Asian African Heritage Trust

Welcome and Overview

It has been recognized that the presence of peoples from the Indian sub-continent in East Africa goes back well over three thousand years. The presence of peoples from Eastern Africa in India is also of long duration.

Many Asian African families have been settled on the Coast, Lamu, Pate, Malindi, Mombasa, Pemba, Zanzibar, Bagamoyo and Dar-es-Salaam from the 1820s and earlier; but the development of our Asian African minority as we know it today emerges from the 1880s.

It was the building of the Uganda Railway (now Kenya Railways), from 1896-1901, and the establishment of the British colonial administration in the interior from 1895 onwards that led to a larger Asian African community in Kenya. How does our history record them

The need for us to know more about each other than we do at present is critical given the dangers of ethnic-based politics. This knowledge affects how we address those serious issues. It also affects our answers to the basic questions of how we relate to and appreciate each other. It is equally critical for the future, given the fact that Kenya is composed not of one or two different minorities, but of 44 different groups of which the large majority comprises minorities.

It is therefore important for us as Kenyans to record all our stories, all our heritages, all our struggles for our freedom, and all our cultures, from every part of our country. And thereby, most importantly, ourselves write, record, sculpt, dance, paint, and teach our history, the ideas that move us, and our aspirations.

The Asian African Heritage Trust explores these themes through research, exhibitions and other activities.

We welcome you to explore our work through this website, and to contact us to get involved.