Adaptation and Re-formation
Indian-Kenyans: Moulding a New Community in Britain
Image 4.1 Leicester Town Hall Square
Establishing a Community in Britain
Many Indian-Kenyans settled in Britain where Indian communities were previously established. Areas of Greater London, such as Wembley and Harrow, and towns like Leicester and Southall drew immigrants from India and East Africa in the 1950s and 1960s.
Indians from East Africa had already built an established community, encouraging the Indian-Kenyan diaspora to join them. As a result of the Ugandan expulsion, between 1968-1978 more than 200,000 migrants arrived in Leicester, creating the largest Asian community in Britain at the time.
In Leicester, Melton Road or the Golden Mile has become home to many from this community, creating a market and interest in Indian jewellery shops, restaurants, and sari stores.
Image 4.2 Diwali lights along the Leicester Golden Mile, Copyright Mat Fascione © 2014.
Growing the Community
The international recognition of a degree from a British university and encouragement from friends and family already living in England proved to be a strong motivator for many Kenyan students looking to further their education and career. Although many Indian-Kenyans were highly educated and fluent in English, with no previous work experience in the country, often began by working for their families or at low income, paying jobs upon their arrival. Over time, some where able to access better employment opportunities, often by starting their own businesses, while others continued to struggle.
How did an existing Indian networks in the UK (not all necessarily from Kenya), encourage settlement and opportunities for business development and commerce?
How and why does education provide individuals with additional opportunities for movement? Who is excluded because of this?