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Mervyn Maciel

Click on above to view a young Mervyn Maciel with tribal police in Kenya.

Born in Kenya in 1929, his upbringing was touched by tragedy, as his mother died when he was aged six, and then his father and step-mother perished alongside three other relatives when their boat was torpedoed in World War Two.

Growing up in British India, Mervyn returned to Kenya to take a job in the colonial civil service, but moved with his wife Elsie and four children to England with the African nation's independence in 1963.


Pitching up in Sutton as the "first non-white couple in the area", the family found acceptance rather than prejudice.

He said: "We heard a lot of things about how the English did not like children, and that they preferred dogs,"

he says.

"But our first neighbour, Mr Shaw, who was in his nineties, said it was lovely to hear children again." 

Despite his love of Britain, Mervyn’s heart is still in Kenya, and particularly among the tribesmen of the northern provinces. 

He said: "These people from the north inspire me even to this day.

"They are very poor… but they are prepared share anything to you."

A devout Christian who attends the Holy Family Catholic Church on Sorrento Road, Mervyn volunteers his time as a social worker, and devotes two days a week to working at Aid to the Church In Need, a local Catholic charity. 

In his free time, he tends a plot at Gander Green Allotments with Elsie, and writes for several magazines.   


To order a copy of Mtoto to Mzee written by Mervyn Maciel

Email mervynels.watuwashamba@gmail.com;

£10 including p & p


Kenya life in the 50/60's



Among camels and sheep North Horr



Camel safari NFD


Mervyn outside Elspeth Huxley's cottage

at Malmesbury



Mervyn with Rendile warriors at Marsabit

Bwana Shauri