Energised by opinion pieces

2008-09-05 00:00

What is your connection with The Witness and to Pietermaritzburg?

I read The Witness, especially the opinion pieces, with my morning coffee. I don’t know if it’s the coffee or the paper — I’m just energised after the experience. I work in Pietermaritzburg, but I’m fortunate to return every day to God’s country — Howick.

Where were you born, where did you grow up? What’s your educational background?

My mother says that I fell from heaven, but tradition has it that I was born in Dundee (northern KwaZulu-Natal). I have a BA degree and a higher diploma in education. However, “learning” is an evolving process and often self-taught principles and concepts have a more profound effect than any page with an institute-approved ratification.

How do you spend your days?

I am currently teaching — or in today’s parlance “facilitating” — at the Islamia Muslim School. Otherwise, given my wife’s reactions, I think I get on her nerves.

Do you write letters to other newspapers? Why do you choose The Witness?

I occasionally do write to other papers — time permitting. I choose The Witness — or more accurately, respond to articles and letters therein — because the paper doesn’t always exhibit a balanced perspective on certain issues.

How do you receive your news about South African current affairs and why do you follow it?

Through The Witness and I have cerebral, stimulating discussions with colleagues and students.

Do you have any other passions or interests?

Lots of my time is spent reading the exegesis of certain Islamic doctrines and juris-prudence as presented by different Islamic scholars. The kaleidoscope of varying and often polarising views is fascinating. It is just very liberating. Also spending time with my wife at the cricket ranks is among my very favourite pastimes. What do you think is the value of letter writing? What inspires you to write letters?The varying and anecdotal views are a celebration of our democracy. It’s one of the avenues to emancipate my conscience.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing South Africa today?

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said: “I may be a slow walker; but I never walk backwards.” South Africa is sometimes the very antithesis to this. We want quick-fix solutions — whether it’s on the sports field or transformation at the workplace. We often end up worse off than before. There are simply no short cuts to any place worth going.

What is your age and your marital statu?

I’m married ad thanks to my lovely wife, I’m getting younger every day.

What do you believe has been your best letter?

There are quite a few. They just haven’t been published.

Do you get any feedback as a result of your letters?

Absolutely. Just browse through the very interactive Witness website to see what I mean.

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