Dr. Firdos Khan, 61 years old, married with two children. Lives with family in Nairobi.
As a 'woman of colour ', born, brought up, and residing in Nairobi, Kenya- it is imperative to clarify that I am a Kenyan Asian. I am the third generation of my grandparents - who, during the British Colonial times, immigrated from Pakistan to Kenya as labourers for the then British Railway Line (later named as the East African Railway).
My parents, having settled in Kenya, were truly patriotic to Kenya; they never looked back and brought us up with a very 'cosmopolitan', openminded, and all-embracing mentality. Thus, my siblings and I grew up knowing and loving Kenya as our 'motherland', our 'home sweet home'...
In school days, we mixed with children from both Kenyan African and Kenyan Asian backgrounds. I do not know of even a single instance that I was made to realize any boundary, difference, favouritism, or segregation between the two!!!
We had local workers in the household, who were very respectful and at the same time friendly with us all. To the extent, that my father would even drive to the house boy's village (in Machakos County) to get his fresh vegetables and fruits. ...and live 'roadrunners'!!
We were blessed indeed as, to date, such workers hold us in esteem and affection !!!
When I finished school, I was apprehensive of not availing an entry into Nairobi University, as in those days this was the only University in Kenya!!....and applicants many.
Much to my surprise, while I couldn't get entry to study Medicine at Nairobi University, I managed to be offered a scholarship to study Medicine in Moscow (USSR then). This was a Kenyan Scholarship from the Ministry of Education.
How can I even think of having faced discrimination or nonequality, when I, a Kenyan of Asian origin, was granted such an opportunity right here on Kenyan soil.
This made my life.
Thereafter, in my entire career as a doctor, I have worked both in Government and private institutions. I have interacted, worked with, and made friends with fellow Kenyans, people from other African countries, from European countries, from Asian countries...
I, truly, have never been marginalised because of my colour. Guess, I have been plain lucky!