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Honouring the Legacy of Nabil Swart: A Fearless Educator and Advocate for Justice

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By Ragheema Mclean

Celebrated not only as an Alexander Sinton High legend but also as an unwavering figure during the apartheid era, leaving behind a legacy characterized by courage and commitment to justice, Nabil Swart’s life epitomized a quest for truth and a determined stance against oppressive systems.

To honour his life, a memorial will be held on Sunday, 19th November, marking what would have been his 87th birthday. The memorial will be held at the Khalid Desai Memorial Hall at Alexander Sinton High School in Thornton Road in Athlone at 3pm.

The gathering aims to celebrate his life, his commitment to justice, and his invaluable contributions to education and societal change.

Speaking on the VOC Drive time show on Wednesday, his son, Dehran Swart, says the memorial is anticipated to be filled with a lineup of guest speakers who will reminisce and share heartfelt memories in honour of his father.

He adds, “There’ll even be a teacher flying out from the US just to read a poem.”

Dehran fondly recalls his father’s dedication to education, noting that he spent his entire teaching career at Alexander Sinton High.

“He dedicated his entire teaching career to Alexander Sinton High School, nurturing young minds and inspiring a generation with his unique and transformative approach to education,” Dehran reminisces.

Nabil’s teaching philosophy focused not only on academic excellence but also on instilling critical thinking and providing students with a broader perspective on life in South Africa.

“He tried to make education relevant, giving learners a different perspective on life in South Africa.”

“His commitment to justice was not confined to the streets but extended into the classroom.”

Dehran highlighted that his dad’s stance against injustice led to his imprisonment on multiple occasions.

“He could’ve lived a very easy middle-class life as a teacher, but he chose to be on the side of the oppressed.”

Despite the risks, he confronted the oppressive regime, speaking truth to power and embodying the Socratic ideals of questioning assumptions and seeking truth.

Furthermore, Dehran conveyed that his father’s legacy was one of unwavering resistance against oppression.

“Even in his final days, he stood in solidarity with the people of Palestine, donning his keffiyeh.”

VOC News

Photo DEHRAN SWART / Muslim Views


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