On the evening of 03 March 2020 approximately 22 shacks burnt down at the Silvertown, Setswetla informal settlement in Alexandra. Through the mercy of Allah Ta’ala of the 50 individuals, there were no fatalities, however one male aged 34 had to be taken to the Alexandra clinic with minor injuries.
The Marlboro Women’s Forum were quick to respond to the call for assistance from Disaster Management Logistics and provided food items such as mielie meal, rice, tin fish, bread, juice and milk.
The manager of Disaster Management, Mr Sepheu Nkoele expressed his gratitude for their humanitarian response relief measures that contributed to alleviate the suffering of the 18 families affected by the tragic event.
For more information contact Hasina Bhana on 072 363 9571

Penny Appeal One Day In The Haram Screening Fundraiser

@pennyappealsa had their screening of “One Day in the Haram” in Johannesburg yesterday afternoon.
The nationwide screenings aim to raise funds for two worthy @pennyappealsa projects, the one being operational costs for the mobile medical bus. The medical bus is split into three areas, primary, optometry and dentistry. This amazing clinic on wheels travels to rural areas in the Cape providing much needed healthcare to school going children from underprivileged areas with no access to such facilities. In one visit a child can get fillings in their teeth and spectacles should they require. The other project funds are being raised for, is the expansion of the Image Radiology and Neonatal Units of the Al Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem.
The docomentary provided rare footage of the inner workings of the Haram In Makkah, that houses the Majestic Kaaba.
Well done to @pennyappealsa for bringing this highly insightful movie to our local screens and raising much needed funds for these two worthy causes.

Marlboro Women’s Forum Annual Bake Sale

“When women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”

This quote by Phylicia Rashad is not only an incredibly powerful statement, it also pays homage to the countless women out there making a difference, in their own special way, every single day.
One such group of incredible women are the Marlboro Women’s Forum.
The MWF is an NGO that has been operational for over 20 years.
Amongst their ongoing projects are their feeding scheme, weekly sandwich delivery to the Alexandra clinic, assisting victims of abuse and working together with disaster management to assist fire and flood victims.

The MWF work closely with other organisations in the North, such as Baitun Khair, The Two Lights Foundation and The South African National Women’s Forum, with their projects as well.
I spent a delightful Saturday morning with this group of energetic and remarkable women at their Bake sale for Syria. The ladies managed to raise R 30 000 which will be used to build shelters for the Syrian refugees.
Well done to all the ladies at MWF, may Allah reward you abundantly for the good work you are doing both locally and abroad.
For more information contact Hasina Bhana 072 363 9571

Taariq Uwais Malinga: Nasheed Artist, Motivational Speaker and part-time ITV presenter

Dedicated to the late Gogo Sophie Mokwena. May this profile bring honour to your memory for the impact you have made on Taariq’s life and may you live on through all his accomplishments.

“Growing up was tough. I’ve lived in different orphanages, been alone, living on the street and eating out of bins. Allah guided me to become a Hafiz-ul-Quran and amongst the top African Nasheed artists.”

These struggles shaped Taariq into the man he has become. At 33, he has a new album on its way, as well as a new show on ITV called The Nasheed Show, which is currently in production. He is a proud father to 11 month old Mizaan and 8 year old Jamal, and is one of the humblest souls one will encounter.

Taariq was born Thando Mokwena, he shared his mother’s womb with his twin sister Thandeka who sadly passed away at the age of four. Sophie Mokwena, the woman Taariq fondly calls Gogo (grandmother), was a stranger to him. A stranger who ran the day care his mum abandoned him to at four years old, along with his twin, Thandeka, and younger sister Aaliya. Taariq was not aware that Gogo was not his biological grandmother until she told him so at the age of 11. She cared for them as any grandmother would; fed them, housed them, clothed them, made sure they went to school and gave them the occasional smack to keep them in line.

When Taariq was six years old, a woman approached Sophie and asked to adopt Taariq in order to give him a better life. Sophie agreed, but soon Taariq realised that the real reason she had adopted him was to take care of her cows. He faced ill-treatment that eventually drove him to run away. Afraid to go back to his Gogo because he felt that she might get angry, he lived on the streets for approximately two years. He met a group of street boys, all from abusive backgrounds, and befriending them made life on the street more bearable. This band of brothers looked out for each other; they scrounged for food and found shelter together at nightfall. Their company made him feel less alone and made living in the streets tolerable. After a while, street life grew harder and he found his way back to Gogo, who was shocked to find out what had transpired.

