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The experiences of Asian refugees who were expelled from Uganda in the early 1970s are the subject of a new radio play.The Newcomers – produced by Rabble Theatre for BBC Radio Berkshire – recalls the story of those who were housed at Greenham Common airbase.It marks the 50th anniversary of the expulsions ordered by Uganda’s dictator Idi Amin.

Rabble Theatre’s Dani Davies said it remained “an important story to tell”.The Newcomers tells the story of 15-year-old Jyoti and her family as they rebuild their lives in a strange land after being expelled from their home in Uganda.

The 55,000-strong Asian community in the country were ordered to leave within 90 days by the brutal military dictatorship led by President Amin in August 1972.

Like many others with British passports, Jyoti’s family arrived in the UK with nothing but a suitcase each and £50, forced to start over, amidst mixed reactions from the local population.

Idi Amin: The life of a tyrantUgandan Asians: Life decades on from expulsions Ugandan Asians dominate economy after exileThe play was written by Beth Flintoff and Pragna Hay who was among the 1,600 refugees sent to the resettlement camp at Greenham Common.

She went on to become a qualified microbiologist and successful businesswoman.Bhasker PatelImage caption,Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel was born in UgandaAmong the cast is Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel who was born in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

He moved with his parents to India, shortly before the exodus order that forced his wider family to flee.”So in 1972 when Idi Amin kicked everyone out, my uncles and my aunts from both my father’s side and my mother’s side, they all suffered, they all came here, penniless,” he said.

Shaheen KhanImage caption,Shaheen Khan plays Shanta PatelFellow cast member Shaheen Khan plays Shanta Patel, the mother of two children who arrived in the UK having left her husband behind.”The legacy of these kind of traumas are still around now – although its 50 years ago, emotionally you are so connected that anything can trigger that feeling of what it was like,” she said.

Rabble Theatre’s executive director Dani Davies said it had been a “challenging time” for the refugees.”These people met a lot of racism – but people were kind as well, and opened their homes and opened their arms to them.

With everything that’s going on in the world today, it’s an important story to tell.”The five-part series will be broadcast daily at 09:50 BST on BBC Radio Berkshire from Monday 24 October.A full omnibus edition will be aired on Sunday 30 October at 14:00, after which the play will be available on BBC Sounds.

By Joy

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