A Giant amongst us has fallen

A tribute to the late Dr Anwah Nagia

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” Nelson Mandela

Today, we are all far poorer due to the loss of Dr Anwah Nagia.

A freedom fighter, an activist, a philanthropist, a businessman, a friend to all and a counsel to many. Dr Anwah Nagia touched many lives with his humility and his humanitarianism, chairman of many NGO’s whose main objective was poverty alleviation and housing.

I had the privilege and honour to be in this great luminary’s company daily for many years as we worked side by side. During my time spent with him, he helped me overcome many challenges and guided and moulded me into what I am today. Dr Anwah Nagia would become my mentor and was more than just a colleague, he was a father, my brother, my friend, and my counsel.

Dr Anwah Nagia was a visionary of note that put the global plight of the disimpoverished first and in 2011, he embarked on a self-funded project to highlight this ethos by building the KAAF Human Rights Centre and Palestine Museum opposite the Cape Town Castle. This six-story building would stand as a symbol of hope for the less fortunate and a beacon of light to those suffering globally. It would house a record of suffering, oppression, a place of worship and a centre of learning for future generations.

During his early days, Dr Nagia was an anti-apartheid activist who fought alongside many well-known activists like Judges Siraj Desai and Bashir Wagley who became his lifelong friends. He would later go onto business and become the voice of Shari’ah Investment Funds in South Africa, yet he never allowed his voice to be silenced by propagators of oppression and injustice.

On 21 August 2020, Dr Anwah Nagia was admitted to hospital for triple Bypass Surgery and would later during recovery in hospital contract the dreaded Coronavirus. During his time of suffering, the communities of Cape Town prayed for Anwah and mosques would offer up evening prayer sessions for his recovery.

Every Friday, without fail, many would receive a personal message from Anwah, an inspiring note for the Islamic Sabbath which abruptly stopped during his time of illness.

Sadly, on 28 September2020, we received the news that Dr Anwah Nagia had succumbed to the disease. Immediately we saw the love that people had for this great man through the barrage of massages posted to all social media platforms. Dr Anwah Nagia is survived by his wife Fadielah, son Kaamil and daughter Amaal.

His voice will always echo in places of injustice and his legacy will stand as testament to the cause for freedom and justice for all.

A giant amongst us has fallen, let us pick up the batten and continue in his name.

Aluta continua

By Abdu-Raof Hanslo

SA Diplomat Abroad News

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