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A Tribute to a Pillar of Voice of the Cape: Honouring the legacy of Imam Alli

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By Ragheema Mclean

The air in Belhar was heavy with emotion as dozens gathered for the Janazah (funeral) of Voice of the Cape’s (VOC) beloved Imam Alli on Sunday morning, June 9, 2024. The outpouring of love and support was a testament to the profound impact he had on so many lives.

Friends, family, and colleagues came together to bid farewell, sharing stories and memories that painted a vivid picture of a man who dedicated his life to his community and faith.

Dozens gather at the Janazah of Imam Ali. Photo: VOCfm

A father of four, Imam Alli was a cornerstone of VOC, known for his multifaceted contributions and unwavering commitment to the station.

His journey at the radio station saw him don many hats, from managing finances to serving as the station manager. Each role he undertook left an indelible mark on the station and its community, highlighting his versatility and dedication.

During a special tribute on VOC’s Sunday Live show, colleagues and friends shared heartfelt memories and reflections on Imam Alli’s life and legacy.

VOC Board of Management Chairperson Achmat Jacobs remarked, “A person would need a lot of time to speak about Imam Alli’s impact on the Voice of the Cape. He was such an instrumental figure at the radio. We could not have been blessed with a better person to guide us.”

Jacobs added that Imam Alli had the best character and personality.

“In my opinion, VOC was his life. Even after retirement, Imam Ali couldn’t stay away from VOC. He returned to continue his service.”

VOC Board of Trust Member Gasant Fridie described Imam Alli as a principled man who always led with integrity. “Imam was a quiet, private, humble, intelligent, and wise person with an outstanding character. We have suffered a great loss, the entire community.”

Imam Alli also served as the chairperson of the Nurul Huda Islamic Society for many years.

Fridie explained, “He was part of the brainchild that started Belhar Islamic Primary School. His whole life was dedicated to the mosque, the school, and in 1994, VOC when he became involved with starting the radio station. He was never concerned about remuneration.”

Meanwhile, the staff at VOC considered themselves very fortunate to have worked with Imam Alli.

Station manager Goolam Fakier shared that his experience working with Imam Ali had been incredible, noting that Ali’s character encompassed everything that Islam teaches.

He recalled that during their engagements, whenever he sought advice, Imam Alli would always remind him: “What would the Prophet Muhammad (SWT) do?” This served as a constant reminder that no matter the challenge, there is always an answer based on what the Prophet (SWT) would do.

Fakier learned a great deal from Imam Alli. Starting out as station manager was difficult for him because nobody could fill Imam Alli’s shoes.

Alli and Fakier. Photo: Supplied

“Everything Imam Ali did was out of love for the radio. From his tone of voice to the way he interacted with the staff, he also fought for many people at the station. He was incredibly humble and didn’t care for taking credit, embodying kindness in all his actions.”

Beyond his work at VOC, Imam Alli also demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, managing several businesses across the City, from Mitchells Plain to Grabouw.

His wisdom, kindness, and unwavering commitment to his faith and community will be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

The Voice of the Cape and its listeners will forever be grateful for the legacy he leaves behind. His spirit will continue to inspire and guide the community for generations to come.

VOC News

Photos: VOCfm

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