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At the tender age of 10, Jamie Govani suddenly found herself being spirited out of her beloved Uganda, her native country. Cowering in the back of a semi-truck, she and other members of her family endured a hazardous and terrifying journey to the airport with gunfire in the near distance. Her father and other family members were left behind. Idi Amin had declared the remaining Asians stateless, and Prince Sadruddin Agakhan, the Commissioner to the UN, negotiated a safe haven for these Asians who were then evacuated to UN camps over countries in Europe. It is her powerful story that she shares with readers in her new autobiography, “Life is a Lesson: Never Give Up Hope” (Published by AuthorHouse).
Govani was one of the lucky ones who survived, but then the challenge of a lifetime awaited her. She was one of the 80,000 Asians expelled from Uganda by President Idi Amin, at the height of his brutal, despotic rule that represented one of the most shameful chapters in the history of mankind. He not only expelled the Asians, but had 500,000 Ugandans killed by his soldiers.
The author and her family were among 30,000 Ugandan Asians who resettled in England, arriving in that country virtually penniless and with little more than the clothes they were standing up in.
Govani and her family had to start all over again. Forty years later, she reflects on a life of great achievement on many fronts that she attributes to the grace of the Almighty, clearing constant hurdles along the way that would have defeated many a weaker personality.
Today Govani is an accomplished businesswoman and the mother of three children who have integrated into British society with great pride.