Date: Feb 9, 2017
When Sabby Mendes leave Portuguese Goa aboard the dhow Monsoon Wind bound for British East Africa in 1916, he has one dream – to find work as a tailor in the relatively new capital of Nairobi. Sabby is a young man, still a teenager, but he is determined to build a life for himself, and he knows that the opportunities in the British Protectorate are better than those facing him at home.
A bright, affable young man with a genuine passion and talent for tailoring, he is not prepared for what he is about to find beyond the Arabian Sea. The Protectorate, which will become British Colony of Kenya, is a highly segregated society with the British firmly ensconced at its top; below them are the “Asians” like Sabby; and at the very bottom are the native African population who are regarded as little more than savages in need of civilization.
Beneath the African Sun offers, through the eyes of its protagonists, a street-level view of the changing social and political climate of Kenya between 1916 and 1970, including the ‘Mau Mau’ uprising of the native Kikuyu, the eventual independence of Kenya in 1963, and the political fallout that followed.
More than a history, it is a story about family, home, social justice and what it means to truly belong somewhere.
Written by Maria Lynch