South Africa has lost a pioneer of Muslim media, a man fondly remembered by many as ‘Mr. Kays’. Abdushakuur Hurzuq, passed away in Johannesburg on 3 February, 2016. He was one of the founding members of the Muslim Views and the editor of the late Shaykh Abu bakr Najah’s work.
Mr. Kays was often referred to as ‘Sahib’, meaning ‘master’, reflecting the respect with which he was regarded.
As the last remaining founding member of the Muslim Views, this loss reflects the end of a chapter in the journey of the iconic newspaper.
Mr. Kays pioneered the Muslim News alongside; Sayed Muhammad Zubair, Gulzar Khan, Imam Abdullah Haron, Baboo Mukaddam (founder of Instant Dry Cleaners), Kader Paleker (Palmo Meats) and Abdul Aziz Gool (Amla Cooldrinks). Mr Kays gave up his job as reporter with ‘The Drum’ and ‘Golden City Post’ for a salary of R45 per month as founding co-editor of Muslim News.
In September of 1986, the Muslim News following its enforced closure gave birth to its successor, the Muslim Views.
Current editor of the Muslim Views, Farid Sayed, shared his fond memories of a man he considers to be his mentor.
“As a child, I worked as a runner for the Muslim Views. What I have learnt as a journalist came later when Mr. Kays let us proof read copies of the Muslim News. It was when I joined Muslim Views in January 1976 that Mr. Kays made the greatest impact on me as a journalist and later as an editor,” Sayed reminisced.
Mr. Kays was known for his meticulous work ethic and lofty expectations of those who worked with him. He was an individual who many considered a true perfectionist and a stickler for detail.
On particularly the technical side of editing, in the era technology, we do not appreciate the finer details that the compilation of a newspaper had previously entailed. Muslim News was produced fortnightly, on a single sheet. Under the leadership of Mr. kays and his colleagues, impressively; the Muslim News team did not fail to meet a single deadline.
“There were two projects that I worked closely with Mr. Kays on; ‘I am a Muslim Part 2,’ and ‘The Annual Report for the Hospital Welfare Muslim Education Movement .’ He popped in one day to drop off the proofs that I was supposed to have proof read. I opened the envelope and realised he had handed me a thesaurus, a copy which to this day I still have, he smiled and said ‘farid I don’t think you really [proof] read this,” a memory Sayed fondly recalls.
In December of 1960, Mr. Kays’ seemingly insignificant discussion with friends about the need for a Muslim newspaper led to the development of this iconic establishment.
As an editor himself, Sayed captured the perfectionist and the mentor, who held in high esteem the rules of journalism. Mr. Kays was an individual who left a legacy of people who were each uniquely impacted by his wisdom and presence.
VOC (Thakira Desai)