Life as a pre-teen is challenging, and just like other teenagers Tariq was unsure of who he was. At 12 years old he had a void in his life and questions that needed to be answered. He wanted to know what he did to cause his mother to abandon him. At school his friends would say “mummy bought me this” or “mummy did that” and he had a longing for this motherly connection. He begged his Gogo to allow him go to Johannesburg to find his mother, and after two weeks of relentless badgering she finally agreed. All he possessed was a letter his mother once wrote with an address he wasn’t even sure she stayed at anymore, but he knew he had to try.

Gogo allowed him to go to Johannesburg accompanied by a neighbour from their area. She dropped him off in Eldorado Park, the place of his mother’s last whereabouts. Taariq searched all day for Cecil Daniels Street, but couldn’t find it. He located a place to sleep for the night, and when he woke up the next day he decided to try again. He asked people to direct him towards Cecil Daniels Street and eventually managed to find his way there. Tariq was filled with excitement as he stood outside the house in the picture his mother had enclosed in the letter. To his dismay, the woman who answered was not her. He showed her the picture and thankfully the woman recognised her. She told him that his mother didn’t go by the name he had mentioned, that her name was now Zaakira; she had converted to Islam.

Amazed by his story, the woman took it upon herself to help Taariq. The woman took him to the Green Mosque on Keurboom street, where she relayed his story to the Moulana of the mosque who then he offered to take him to Zaakira.  A short while later they found themselves outside a house in Bushkoppies.

“Zaakira, we came to visit and I’ve brought you a gift,” Moulana announced at the door. Taariq was full of excitement and recalls how he smiled from ear to ear. Upon opening the door, the Moulana asked his mother, “Do you know who this is? He says his name is Thando and that he is your son.”

His mother began crying and embraced him. Over time, she told him how she had been through so much, but never forgot him and his sisters. She explained why she didn’t come back, but all that mattered to Taariq was that he found her. Taariq gave his mother the tragic news of the death of his twin, shortly after she had left. He discovered that his mum had been blessed with two more beautiful daughters, Faaiza and Leila. Two weeks after his arrival she introduced him to Islam and provided him with Islamic literature in Zulu. One Jumuah morning, he took his shahada, and Thando took on the name, Taariq.

He was enrolled into the local Madressa under the guidance of a Kenyan Moulana, who Taariq says was excellent at making him understand what he was teaching. He would pause lessons for an hour sometimes, and allow his students to express themselves and ask any questions they may have. Within a month he could debate with a non-muslims about Islam. Taariq says he will always make dua (pray) for the man who sharpened his arrows.

Taariq expanded his Islamic studies at Madressa-at-Tawhid, then travelled to Ladysmith to study under Moulana Abdur Razzack, and finally back to Johannesburg under the care of Qari Moosa Seedat at Madressa-Zia-ul-Badr. It was here that he completed his memorization of the Quran with the guidance of his teacher Moulana Abu Bakr.

Taariq loved to sing Zain Bhikha’s nasheeds (vocal Islamic music); his hero at the time. He would perform at madrassah concerts and would sing his favourite nasheed daily for Qari Moosa, “Salaatullah, salaamullah ala Tahaa Rasoolillah…”

Saturdays would start off with the boys sitting in their bunk beds and Taariq singing for everyone. He grew confident and discovered that he had a powerful voice that people wanted to listen to. For Taariq, it was a form of expression and healing.

When he completed his studies, he decided to pursue his dream of being a nasheed artist and rented a studio in Berea. It was there that he wrote “Shukriya Allah” a nasheed giving thanks to Allah for everything he’s been through; he believed that it was all part of Allah’s way. He delivered the CD to CII radio station where it was approved to play on air. He recalls how nervous he was during his first live interview, and is grateful to CII for the major role they played in his career.

Taariq has released 6 albums and has followers in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. The highlight of his career is being the first African nasheed artist to collaborate with Zain Bhikha.

In 2014 Gogo passed away. The woman who shaped him in his early childhood, left this world before Taariq could tell her of his accomplishments.

