In Mansoor Ladha’s new book, Memoirs of a Muhindi: Fleeing East Africa for the West, he contrasts life in Africa to Canada, and how a person’s skin colour can make a difference. He writes about his journey from Zanzibar, Tanzania to Canada and the adjustments he had to make along the way. He hopes his book helps people deal with the problems and issues that immigrants encounter. He also hopes these problems and issues can be avoided.
“Employers have to be reasonable and fair in hiring immigrants and not demanding Canadian experience as a prerequisite,” says Ladha, who is a freelance journalist.
“It was amazing that employers demanded Canadian experience from South Asians from East Africa because here was a community which was educated, westernized, spoke English well and believed in western values,” he added.
The book spans from Ladha’s childhood to adulthood. He was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, brought up in Lindi, southern Tanzania and worked in Dar es Salaam as a copy and features editor of The Standard, the largest circulating English daily in the capital city. He says his experiences have made him a better person and better equipped to tackle problems.
“I have gone through problems of discrimination, displacement, acceptance and search for a home. With hard work and with the grace of God, I have been able to surmount these,” he says.
He now considers Canada his home and is quite comfortable living here as there are less political tensions that are prevalent in Africa, which is still undergoing political maturity and economic uncertainties.
He left Tanzania in 1972 when Ugandan president Idi Amin expelled Africans of Indian descent, which caused a massive exodus from the region. At that time, Ladha was living in Nairobi when he decided to leave and come to Canada.
His book is available on amazon.ca
Republished with permission from The Asian Pacific Post
Florence Hwang is a Saskatchewan-based freelance writer. She is a media librarian who loves storytelling. She has written for La Source newspaper, CBC Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Folklore and South Asian Post.