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Asians in Kenya express pride in new British PM

Kenya celebrates the new British PM, Rishi Sunak   -  
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INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP -

United Kingdom

The new British prime-minister, Rishi Sunak, the first British-Asian to reach the UK's premiership has sent shockwaves throughout the world.

The origins of the new British prime-minister, Rishi Sunak, can be traced back to Kenya where his grandparents settled after immigrating to the Continent from India.

After Kenya's independence in 1963, many opted to leave migrating to the UK.

Members of Kenya's Asian community reacted with joy to the news, an achievement that coincided with the celebrations of Diwali.

"In 1963 Kenya got independence, then there were many Asians staying in the Eastleigh area, they were not well to do so they were given a choice whether to become Kenyan citizens or go to Britain, using British passport, so most of them opted, there was great migration, exodus as we call it, to Britain. So many of them struggled from very humble beginnings and then came up and now they are quite wealthy and well to do, and they are also highly educated and doing good jobs and also participated in the politics and so on. Even there they have built temples like this one in England. Then the second wave was from Uganda in 1972 when Amin (Idi Amin, Ed.) told the Asians to leave", explained Bhalendu Bhatt, professor in chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology at the University of Nairobi.

On Monday Rishi Sunak won the race to lead the Conservative Party making him the first British PM of Asian descent. 

Many Asians see Sunak's achievement with pride.

"Myself and all of us Asians are very proud that one of us has made it to the top job in UK. As you tell me, I do not know but you tell me that he has been elected the prime minister of UK so we are very happy that we are all represented. Similarly not only UK if you remember the USA, the vice president is also from India, from South India, Kamala Harris. So even in Canada there quite a few MPs (Members of Parliament) and so on of Asian origin, so wherever they have gone, even in politics they are coming up. So we are very pleased about that", said the professor

At 42 years old, Rishi Sunak is the youngest British leader in more than 200 years.

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