Taariq is very grateful for Haroon Osman, his manager until 2016 who helped shape his career. Haroon opened many doors and exposed him to media spaces that he would not have had access to without him. Haroon also accompanied him to orphanages where he’d show children that their dreams are valid, and to bring them hope.

Taariq volunteers and sings for the children at the Maleeha Layla special needs school, and the children love him. He also volunteers at the Sayyida Fatima home in Kliprivier, Foundation of love in the South, Islamic Relief and Al Barakah Children’s Home. He takes part in an annual mass iftaar organised by Yasmeen Akoo at The Image Lifestyle Centre where over 3000 orphan children are fed. Yasmeen has been calling on Taariq since 2014, because he connects with the children who thoroughly enjoy his performances. His message to others involved in community work is not to do it for selfies and recognition. Shape the youth with your words, give them validation. Connect with them and they will realise their dreams are valid.

When he is not recording in studio or booked for shows, Taariq is a motivational speaker in schools and orphanages.

As a product of his background, he feels compelled to do what he can to bring the African community closer to Allah. He wants to change the perception that Islam is only for Indians, Whites or Arabs. He wants to show everyone that you can be a Black Muslim and be proud of who you are. He wants to see people to stand on their own; be able to stand firm and show the beauty of Islam.

He had no one to rely on as he grew up, and so he created a bond with God. He reached a point in his life when he realised that nothing moves without Allah. Knowing Allah is closer to him than his jugular, and knowing that everything that happened to him was from Allah has helped his healing.

Taariq is grateful for life and that Allah has given him more time to rectify the mistakes he’s made. He prays more and makes more time for his children. He is grateful for the people who support and play a role in his life. He is most grateful for the woman he calls the comfort of his heart, Aaliya; his lovely, understanding wife makes him feel complete.

“Long after we are buried society forgets and moves on, all you have are Allah and your good deeds.” His advice to others is simply, “Laa ilaha ilallah*, we are here to serve Allah. Different prophets came for different people, but the message was the same. Live your life and end your life with these same words.”

*The meaning of “laa ilaahah illa allah” is that nothing worshipped is worthy of worship except Allah—it is simultaneously a denial and affirmation. “laa ilaahah” is denial of all worship other than that of Allah. “illa allaah” is affirmation that all worship is for Allah alone without partners.

TTLF Learner for learner project

It was heartwarming spending the morning of 11 January 2020 with the Two Lights Foundation and their group of energetic volunteers packing stationary for underprivileged learners.

The Learner for learner project has been running annually for the past 3 years and is an effort by TTLF to engage learners from the local community in acts of service to others.

The distributions took place at primary schools in Thembisa, Pretoria and Soweto when the school terms began.

In addition, the team packed boxes of gently used Islamic Literature destined for a school in Malawi.

In closing, TTLF spokesperson Hafiz Fareed Akoojee shared some words of advice to the youth “When you volunteer you don’t get paid for it, you do it from your heart.”

For more information on how to get involved in these and other TTLF projects contact:

Hafiz Fareed Akoojee on 083 564 7929

Halimah Tlalane Sebusi – Humanitarian and Propagator of Deen

To find an individual like mama Halimah, who at 69 years old, is making a positive change in the lives of the elderly and young alike, brings warmth to the soul and makes one question how much we are actually doing for society’s most vulnerable.

For mama Halimah, the day starts early. She rises at 2.52am to pray Tahajjud (optional prayer), then engages in zikr (remembrance of Allah) and waits for Fajr (pre-dawn prayer). She then heads to the kitchen and starts her cooking for the school children and pensioners she feeds daily. Her food preparation is done at night and in the morning her niece, Maryam, comes to help her. The pensioners and children from surrounding schools arrive at her home from around 1pm. It’s an opportunity for them to socialise and share a meal together. On Saturdays she takes food to Realogile High School to feed the matriculants who attend extra classes. She also bakes cakes for resale to sustain her feeding scheme and accepts donations of food items only.

In 1982, the Catholic born lady found herself relocating from Alexandra to Mogwase in the North West Province, to work as a data-capturer for African Explosives and Chemical Industries (AECI). Little did she realise the impact this decision was to make on her life.

She constantly had questions for her priest, who couldn’t always answer them and knew the answers could be found. She recalls with a smile, “Father Mckay once asked me why I don’t come to confession? I asked him why I should tell him my sins. ‘Why should I confess to you when God is all around us? Can’t I go to a corner and tell him what I did?’” And thus began her voyage of discovery.

