Uncertainty and Fear in Zanzibar

Photo courtesy: Xlandfair — Wikimedia Commons

At one time, there were thirteen thousand Indians in Zanzibar who’d been encouraged to immigrate during Arab rule. With the Zanzibar revolution in the 1960s followed by independence, this number dwindled.

Zanzibar door — Photo courtesy: brockzillar/Paul Brockmeyer

After the forced marriage incident in the early 1970s, a chord of fear rang through all Asians. Several Indian women were captured and were being forced to marry African officials. When Indian fathers refused to allow their daughters to marry Africans, deportations occurred.

I arrived a year later and had an eerie feeling I was being followed. Tension gripped the island. I know I wasn’t imagining this suffocating feeling because I’d never felt it anywhere before.

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