters all are married and their professions vary from teaching to social work. My son qualified as a pharmacist and has prospered in the UK.

I now live in Lichfield (Staffordshire) and own a Post Office which serves a busy and elderly community in a nearby town.

I am the oldest of all my sisters and feel that I am only the strong woman that I am today due to the experiences of coming to the UK when I was only a young teenager.

Shobhana Pandya (maiden name = Pathak)


My name is Hansa. I came to UK Feb. 1968, just before Idi Amin’s announcement. It was a very traumatic experience, to leave my mother, and brothers in Uganda. My father was already here in UK – for a visit – so he asked us to come over urgently. I studied at the Hill Road Public School and then couple of years at AQA KHAN Secondary School. I had to leave all from friends without saying goodbye. At present I live in Birmingham.

I miss Uganda so much for weather and tropical trees and good vegetable. Most missed food is MOGO which doesn’t taste as good as it did in Uganda – I remember Mogo served during recess as Hill Road Public School.

Many thanks for putting this exhibition up. Rupal, I was also sent a blanket and a Rayai made by my mother Jayaben who is 92 years old now, and my father Valabhbhai, is 98 years old. They came over after Idi Amin took over, so had suffered lot of memories of leaving shops which they had to just lock and come out of country leaving their livelihood. It was very traumatic for them.

Thank you really much for letting me come here if it was not for you I would do (not?) be here now thank you very much and I would love to come again.

Sophie Tafure


Thank you New Walk museum for this amazing exhibit. You have done a wonderful job in telling this story which is my story.

My name is Helen (De Souza) Butler. I was 8 years old in 1972 living in Kampala where I was born. Although quite young I have memories of this time watching my parents go through this frightening and life-changing experience. We moved from everything and everyone we knew in Uganda, to California, United States of America.

The transition was not easy, but my family did it. I am so pleased at our host country who accepted us into the country and allowed us to start over in America. This is now my home.

I am visiting my cousin ‘family’ for the first time since leaving Uganda in 1972, and by chance was told about this exhibit yesterday. So I am here today.

Again, I am so very grateful for your extensive work in putting together this exhibit. Please continue your work in growing this exhibit. It is valuable to those of us who lived this experience and also those interested in understanding our experience.

Gratefully, Helen Butler



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From Kampala to Leicester