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Man with Kenyan roots becomes UK Prime Minister

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What do we know about Rishi Sunak’s Kenyan and Tanzanian ties?

  • Rishi Sunak was born on 12 May 1980 in Southampton, one of three children to NHS GP Yashvir Sunak, who was born in Kenya, and pharmacist Usha Sunak, who was born in Tanzania. His mother ran her own pharmacy in Southampton. His grandparents were born in India before moving to East Africa and then the UK in the 60s.

Sunak was born to East African-born Hindu parents of Punjabi Indian descent, Yashvir and Usha Sunak.[11][12] He is the eldest of three siblings. His father was born and raised in the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya (present-day Kenya), while his mother was born in Tanganyika (which later became part of Tanzania).[13] His grandfathers were born in Punjab provinceBritish India, and migrated from East Africa with their families to the UK in the 1960s.[14] His paternal grandfather, Ramdas Sunak, was from Gujranwala (in present-day Pakistan) and moved to Nairobi in 1935 to work as a clerk, where he was joined by his wife Suhag Rani Sunak from Delhi in 1937.[15][16] His maternal grandfather, Raghubir Sain Berry MBE, worked in Tanganyika as a tax official, and had an arranged marriage with 16-year-old Tanganyika-born Sraksha, with whom he had three children, and the family moved to UK in 1966, funded by Sraksha selling her wedding jewellery.[17] In Britain, Raghubir Berry joined the Inland Revenue, and as a collector, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1988 Birthday Honours list.[18] Yashvir was a general practitioner, and Usha was a pharmacist, who ran a local pharmacy.[9][19][20]

Sunak attended Stroud School, a preparatory school in RomseyHampshire, and Winchester College, a boys’ independent boarding school, where he was head boy.[21][22] He was a waiter at a curry house in Southampton during his summer holidays.[13][23] He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating with a first in 2001.[9][22] During his time at university, he undertook an internship at Conservative Campaign Headquarters.[21] In 2006, he gained an MBA from Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

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