It was in October 1990 that she declared her shahada (profession of faith). She went to the Mosque Plaza in Rustenburg, it was still early and all the shops were closed, except for Dawood’s Haberdashery and Material. She went in without knowing what she was looking for. A lady came up to her and asked if she could help. When Halimah expressed her desire to learn about Islam, “The lady’s face changed,” she says. “She was shocked and wasn’t expecting me to say that, I thought I had said something very wrong. She told me to wait there and walked away. Her husband came to ask how he can help, I gave him the same response and he too was shocked. I thought that I’d definitely done something wrong. The man left then returned and told me to come with him. At this point I was not scared, and got into this stranger’s car without question.”


They drove to the house of the late Moulana Mumtaz ul Haqq in Zinniaville. After a lengthy discussion and Moulana explaining the beliefs of a Muslim person, she asked how she could become Muslim. He said all you need to do is say Laa ilaha ilallah Muhammedur Rasool Allah and explained the meaning in English. She recited her shahada (profession of faith) and relays that “it felt like she had been sleeping the whole time [and now she was awake].”

She wrote to Sheikh Ahmed Deedat who sent her a pack of literature and she’s been conducting dawah (inviting to Islam) ever since. She laughs about writing her resignation letter to the church. She told the priest about the religion she found and hoped they would turn to the truth.


 “Islam made me feel protected, I have a family now. Islam makes me feel so safe.”

Her favourite surah (chapter) in the Holy Quran is Surah Yaaseen, specifically verse 36 in which Allah says, “Exalted is He who created all pairs – from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know.” She says that for her this proves that the Quran, this word of God that moves and overwhelms her at times, comes from Allah.

Halimah may be old but her goals are still bold. She would like to use Alex FM to preach and call those in need to her feeding scheme. One of her wishes is to play recordings from her role model, Mufti Menk, to the people of Alexandra. She also has plans to open up a Geriatric Day Care Centre for pensioners living in and around Alexandra, who need a place of distraction whilst their loved ones are at work. “It’s only for Allah, not personal gain, Allah sees everything, so don’t be tempted to enrich yourselves.”


When I asked her what she is most grateful for right now, her reply was, “My relationship with the Adamjee Foundation and their help in paving my way to Jannah (heaven). I can’t thank Allah enough for making me a Muslim.”

Halimah encourages people to use platforms such as Proudly Muslims. “I need to share my story and you have given me a voice,” she says.

Halimah is an inspiration to all, her parting words of advice were “Laa ilaha illallah…..make sure Allah knows he is the only one, there is nothing besides him that I think of. My mind is only Islam. When I die I don’t want people to praise me, just remember me as I am.” 

For more information or to donate food items, contact Halimah Sebusi on 063 932 0557.


The art of giving charity in six easy steps

Charity in Islam, is not defined as one specific act. It is not merely the act of financially assisting the impoverished, feeding the hungry or healing the sick. Yes, spending one’s wealth in charity is a virtuous and noble act, the reward for which is from Allah alone, however, charity has many forms. It is in picking up hazardous material from the road or loving for your neighbour what you love for yourself. If we define charity as simply giving from our wealth, we are depriving ourselves of the deeper understanding of the teachings of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w)

Here are six tips to make charity a part of your life together with a teaching from our master Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w):

  1. Donate monthly to a specific charity – “The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
  2. Keep bottles of water in the fridge to hand out to those out in the heat – “The best form of charity is to give someone water to drink.” (Ibn Majah)
  3. Watch your words, speak kindly – “A kind word is a form of charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
  4. Pay attention to your surroundings – “Removing a harmful thing from the pathway is charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
  5. Smile more – “Your smile for your brother is charity.” (Tirmidhi)
  6. Do good where you can – “Every act of goodness is charity.” (Bukhari)

May we give of ourselves and our wealth and may it be a means of our salvation in this world and the next.

Abdul Manack – Radio and TV Personality, Professional Cricketer, Inspirational Speaker & Action Coach

The year is 1991. Imagine being the first non-white South African to play at the Wanderers Stadium after the celebrated release of Nelson Mandela; 30 000 spectators, and all eyes are on you. Not many people can live out their wildest, most improbable dreams, yet in spite of many setbacks – political and personal – Abdul Manack is truly fortunate to have lived some of his biggest dreams. A renowned cricketer turned motivational coach and media personality, this selfless South African sporting treasure has a story worth a chapter in local history books.

