Decades ago at university I was active in cultural activities and did not have interest in party politics. My activism included organising the Friday prayer and inviting local and international guests to campus to explore a non-political, cultural/social/intellectual exchange that was rare in the 1980’s.

Since I declined to engage in direct political activities my most fervent critics were those that were political including in the Communist party. It was trendy amid the social elite to deliberate Marxist and all sorts of socialist drivel to engender their pledge to the struggle. Many empathised with atheistic, communist socio-political drivel that was the antithesis of Islamic thought and common sense.

Nowadays I have fun when I see them with their imported European designer suits and shoes walking towards German luxury cars. I ask them what happened to their egalitarian opinions of their university days and why they wear imported fashion when many of their comrades do not have proper shelter.

As a veteran social activist who knows who’s who in the requisite circles, I ask the former ideologues if they serve on School Governing Bodies, Ratepayers Associations or Police Forums. What I have learnt is that, like many of our politicians, the words spoken in favour of the poor often fall straight to the ground as there are many people who love discussing the poor but in reality care very little if at all.

Since we all make mistakes and we all spiral between good and bad decisions in life, what builds character in my view is the ability to remain steady not in ideological drivel but in deeds and action.

For example, many politicians who represent the poor live lavishly at the expense of the taxpayer.

Before the next election, public opinion must request the media to probe the top 25 departments, officials and politicians who spent the most money on overseas trips and catering in the past year.

In the words of the wise when your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, and your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny then you are worthy of leadership.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress