From the news desk

VOC listener leaves behind monetary legacy for station

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The significance of radio in the fast and ever changing world of technology can never be understated as radio remains the window to the world. While radio plays its part in keeping us informed, educated and often entertained, it’s also a medium for human connections. For the elderly, radio plays an intrinsic role as a companion that keeps the soul uplifted throughout the day.

The Voice of the Cape has played that exact role in the life of the late Yasmin Behardien, who passed away on 18 December 2013. VOC was such an important part of her daily routine that the former Grassy Park resident left behind a generous amount of money to the station in her last will and testament. 

Her niece and the co-executor of her estate, Sumaya Behardien said the donation made by her late aunt comes as no surprise.

“My aunt never watched television or had access to the internet. Her main and daily source of what was happening in the world was the radio. She kept the radio on at all times,” Sumaya recalls.

“She even gave me a radio when I lived on the university campus to ensure that I’m listening to the Muslim community radio station. As she became older, she couldn’t attend mosque anymore and so she really appreciated the Muslim community radio station.”

The two had a close bond, as Yasmin had no children. According to Sumaya, her late aunt was a compassionate and giving woman, who always assisted where she could.

“She was a kind hearted woman always willing to give. An example of how she lived was that she always kept extra food to give to people who came knocking at her door. She never judged or turned anyone away. She was not a wealthy person but donated to almost every good cause she could.”

The late Yasmin Behardien was the youngest daughter of the late Imam Abdullah Behardien. She held a degree from the University of Cape Town and was a teacher by profession. After more than 20 years of teaching, she was unfortunately diagnosed with an illness that saw her needing to receive chronic medication for the rest of her life.

She was consequently released from her teaching career due to medical incapacity. She never married and resided with her older widowed sister, Asa Behardien, who passed away in 2009.

“Unfortunately, after aunty Asa passed, aunty Yasmin’s physical health also started to deteriorate to such an extent that in the last year she could not leave the house anymore. She eventually passed away of natural causes on the 18th of December 2013, four days short of her 72nd birthday. I think the loss of her sister who took care of her all her life and had been her companion was the trigger to her deterioration.”

Yasmin did not have any children but she loved children and took an avid interest in the lives of all her nieces and nephews as well as the children of her friends and neighbours.

“My father, her brother, passed away when I was 6 years old. Aunty Yasmin called me daily as I was growing up and even as an adult. Even though we lived far out in Atlantis, she ensured that she and Aunt Asa came to visit us in Atlantis at least one Sunday in a month until they were too old for the journey,” Sumaya detailed.

A very nostalgic Sumaya said that it was because of her aunt she was able do many things which her single, widowed mother was unable to do.

“My aunt fetched us for the entire duration of each school holiday and would expose us to many things. She took us on many excursions to Kirstenbosch, Table Mountain, World of Birds, Simon’s Town and even our first Cinema experience. She had an abundance of patience that even parents do not have.”

Sumaya said her aunt, with her experience as a teacher, was able to assist her in improving her skills at school.

“She taught me to improve my reading and writing. She instilled religious, cultural and family values in me which I will be eternally grateful for. If I reflect now on the role she played in my life, I can honestly say, I could not have asked for a better aunt. May Allah (SWT) place noor in the kuboor of Aunty Yasmin, ameen.”

VOC staff were touched by the monetary legacy and believe this type of charity is a beautiful form of Sadaqatul Jariya. VOC has thanked the Behardien family for the contribution.

“This is a testament to the influential role and presence VOC has in the life of its listeners. Our elderly listeners are the bedrock of our community and of this radio station’s longevity. With their constant duas, the radio station will continue to grow InshaAllah.”

May Allah SWT grant al-marhoom Yasmin Behardien and all deceased Jannatul Firdaus Ameen.

VOC (Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed)

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