As a young boy, Abdul grew up in Vereeniging, but in pursuit of more prosperity, his family later moved to Lenasia, Johannesburg. Abdul fondly recalls his eventful sporting career at Nirvana High School. It was here where his former (now late) teacher, Mr Bismillah encouraged him to pursue his cricketing dreams. Abdul’s grandest aspiration was to play for South Africa, however, due to the constraints of apartheid at the time, this was not possible. His next big goal was to play at Lord’s, in the United Kingdom, a place he envisioned as the mecca of cricket. Mr Bismillah recommended that Abdul do everything in his power to achieve this goal, firstly by training hard, never giving up and making the non-white Sacos high school side. Manack impressively made the team, and with that accolade, Mr Bismillah handed him an envelope containing an airline ticket to London. Abdul was unaware that the school and his peers, along with Pirate’s Cricket Club, had raised funds for him to travel to England and play the sport he was destined to in Yorkshire.

However, like most conservative Muslim parents, Abdul’s father visualised a university degree for him, and dismissed his sporting plans. Feeling despondent and hopeless, Abdul’s ticket to cricketing glory was then handed to fellow student, Nazier Dindar, and he realised at that moment that “life is like a heartbeat, it goes up and down, and if you can live with the momentum of a heartbeat, you can do anything”. His dreams were not entirely crushed, as in an unexpected turn, the cricketer they sent in his place to England was homesick and wanted to return to South Africa. This gave 18-year-old Abdul a rare, second opportunity to fulfill his dreams abroad. He believes that everything happens in its perfect time, willed only by Allah.

Manack lived in England for six months each year during the 80s, engaged in a cricket coaching course, and spent the other six months coaching cricket on home soil. This arrangement continued for six seasons where he played professionally in England and Wales. He also had the honour of playing at Lords after the Unification of sport. Abdul felt at peace during this stage of his life, fully embraced in England as a non-white player, often winning ‘Cricketer of the Year’ awards at the clubs he played for – a possibility that wasn’t conceivable in pre-1994 South Africa. Abdul also qualified as a senior cricket coach within his stay in the UK.

Abdul’s life orbited around the aristocratic sport, and the incidences he had experienced through it have shaped him. Once, while playing at school in a local derby with the heat of everyone watching and cheering him on, he bowled his last ball and his team lost. Naturally, Abdul felt devastated. His spirit was knocked out for a six. It was his sage teacher’s (Mr Bismillah) words that consoled him: “If you can look up, you can rise up. Don’t look down, the moment you lift your head up, you see the sun and the whole picture changes.” Due to this incident, Abdul started to look at things differently. After that moment he started believing in himself, and realised that it was okay to fail, but live every moment like it’s your last.

His passion for cricket is shared with his devotion to humanitarian work and unlocking potential. After his mother was diagnosed with cancer, he spent the last three months of her life caring for her full-time, which he recalls as “the most rewarding and blessed process of my life.” This emotionally moving experience sparked his interest in assisting the elderly and deprived, and has since spent time at an old-age home, orphanages and youth development programmes at underprivileged schools. Abdul also aids five different pledge lines on ITV, and is also part of the network’s popular show ‘Inspirate’.

The action coach’s other philanthropic projects include working with St Vincent School for the Deaf and being the project manager for Sandton Convention Centre’s Marriage Conference. His greatest passion is uplifting orphans. He shares the insightful words of the Prophet (PBUH): “The one who takes care of an orphan is with me in paradise.” Abdul realises that we have to give much more of ourselves.

The main event that motivated him to participate in humanitarian work was an encounter with a young boy while living in Yorkshire. This lad asked Abdul to help him improve his bowling, but as a young and upcoming cricketer, Mr Manack admits to being too “self-involved” and not one to give advice at the time. The boy came back day after day and asked for help once again. Abdul, just to get rid of the boy, showed him a few cricket skills. The boy returned again the next week, this time with a newspaper article in hand, illustrating how well he did in a cricket match. Abdul became more conscious of his own arrogance and this interaction taught him to become a giver rather than a taker. He was so grateful for this spiritual learning curve, since he found the feeling of giving more fulfilling than just playing cricket for personal gain alone. From this point onwards, Mr Manack started cricket and coaching training courses with the aim to develop ‘a mindset of a champion’. Abdul’s own son is following in his father’s sporting footsteps, and is training hard to play for post-apartheid South Africa one day soon. Insha-Allah.

