55 years on, author Dawood still sees a new Kenya

Dr Yusuf Dawood displays his book "Eye of the Storm" during a past interview with Sunday Nation. A reader of Dr Dawood's long-running Surgeon’s Diary, in the Sunday Nation. Dawood recalls his first day in Kenya 55 years ago with vividness that scorns his now advancing years.


What you need to know:

  • So, what else does Dawood remember of those days? “The Union Jack was still flying over the land and the demographics were totally different. The locals were the invisible men, and Nairobi was full of expatriates occupying all the top positions in banks, the civil service, and even hospitals,” he says.
  • When I finished my first manuscript of what later became No Strings Attached, a friend told me: ‘Go to Chakava, if it is publishable, he will tell you.’
  • I also had meetings with Chakava and, when the book was published around 1978, they arranged a launching ceremony at Serena Hotel, with Charles Njonjo — the then Attorney-General — as the chief guest. Two years later, The Surgeon’s Diary was born

On March 20, 1961, a young Yusuf Kodwavwala Dawood, accompanied by his wife, landed at Embakasi Airport, now Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, for a three-year contract in colonial Kenya, albeit one that had begun to show all indications of independence round the corner.


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