EB Koybie: A memoir of shenanigans between Durban and Bombay

In this part memoir and part satire, Ebrahim Essa chronicles a quirky childhood growing up in the 1950s in an Indian township on the outskirts of the South African port city 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 Lemon Creams before reaching Bombay. But studying in India isn’t all that it’s made out to be. It’s worse. He battles jaundice, long-drop toilets and electricity cuts during the ‘65 India-Pakistan war. Ebrahim Essa tickles and pokes even as he documents a fascinating period in the South African Indian community.

About the author:

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, the author of “The Life Story of Suliman Essa Patel” and was also a contributor to the anthology Undressing Durban (Madiba Press, 2007). EB Koybie is his first book.

Reviews/Media coverage:

“From Durban to Bombay” (Juice Magazine, Feb 2020)

“Grey Street and the Casbah… author rekindles nostalgia for Durban” (The Independent on Saturday, Feb 21, 2020)

“A beautiful book” (Channel Islam, December 29, 2019)

“A master storyteller” (Mail & Guardian, Dec 6, 2019)

Walk the Talk with Alan Khan on Lotus FM (January 20, 2020)

Drive Time with Voice of the Cape.

Eb Koybie currently available at the following book stores in South Africa

Ikes Books & Collectables (Durban)

David Krut Books (Johannesburg)

Love books  (Johannesburg)

Bridge Books (Johannesburg)

Book Lounge (Cape Town)

Clarkes Bookshop (Cape Town)