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The Rise of the National Coloured Congress: A Profile of Fadiel Adams

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By Ragheema Mclean

“I am proud to be the only man in this county to have built a political party wearing cuffed pants and slippers and getting it to parliament.” – Fadiel Adams, Leader of the NCC

The sun has set on what many consider the most hotly contested election in South Africa’s history. With voting, vote counting, and result capturing now complete, the Lavender Hill-born leader of the National Coloured Congress (NCC) has secured two seats in the national assembly.

The National Coloured Congress, originally known as the Cape Coloured Congress (CCC), is a South African political party led by Fadiel Adams, who also founded the Gatvol Capetonian Movement.

The party, established in 2020, initially focused on issues affecting Coloured South Africans in the Western Cape before expanding its scope nationally.

When interviewed on VOC Breakfast and asked to describe himself, Adams replied with a chuckle, “If I tell you, you might need therapy,” before adding, “Fadiel Adams is the son of Rabia Adams. He’s just a normal boy, a high school dropout, a construction worker. He is a man who is concerned about where we are going as a community. That’s it.”

Adams candidly shared the personal cost of his activism: “I’m a terrible father and an even worse husband because of the demands on my time. I’m never at home, and I don’t think they know me anymore. I’m looking forward to the day when the madness stops because it is not fair on them.”

The Catalyst for Change

Adams’ political journey began with the Siqalo riots in Mitchells Plain in 2018.

He explained: “I didn’t lead the protests; I was just a part of it. I lost my car keys and asked my brother to bring my spare key. On his way to me, he got arrested,” Adams recounted.

After searching for his brother at four police stations without answers, he faced the press the next day. A brief 90-second interview with a journalist went viral, propelling him into the public eye.

This exposure led to invitations to meetings and service delivery protests, which Adams balanced with his responsibilities as a provider for his family.

Eventually, he decided to close his small business to focus full-time on community activism. “It became a passion,” he said.

Building the NCC

Adams noted that he saw the discrimination against Coloured people as an ongoing issue that needed addressing.

“Walking into any council office or shopping mall and not seeing any Coloured children working—I understand the knock-on effects because I’m from the area. I see good kids go bad daily, and I got tired of that,” he explained.

This straightforward approach, according to Adams, is the party’s main appeal.

“There was no façade; I didn’t need to say one thing and do another. Everything was done right in front of the people,” Adams said.

“We’re just ordinary people—parents who want the same thing,” he added, quoting John Legend.

A Vision for the Future

Adams is determined to use his parliamentary position for community benefit, not personal gain.

“People are now saying I’ll be making millions because of my seat in parliament. For me, this is not about money; a lot of the money will go back into the community,” he affirmed.

He acknowledged the internalized mistrust within the Coloured community, stressing the need for education and unity.

“Our people need to stop blaming everything on colour. We’ve been brainwashed to the point where we can’t see the truth,” he stated.

Addressing voter apathy among Coloured youth, Adams said there is need for inspiration and hope.

“They don’t vote because they’ve given up. They don’t even distribute CVs because they’ve quit. We’ve got to give them a reason to do it—some type of inspiration,” he said.

In parliament, Adams said the NCC aims to fight for the rights of Coloured South Africans, including access to bursaries, higher education, better education, and social and economic development.

“As small as we are, we are committed to bringing these changes,” Adams declared.

By achieving tangible results, he hopes to restore faith in the political process and demonstrate the value of participating in democracy.

VOC News

Photo: VOCfm


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