Zarina Patel The Indomitable Spirit
This book provides a rare glimpse into a story that is rarely told in most societies about minorities. It does this by highlighting the critical role South Asian Africans have played in the revolution and the transformation of Kenya. Zarina Patel’s story helps us understand the vital role that women played in Kenya’s pre and post-independence struggle, a role Similar to that which was played by women in the anti-apartheid struggle in South African and other global struggles for freedom, against domination and exploitation.
This biography is perhaps the first treatise on a South Asian African woman, who not only struggled against the oppressing faced by fellow woman, but who was also involved in other movements, above and underground, which fought against injustice.
Dr George Gona, a Senior Lecturer of History at the University of Nairobi got to know Zarina Patel when he assisted her in tracing the archive collection of the Makhan Singh papers. Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga, who later wrote the foreword to the book, encouraged him to write about ‘the critical role that South Asian Africans have played in the revolution and transformation of Kenya’. Zarina Patel has authored biographies of Kenya’s South Asian nationalists; she is the Managing Editor of AwaaZ Magazine; she single-handedly fought to preserve Jeevanjee Gardens, a park in Nairobi; has stood firm against the corrupt Bohra priesthood, joined the underground movement against the Moi dictatorship using art as a medium for liberation and is a committed feminist. The book is a rare glimpse into the contribution of a minority woman in the struggle for democracy.