The Indian migrants who built Kenya’s ‘lunatic line’

Every week, Inside Africa takes its viewers on a journey across Africa, exploring the true diversity and depth of different cultures, countries and regions.

Story highlights

Indian migrants flocked to Kenya just over a century ago to build railways

Lion attacks and diseases such as black fever were just a couple of the dangers workers on the railways faced

Many descendants of those Indian migrants are today successful business owners across Kenya

Some say that the Indian community has still not fully integrated into Kenyan society

Mombasa, Kenya CNN  — 

At the Old Port in Mombasa, southern Kenya, tranquil waters lap gently against the shore beneath the ghostly Fort Jesus garrison.

Today, it’s a pretty and peaceful scene, but one that belies the port’s bustling colonial past.

It was at this spot just over a century ago that the ancestors of Kenya’s successful Indian community first set foot on African soil.

They came in ships and dhows, having been coaxed here to build one of t