Mauritian Diaspora in the UK
By Kishore Teelanah
Almost all Mauritians who came to the United Kingdom have made tremendous progress in one way or another. Like the Indians, Chinese and some of Middle Eastern descent there are few other immigrants who have burnt the midnight oil while working and gained such achievements as the Mauritians. This article gives an account of a further three Mauritians who have made an impact in Britain and abroad. Hopefully, these stories should inspire other fellow Mauritians and their children. One quality that makes these compatriots stand out is their ability to adapt and embrace British society and integrate where some others have failed.
Kareesha Turner (nee Maitaram)
Kareesha Maitaram was born in Poste de Flacq, Mauritius and had a brilliant education. She completed her Higher School Certificate and worked at the MBC as a reporter for a short spell. Kareesha left Mauritius for UK to take on her ambitious study and practice in Law. True to her personality as a charismatic, eloquent and bright young lady, she completed her LLB in 2010. She already had a degree in Law & Management in 2003 which gave her vast knowledge and academic experience. She got married to Paul Turner, also a barrister and jointly set up a law practice since 2017.
Kareesha completed her Bar Professional Training Course in 2012 followed by being a member of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple, an Accredited Mediator after completing a course in Civil & Commercial Mediator Training Programme (2013). With all these qualifications she is well prepared for drafting, contract negotiation, commercial as well as media sector. She is very experienced in Human Rights and Commercial and Immigration matters. Kareesha Turner also gets instructed by the Home Secretary of State for the Home Department in the UK to represent it in appeals. She is constantly focused on resolving legal issues and finding solutions with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Kareesha and Paul Turner (her husband) in their respective barrister outfits
Kareesha is also a brilliant piano player: Grade 8 piano/Graduate Diploma in Piano from “Arte Music School”/Grade 5 Voice. In her spare times, she enjoys yoga, Pilates, hiking and travelling.
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Manna Santokhee came to Britain in 1973 and started with Psychiatric Nursing in Central Hospital in Warwick. After qualifying he worked for a short time as he had interest in Social Services. He did Social Work training and became a Social Worker specialising in residential care. With his knowledge and experience, he became Officer in Charge of Care Home Complex (inclusive of Day Care and Meals on Wheels). This is where he created an environment in which residents’ physical, social and emotional needs were met at London Borough of Merton for eight years. With the years of experience and skills, Manna became Residential Care Manager for two years followed by another promotion to Direct Provision Manager. His job was to manage services for Older People, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.
Our Mauritian compatriot is also keen to support the local communities in his region of Epsom and Ewell. He helped set up with other fellow Mauritians an association known as Mauritius Hindu Sabha. He was also active in raising funds for those affected by the flash flood in Mauritius, the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka and the cyclones in the Philippines.
Manna Santokhee with the late actor Richard Briar at the BBC Radio 4 recording an awareness broadcast on Elder Abuse. The script was co-authoured by R. Briar
Manna and Bharatee Santokhee with son, Krishan and daughter, Priya on the proud day for obtaining his MA degree
After gaining much experience in monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of the Care Service systems, Manna once again moved up the ladder. He got promoted as Independent Living Services Manager for the London Borough of Sutton where he worked for three years. He became well versed in his field which included equality and diversity, managing staff, setting standards, supervising, motivating and staff development. The strong ambition to carry on in other fields was his forte as his long-standing experience and maturity led him to take on a new job in ASRA Housing Association. The fire in his belly was still raging and he was promoted to Head of Care and Sheltered Housing where he worked for seven years. This is where Manna Santokhee made a difference to the elderly Asian community and oversaw inequality. He provided focused leadership and direction to the management team and staff delivering care and support.
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Cader Hossenally came to Britain in 1974 and soon he enrolled into a school to study English for a year. After this, he started a Business Management course while working part time. He also had a successful car leasing and minicab business in Stoke Newington. Cader has been a well-known figure in the politics of both Mauritius and UK and amongst the Mauritian community. He has been travelling back to Mauritius each time there was an election and he worked closely with Sir Gaetan Duval and later with his son Luc Duval. Mr Hossenally worked closely with the late Razack Mohamed, the former Prime Minister,r Navin Ramgoolam and a few other politicians since the 1970s.
Some of the faces of yesteryears politicians: Cader Hossenally (middle) with Yusuf Mohamed, Herve Duval and Sir Gaetan Duval
Cader is a member of Anglo-Mauritius Disability Link and a relentless advocate for disability. Having a disabled son himself, he has gone to various lengths to campaign about disability awareness. He negotiated with Air Mauritius for the donation of fifteen free tickets for Mauritians to come to UK for training about care of the disabled. Cader has visited these disability centres in Mauritius (SSR Disabled Centre at Triolet, Pointe aux Sable George Charles Foundation, and Century Day Care Centre at Plaine Verte) and spent time with the disabled children. Gradually, the government of Mauritius has brought in policies and legislations to protect the disabled. However, there is still a long way to bring these to the levels of care and tolerance that are the norm of the UK policies. The parents of these disabled children are much on their own as they lack the support. There are less qualified and need more experienced staff to care for disability. Currently physiotherapists are attending to the disabled children but there is still a lack of resources and infrastructure in Mauritius.
Cader Hossenally with Jeremy Corbyn (UK Leader of Opposition) and friends for campaign for Anglo-Mauritius Disability Link on the 18th anniversary
Another feather in Cader’s cap is his business expertise and promotion of tourism especially between UK and Mauritius. He is the proud owner of MK Holidays, the name of his travel agency. MK Holidays was set up 12 years ago as a family business which has seen success despite the slowing of economy and recession.
Kishore Teelanah has been in the UK for over 45 years and currently works in the Education Sector as Industry Placement Coordinator and Lead Lecturer in Applied Science
* Published in print edition on 16 August 2019