Launch of 'EB Koybie' by Ebrahim Essa on Wednesday

Essa will be in conversation with his son, Azad Essa, who a senior reporter for the Middle East Eye based in New York City and covering the Arab/Muslim diaspora, US foreign policy and social justice

04 February 2020 - 11:02
'EB Koybie: A memoir of shenanigans between Durban & Bombay' by Ebrahim Essa.
'EB Koybie: A memoir of shenanigans between Durban & Bombay' by Ebrahim Essa.
Image: Supplied

In this part-memoir, part-satire, Ebrahim Essa chronicles a quirky childhood growing up in the 1950s in an Indian township on the outskirts of Durban.

Here he bunks school to watch Hindi films, irons his brothers' clothes to access banned imported comic books and tries to outrun gangsters in the Grey Street Casbah.

Just as he begins to win at life, apartheid education prompts his father to send him to India to study. He spends 21 days on board the SS Karanja, nervously snacking on Bakers Lemon Creams before reaching Bombay.

But studying in India isn't all it's made out to be - it's worse. He battles jaundice, long-drop toilets and electricity cuts during the 1965 India-Pakistan war over Kashmir.

Essa tickles and pokes even as he documents a fascinating period in the history of the South African Indian community.

Ebrahim Essa is a comic book and Hindi film aficionado based in Durban. He taught high school physical science for 30 years before retiring in 2016. He is a widely published letter writer to various newspapers across South Africa, and the author of The Life Story of Suliman Essa Patel. He was also a contributor to the anthology Undressing Durban (Madiba Press 2007). 


  • Date: Wednesday 5 February (5.30pm for 6pm)
  • Venue: Ike’s Books & Collectables, 48a Florida Road, Durban
  • Guest speaker: Azad Essa
  • RSVP: 031 303 921

Article provided by Ike's Books & Collectables