One of his most heart-warming experiences was when he asked to give a talk at a deaf school. As Abdul was engaging with his audience and conducting interactive activities with them, he noticed that they weren’t in fact looking at him. Instead, their eyes were fixed on a sign-language translator. He was so moved because while they couldn’t actually hear him, they were following his instructions and heeding his words. “When you speak to people, always give them your best, because the best will always come back to you – even though you may think they are not hearing you, they are.” he adds.

Abdul has felt most rewarded while carrying out a ‘Brain Activation’ project with students and orphans in a 2-day workshop with Hawa Charfaray. Each of these destitute children had a challenging history, but they left the workshop with more confidence, better self-esteem and in complete disbelief that they could achieve and were capable of so much more than they had imagined. Abdul would like to continue inspiring young children in similar circumstances. He also runs ‘Beat the Bully’ programmes at schools.

The father-of-three thanks the Almighty Allah for giving him the opportunity to do good. He wants to make a difference, and supplicates: “Allah, use me daily as your servant unconditionally, and let me be the one you choose as your servant when your creation needs help.”

The former cricketer’s days always begin early; waking up for Fajr salaah (morning prayers), followed by half an hour of Quran, Zikr and reflection. After chauffeuring the kids to school, he spends 2-3 hours setting out proposals, planning events and going to schools to give anti-bullying and leadership talks. After midday prayers, his afternoon is filled with meetings and inspiring one-on-one coaching sessions, which are mostly voluntary. He de-stresses by cycling and often attends social upliftment events in the evenings. His day ends with evening prayers, family dinner and introspection.

One of the most pivotal moments in his life was receiving an honorary green Protea blazer, an achievement that he had worked his entire sporting life towards. A momentous ceremony was held four years ago, where former non-white cricket players – who would have been inducted into the South African cricket team during the apartheid era – were nominated. Only four sportsmen were given this honour, and Abdul Manack was one of the revered recipients.

He lives by three words: Best, test and rest.

Give your best. Live for Al-Ihsan (excellence).

Life will test you. You will always be tested; Allah says there will be ease after every test, yet still, give your best.

Leave the rest to Allah and trust his process.

The motivational speaker’s greatest life lesson: “We have so little time and we need to make every moment count, because you don’t know if you will have the next one. Never plan for tomorrow. Make everything happen today and expect the unexpected.”

He admires the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) most, noting that there isn’t a better role model, and he lives his life by what the Prophet said – to smile and do good. Another mentor he looks up to is close friend, Dr Moosagee, manager of the South African cricket team, whose ethical and moral character is inspiring.

Favourite Quranic verse: Surah Ar-Rahman, “So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?”

Abdul defines success as making a difference and an impact. It’s not a CV you achieve but a legacy and your contribution you make in this world. “If someone is sad, make them smile, be an ear that listens with empathy and respond with love. ‘Success’ is things you do that touch a person’s heart, fulfilling your purpose, recognising Allah and getting others to do the same.”

A few goals Abdul Manack has for the future is to go for Haj (pilgrimage), and to be able to speak globally and inspire today’s learners to be tomorrow’s leaders. He would also like to travel to New Zealand next year, exactly one year from the date of the devastating mass shooting and read salaah (praying ritual) at the same mosque where the act of terror occurred.

To others exploring the branch of philanthropy, he advises that: “Doing good must be unconditional when you want to help someone. We all have choices and those choices we make define us. When the situation arises, always choose to do good, because the reward for good is only good. Continuously spread salaam and peace.”

Abdul can’t retire from the subject of gratitude, being most thankful for the fact that he is breathing and alive, for the people in his life and for every blessing that God has given him. He is so grateful for his experiences – past and his present. He imparts the wisdom that “life is duality, accept that you will experience good and bad, happiness and sadness, wealth and financial difficulty and good health and illness. For everything that happens, show shukr (gratitude) and sabr (patience).”


He believes that the Proudly Muslims of SA initiative creates awareness; that everyone who has been through pain, has a story, and that story has awakened them to a higher purpose, and needs to be shared. “Our next generations can learn from these stories and these people. We don’t need to look up to sports heroes or Instagram role models to impact the youth. These stories can make an impact and inspire others,” he further states.

