Crescent Community Radio’s East African Lives project concludes

Date published: 09 September 2021

A project documenting the stories of Rochdale’s East African community has now come to a conclusion.

Local radio station Crescent Community Radio and the Heritage Lottery Fund worked together over 18 months to capture the heart-breaking stories of East Africans - who were either forced or had no choice but to leave their countries - being allowed to bring just £50 and leaving their possessions behind.

All contributors were given the opportunity to reminisce and remember their past with a special event at Castlemere Community Centre on 31 July, hosted by Crescent Community Radio’s East African Lives team – project manager Faheem Chishti, project producer Abdur Rehman Hussain, project co-ordinator Shabana Yunas and designer Sajid Yasin.

Shabana Yunas said: “It was a wonderful turnout, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. The interviews and summaries will be archived at Manchester Central Library. I’d like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, Crescent Radio and all the contributors.”


A banner showing the countries which make up East Africa


Abdur Rehman said: “What an amazing project this was. I learnt so much about the East African community, hearing their stories, things that they enjoyed and found challenging, the people that they lived with and so on.

“For me personally, it was fantastic opportunity to further hone my skills in audio and video editing as well as learning more on undertaking oral history projects. It was an absolute pleasure to have been involved. I thank Crescent Community for the opportunity to have been part of this wonderful project.”

Faheem Chishti said: “I have really enjoyed overseeing the East African Lives project at Crescent Radio over the last 18 months or so.

“I am really proud that the team has managed to produce 29 full-length oral history interviews. 

“Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and lottery players, we were able to document the history and personal stories of this under-represented community, often known as ‘twice migrants’.

“Although the project has now ended, we hope we have sparked a community spirit amongst our contributors and their families, perhaps even developing their own group or association in the future.”

Contributor Shabina Ahmed added: "The event was just what was needed to bring people together and reminisce about the past.”

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