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No Place For Me: A Memoir of an Indian Doctor in East Africa

by Leo J. De Souza

Book type

This is a first-hand must-read memoir of the systemic racism and discrimination an Indian doctor experiences in East Africa, being that he is neither white in colonial times nor black in independent East Africa.


Leo J. De Souza narrates the challenges of practising in colonial East Africa in the 1950s. The social structure imposed by the British relegates both the Indian and African to a position of little worth, restricting where they work, live and fraternise.


Determined to achieve equal status, Leo receives accreditation as a fellow from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1962 and is eminently suited to be the surgeon newly independent Tanganyika desperately needs-- only to find he is the wrong colour.


Discouraged by the inability to obtain an appropriate surgical appointment, Leo accepts minor posts in Tanga, Arusha and Lindi, eventually moving his family to Uganda and leaving behind Tanganyika, the country he always thought of as home.


Doctoring people in a land where poverty and disease abound brings great satisfaction. Leo is involved in the totality of his patients as advisor, guardian and friend; his years in Uganda provide the professional success that eluded him in Tanganyika. That triumph is interrupted by the rise of Idi Amin, whose coup and campaign of terror forces Leo and family to flee, starting life anew in an unfamiliar place: the United States.

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