I was born and raised in the beautiful picturesque city of Cape Town, South Africa. My faith has grounded me, every step of the way, and defines the richness of my life’s journey.
Let me take you on a summarised version of that journey.
Like a nomad we never lived in one place long enough to call home, so life was pretty much an adventure.
My parents always looked for better living conditions, so each time we moved, would be better than the area or house before. Of the areas I’ve stayed, these are the places I remember:
- Grassy Park
- Somerset Park
- I recall having much fun playing in the street and welcoming my youngest sister to the family.
- Caravan Park
- Funny story here, as I explain to my Sub A teacher that my house is on wheels
- Apartheid was rife and I was smack bang in the middle of it as we lived pretty close to Belgravia High School- such a scary time
- Back then we walked a distance to school. On my return home one day, I forgot which road and number I stayed – I eventually found the house – my parents don’t know about this.
- Rondebosch East
- we moved here still during apartheid – so there’s quite a story to be told as to the confusion of our neighbours, who wondered if one of my parents was white. Post apartheid I spent my high school years at this house, where the neighbourhood grew to love and care for each other. This area was a true representation of looking after your neighbours
- afther this house – i married and there began another milestone of my life.
With moving comes different schools. I attended 3 primary schools and one high school. Adapting to change became the norm. I love meeting new people and making friends. I wasn’t always liked or welcomed with a smile, but it honestly didn’t bother me.
There were people who accepted me whole heartedly into their friendship circle, who may not remember me today, but I will always remember them. THANK YOU FOR YOU FRIENDSHIP –
- Vazlin in my Sub A class at Muhammadeya Primary School. My teacher Mrs Hartley was the best teacher ever,
- Shanaaz, Shamshad, Zaida and Nadia in Sub B to Standard 2
- Jody, Widaad and Zorah in Standard 3 to Standard 5
- Firhana, Sonja in high school – with Firhana it was probably the other way around as she attended the school in Standard 7, so I welcomed her.
YOU made me feel welcome in a new environment.
My heritage I’m told is quite a mix between my mom and dad
- South African and Proudly South African – I’m probably 3 generations South African from both my mom and dad’s side.
- Indian – that explains the love for curry and strong food
- Arab – that explains why when I go to Makkah they let me through with the Arabs
- German – that explains why I was always allowed to go to the ‘whites only toilet’ back in 1980’s and my sister wasn’t.
- Irish – with Irish royalty nogal ( I always new there was some royal blood there)
But here in Cape Town we are referred to as Cape Malay. Very proud of my heritage and growing up in South Africa. Its the most diverse and culturally inspiring country in the world.
I was raised with 5 prayers a day, eating halaal food, recitation of the Quran, and fasting in the month of ramadaan ….. It was at the age of 17, I was spiritually awakened and decided to wear hijaab (the head covering) and modest attire. This actually drew me closer to God and the purpose of life. With the values and belief instilled, I am humbled and grateful for every lesson learned, prayer granted, experience undertaken and blessed to have people, friends, family, supporters and acquaintances that have influenced, impacted and connected in a such a very special way.
Islam has taught me
- to remember God in everything we do and that its not a part time occurrence
- to value time and the use thereof wisely
- to find peace within before dealing with the outside world
- to respect, accept and embrace the beauty and differences of each person
- to love for others what you love for yourself
- to care for others as you would your own children
- to understand and be grateful for the gift of food, water, clothing and shelter
- to be thankful
- I realise that this list can go on forever … so I’ll stop here
I’d like to end this post with a quote from the Quran:
Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Araf, (Verse 179), what can be translated as, “They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear; those are like animals and even worse, those are the absent-minded or the heedless.”
Let us awaken our beings and start to feel more – life is precious and we have no idea when I clock will stop ticking – so let us love those close to us – embrace and learn from those around us – encourage and motivate those who need it and live by opening our hearts and allowing every child to experience the beauty of life and not the war – I urge you to feel more and have faith XOXO
PHOTOGRAPHED BY THE AMAZING - Tegan Smith
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