Authors and Book Reviews  

April 03 - 09, 2009


 Coastweek   Kenya

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'Harnessing The Trade Winds'

new book by Kenyan author Blanche D'Souza

Coastweek -- Blanche D'Souza's recently published book was well received at its Mombasa launch by Friends of Fort Jesus on Tuesday, March 24, at Fort Jesus.

'Harnessing the Trade Winds' traces the history and the impact of the age old Indian trade with Africa. Although Indians had been trading with Africa for thousands of years their settlements were temporary as they always considered India as their home.

In 1806 Seyyid Said persuaded Indians who were living in Muscat "skilled in the mysteries of the ledger and the counter" to join him in Zanzibar - as Indian accounting skills were much sought after.

Hard working arid parsimonious the Indians, unlike the Europeans and Arabs, never attempted to colonise Africa. However they have made an indelible contribution to the country's economy through their commercial integrity and aptitude for business.

This book traces their trading origins back to before recorded history, through the ages to present times.

The author, born in Kenya, left at the age of seven and did not return until she had graduated from St Patrick College in 1951 when she began teaching at Doctor Ribeiro Goan School in Nairobi.

Coastweek - - Blanche
D'Souza's new book 'Har-
nessing the Trade Winds'

After her marriage she continued to teach on and off for the next 15 years when she took a diploma in Library Science and went to work at the Library of Congress field office as senior cataloguer.

Bringing up a large family left little time for socialising or writing but Blanche maintained her interest in the presence of Indians in East Africa but was only able to pursue her interest after all her children had left home.

Ms. D'Souza has focused on the influence of Indian-African trade and has travelled to Zanzibar, Mumbai and Goa in search of authoritative information.

This is an interesting and fascinating book, it is very well researched.

Ms D'Souza gave a well received talk about her book and then signed copies which were on sale.

"Harnessing the Trade Winds" is listed in African Books Collective among the best publications of 2008.





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