Lord Mohamed Sheikh, a successful businessman and politician who arrived in the UK from Uganda, has died at the age of 81.
Lord Sheikh, who was a member of the House of Lords since 2006, sadly passed away yesterday (September 22). He was credited with being the the first Conservative Muslim peer.
During his life, Lord Sheikh achieved many things, despite his family arriving “penniless” in the UK, back in 1972 after being expelled from Uganda.
His father was a wealthy businessman, who made his money from dealing with items like coffee and cotton. He was also the owner of several properties in Uganda.
However, when the family were expelled from their home country, along with thousands of other Uganda Asians, they were forced to leave everything behind, and start over again in the UK.
“We arrived here penniless. General Idi Amin took everything from us, except what we had in our minds,” Lord Sheikh told Pukaar back in July, when he attended Leicester’s ‘Uganda 50’ event, which was held in Abbey Park.
“Because we were doing very well in Uganda, we came here and we were prepared to work hard,” he added.
“What we did in this country, was perhaps what we had learned in Uganda and that is to use our brains, to use our initiative, work hard, and we have done very well.”
Lord Sheikh started out his successful career in the UK, working for an insurance broking organisation called Camberford Law. He ended up owning it and turning into a public company, which provided risk facilities for 1,800 brokers. It went on to win 12 major awards over the course of three years.
After becoming a Conservative life peer in 2006, Lord Sheik took an active role in the Lords, where he saw his role as to protect and promote financial services.
He travelled abroad extensively, visiting a number of countries with the aim of expanding trade between the United Kingdom and overseas countries.
He was also the chairman of the Conservative Ethnic Diversity Council, where he was involved I attracting more ethnic candidates into politics.
He founded the Conservative Muslim Forum and chaired it for several years, before becoming President of the Forum.
Lord Sheik was also known for his Humanitarian work, for which he was awarded an honorary doctorate. He founded the charity the Sheikh Abdullah Foundation, which is named after his father, and was patron of the charity, Orphans in Need. He also supported several other charities.
Lord Sheikh was also a writer. His first book on the Maharaja Ranjit Singh was very well received, and his second, An Indian in the House, is on the first four Indians who were members of British Parliament.
On May 20, Pukaar Group were honoured to be hosted by Lord Sheik at the House of Lords, where he helped to launch the company’s Ethnic Media Awards.