national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, February 9, 2020


Ike’s Books & Collectables recently launched Ebrahim Essa (aka EB Koybie), Essa’s memoir of shenanigans between 1950s Durban and 1960s Bombay.

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 that 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 South African Indian community.

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). EB Koybie is his first book.

At the launch, Essa was seen in conversation with his son Azad Essa, who lives in New Jersey and is a senior reporter for the Middle East Eye based in New York City, covering the Arab/Muslim diaspora, US foreign policy and social justice

Note: This was the first 'solo' Ike's launch, as from 2020 the launch partnership with Adams Books and Ike's has sadly been discontinued due to tough times at Adams.

Books available at R150.00 (cash or card) direct from Ike's Books & Collectables at 48a Florida Road (above Mama Luciano’s restaurant, 4th Avenue). For more information contact 031 303 9214, email: or visit