During the latter half of the last century, a large number of migrants from the Indian sub-continent flocked to the shores of East Africa in dhows under considerable hardship. It was not until 1895 that there was an intensive Sikh presence in the country when a contingent was brought to Mombasa in order to police the Uganda railway as well as the caravan routes into the hinterland. After which, the Sikh military contact and presence intensified with Sikh soldiers being brought to deal with the Kabaka’s uprising in 1898 in Uganda and other similar excursions. However, it was the building of the Uganda railway, which witnessed a large influx of Sikhs into Kenya. This is the story of a Sikh, Waryam Singh Khalifa, who immigrated to East Africa to work on the railways, and when the work on the railways was finished, he stayed in East Africa for the rest of his working life, to work on the electric projects in Kenya and Uganda, until his retirement, when he left his beloved East Africa for the Punjab.
WARYAM SINGH “KHALIFA” WE CAME IN DHOWS