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Spotlight on Ugandan Asians

A number of special events have been taking place in the city over the past few months to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians.


The Leicester Arts and Museum Service, in partnership with Navrang, organised a temporary exhibition at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery titled ‘From Kampala to Leicester’, which has since found a permanent new home at the Newark Houses Museum.


There were also a number of different talks taking place at various venues from July right through to October, in addition to film screenings and dance workshops.


The story has also generated a lot of media interest. Pukaar Magazine featured interviews with a number of prominent members of the Ugandan Asian community who have settled in Leicester, in their third edition. The Pukaar News team also went out to Uganda to film a documentary about Asian people who returned to the country and made a fortune.


Pukaar News managing editor Romail Gulzar said: “I am not from Uganda and have no link to the country, but when I was out there I really did feel a connection with the place. It has really opened up my eyes. I am returning to the country along with a team of people in March 2013 to volunteer at a local school.”


Working alongside the BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio Leicester hosted a live broadcast show from the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre and followed local presenter Rupal Rajani on her trip to Uganda as part of their project.


To celebrate the end of the project, BBC Radio Leicester hosted a reception for participants of their radio documentary and other distinguished guests, at their premises in Leicester. BBC Radio Leicester editor Jane Hill said: “Its been a partnership of broadcasters, journalists, community schools and above all else, our listeners and the people of Leicester, who shared their stories with us and made this such a special event.”


City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, who was also present at the reception, said: “I was here just three years before those dreadful events that occurred in East Africa and Leicester people were remarkably welcoming. What they were responding to were people who didn’t bring very much in their suitcases but did bring an awful lot that was very valuable to our city. What they brought impacted almost every aspect of this city’s life and over the last 40 years they have transformed it.”


ITV also aired special events throughout this past week and filmed a series of reports in Uganda. Broadcast journalist Rajiv Popat, who was out there filming, said: “The five reports I’ve compiled look at exactly what happened back in 1972.


“I found the whole experience interesting and fascinating. I was born in Uganda and have always been intrigued by the lives of those who left the country they loved so much to settle here in England. My parents used to talk about the good ol’ days and even as a young boy, I dreamed of visiting the place they called paradise.”

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