Members of the local Muslim broadcasting community are mourning the loss of a stalwart within the industry, after the passing of Radio 786 technical head, Akbar Hussein on Monday evening. He was a member of 786’s technical team for nearly 20 years, taking part in the station’s first ever broadcast in 1995. He was 64 at the time of passing.
Paying homage to the life of the late icon, Radio 786 journalist and editor, Tashreeq Truebody said Hussein epitomized the values of dedication, love, hard work and commitment. He also recognized the technician’s profound impact on many within the industry, himself included.
“There aren’t many words that we can use to describe his legacy, other than saying it was one filled with hard work, commitment and dedication. It’s a lesson for many broadcasters and us in the media, and his presence really is irreplaceable,” he noted, expressing gratitude for the legacy he would be leaving behind at the station.
Former VOC tech manager and current ITV broadcaster, Saawmiet Moos said it was a sad day for the community to be losing an individual who had helped keep the medium of communication alive, especially during the early years of Muslim broadcasting in the Cape. He noted that despite working for different stations, there was always a sense of unity amongst the different technical teams on the ground.
“There was always good camaraderie and working relations, and there was always the odd quirk or joke being shared amongst the teams. We make dua that Allah (S.W.T) grants Akbar a high place in Jannah inshallah. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all his media colleagues when we say that,” he stated.
Speaking on Tuesday morning to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, Big Walk Chairperson, Dawood Essack also lamented the passing of the late stalwart. He expressed appreciation for Hussein’s efforts and involvement with the long running community event.
“Today is a very sad day for the family of the big walk with the passing on of Uncle Akbar Hussein. He has been there since the inception (of the Big Walk), and we hope Allah (S.W.T) gives him Jannatul Firdaus, and makes it easy on the family,” he said.
Imraahn Mukaddam, a well known community businessman and activist, called Hussein a “true pioneer” in Islamic and community broadcasting.
“He has gone ahead to broadcast at a higher frequency, using the most perfect of airwaves to finally transmit the most tranquil reality. We now communicate using the most divine transmitter, which is our duas to the Almighty, that you our beloved mentor Uncle Akbar be granted the highest place in Jannah,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the VOC, station manager Moegsin Khan also had a few positive words to share following his passing.
“Akbar Hussein will always be remembered for his friendly and helpful outlook on life. May the Almighty grant him a high place in Jannah, Ameen,” he added. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)