The footprint Abdul leaves on this earth would be a smile and his positive energy. He hopes society will remember him for that. He’d like people to recollect that he had a meaningful life, and he always encouraged people to do good. He hopes that whoever met him was inspired and a meaningful connection of love was made.

After realising his own sporting goals, Abdul Manack’s mission is helping others to achieve their own objectives. With his convivial and compassionate approach, he has empowered and inspired those less fortunate, not by only being their hero, but by making them believe that they are their own greatest asset.

Running for breakfast

Penny Appeal SA embarked on a fundraising challenge to raise money for The Breakfast Club, a Penny Appeal SA Project. The Breakfast Club focuses on providing nutritious breakfast meals to under resourced schools, or to children who are facing food insecurity at home. This has been an on-going project of Penny Appeal SA, which has ensured hundreds of children have nutritious breakfast meals.

The run took place on the morning of 13th of October 2019 in Durban. The starting point was at Blue Lagoon and snaked through the city for 10km’s until it reached the end point at Suncoast Entertainment World.
Whilst some individuals contributed to race participants fundraising efforts with crowdfunding, others accepted the challenge to join the FNB Run Durban 10km race. A group of 21 individuals ran for change with Penny Appeal SA in aid of the Breakfast Club.

Saeeda Khan stood out in the volunteer group (named Team Orange) as she raised a staggering R20 000 (the highest amount raised) towards The Breakfast Club due to her dedication to the drive.
Approximately R 77 000.00 was raised by the 19 participants. R100 gives a child a breakfast for a month, which means that more children can be fed and more schools who need it the most can be approached.

“The Breakfast Club is a project where we try and bring nutritious breakfasts to schools where the children do not have the means to have a healthy meal in the morning due to poverty. Penny Appeal SA is trying to help children receive the best possible education by providing breakfasts to keep them healthy, strong and focused each day,” says Shahnaaz Paruk, the Penny Appeal SA CEO.

If you would like to volunteer to collect donations to one of their projects, go to their website and fill out the form or contact:
Penny Appeal South Africa
Contact number 031 110 0573

Toilets for South Africa’s Most Vulnerable

Pit toilets are still a reality in South Africa and many schools are still using this system due to a lack of resources. Use of these toilets has resulted in physical injury, illness and in a few cases, the deaths of learners.

According to statistics from the Department of Basic Education briefing on the 7th of November 2018, out of the country’s 23 334 active schools, 3 898 still had pit latrines as the only form of sanitation.

The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa partnered with the Gift of the Givers and launched a campaign to eradicate pit toilets from South African schools. The President of the country himself, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, called upon the private sector and other stakeholders to join forces with the government to eradicate this problem.

In term two, Qurtuba Islamic Academy embarked on a fund-raising initiative to assist their brothers and sisters in education. Their aim was to help make a difference by providing six cubicle toilets to a school in urgent need, by providing an environment where learners are educated with dignity.

Juluka Ndoda Primary School in the Kwadudela area of Howick, has for years been subjected to toilet facilities which were in an appalling state. Juluka Ndoda is a top performing school with more than 700 pupils attending from Grade R to Grade 7, but with toilet facilities that were no longer fit for use. The KwaZulu Natal Department of Public Works, which is responsible for the school’s buildings had conducted site visits and deemed the facilities unfit.

On the 12th of September 2019, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa together with Qurtuba Islamic Academy and Gift of the Givers handed over newly built toilet cubicles to the school. The pupils also received little gift packs of sweets and stationery, and were given important advice on hygiene and academic excellence.

Learners and teachers at Juluka Ndoda Primary School have expressed their gratitude for the 12 toilet cubicles that will now allow them to concentrate on the important work of learning.

Follow Qurtuba Islamic Academy to see the work they are doing:

Instagram – @qurtubaislamicacademy

Facebook – @qurtubaislamicacademy

Twitter – @QurtubaIA


How can you help?

By donating towards this life changing project.

For more information or to contribute:
Contact Ml Asad Pandor –


make a deposit into their account:

Name: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa Relief

Bank: Nedbank Fordsburg

Branch code: 198 765

Account Number: 1953 285 937

Reference: Your name/Toilets 4 schools

Lillah and Sadaqah applicable