On Friday 8th of June I attended the UCT Mathematics Competition Prize Giving as my son was a recipient. At the event, hosted at the Baxter Theatre I had an unexpected emotional experience.

Everything was on schedule until a Grade 8 Black African girl from a previously disadvantaged and currently disadvantaged school and township cried when she collected the Moola trophy.

I could not contain my happiness and the pride I felt for her achievement. I had never met her and new very little about her except that during the competition there were serious upheaval in her township. This young girl along with some fellow students who were under tremendous hardship fought for the opportunity to compete to show the world that they existed and that they had talent.

I felt so deeply ashamed of my experiences, when witnessing Councillors and Parliamentarians abusing each other regularly while those who need our help, suffer. I felt ashamed of the prospects we squander, only to score political points at another’s expense. I cried because I could see the talent that God Almighty had given this young Black African girl and how she struggled to create an opening for herself whilst those in authority waste billions in taxpayers’ money on corruption.

I want to use this occasion to remind those with authority that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has made oppression unlawful for Himself. Thus no one has the right to oppress another. This young child has a divine (God given) right to education including a situation that is safe and secure from abuse and violence. She has a right to food, clothes and opportunity to improve her life. Anyone who prevents another from achieving success must know that God will oppose them in due time.

Since it is the nearing the end of Ramadan I seek to share a secret with my non-Muslim brethren. In the last few nights, the God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims and all others has located a night that is better than a thousand months. On this night, prayers are most holy as it is said that God’s mercy descends closes to the earth. All sincere pray, especially those of the oppressed are heard.

In the words of the wise, find this night and do not miss this sacred time which occurs once a year.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress