Friday, November 28, 2008

Lots to do, lotsa thoughts and so little time

My goodness! Just realised! It’s been a whole month since last I blogged. Quite pathetic. But, I certainly cannot be blamed. The Universe is testing my patience, my strength, my perseverance, my motivation and certainly my dreams. But, I’ll keep on trying… I have to.

So much has been going on lately… Raafiek and I are still on a hunt for a suitable venue, my parents were away for almost two weeks which is always quite stressful for me as I’m left to attend to household amenities… which we all know is not quite my thing… or rather not something I can do. I’m not very domesticated. LOL!

But, guess what… on their trip away… I along with the help of my sweet cousins and dear Raafiek managed to plan a surprise party for my brother’s 24th birthday… and, and, and… I managed to cook at least once :) (hey, i'm chuffed ok). I made chicken and mushroom pasta… which I might add, was certainly not what I envisioned when I started cooking… but nevertheless, tasted divine.

Also, I did the washing! Something I found quite therapeutic, to say the least. Something I’ll certainly do again. My colleague, Steve, joked that I enjoyed it that much because it's not something I do very often… and that one day when I’m forced, my enjoyment will fade. Good point there. But, was fun for now.

And, also, much to my surprise and detriment… I managed to finish four dresses in one week! What a crazy week it was. Late nights and early mornings… shoo! Glad it’s over. One morning I was found dragging myself to bed at 03:45am… that can’t be good! But, the dresses where beauty to the eye… aaah! There’s my enjoyment.

Also, among all this insanity, my cousins (once again) :) came through for me at a fashion show we had last week… turned out quite nice! Thanks ladies… Gakiema and Shahieda – my greatest appreciation! And, to Madiga… for allowing me the opportunity! Shukran babe!

Aaah… what still… oh and work as well… been hectic. Finished off a publication too… busy finalising the 2nd last one… by Monday.. and then the final to go to print by 12 December… I’m bushed just thinking about it!

So, in one week… I cooked, did the washing, made four dresses, worked late to finish a publication, had a fashion show and still survived to tell the tale. That’s heavy! Not again… no thank you! (I’ll update individually with pics when time allows).

And, today as I walked down the steps at work I realised something… tomorrow will be exactly one year since my gran’s passing. Oh how I miss her! And, tonight… will be exactly one year since the last time I spoke to her in person. My heart’s a bit sad right now. I recall how I cried that night holding her hand sitting by her bedside… she told me not to cry and that she was just fine. I felt something different that night… Allah was ready to take her and I knew it. May she forever rest in peace and be close to Allah's Divine Mercy Always, Insha-Allah, Ameen! Love you Ma!

And, once again… my very sincerest thanks to Raafiek… who on that very fateful night took me to see my granny, just one last time! I love you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I wish you were here!

Last night as Raafiek and I got home after dinner with Samir and Shireen, we got into chatting to my parents about the wedding.

The conversation was lots of fun and I enjoyed throwing around ideas with them and contemplating the events of ‘the big day’. Nevertheless, we started chatting about the wedding entourage and then got into talking about the colour of the decorations and the girls dresses.

Anyhoo… as time passed my parents departed and Raafiek and I continued to chat. By now it was 23:00 already… I didn’t realise it was that late. We were going through pictures on my digital camera and reminiscing on memories.

Suddenly, pictures of my late grandmother appeared… usually unaffected by it, this time I felt a bit different. Earlier Raafiek asked me how I felt when I see pictures of her, I just shrugged it off as I was a bit perturbed by my reactions. I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t sobbing my eyes out… I didn’t cry at her janazah… not one single tear… although I did bawl my eyes out with her the night before – her last night on Earth.

Last night must’ve been only the second time I’ve cried since her passing. Raafiek gave me a nice bear hug and I just let it all out. He must've known that's what I needed.

My grammy and I were very close and I treasured her opinion dearly. I missed her last night… so much so that couldn’t fathom my true feelings. I’ve never experienced this before. Just in last week I told Raafiek… I just don’t understand death. How someone can be here for one minute… completely conscious and sane, talking and laughing with you… but literally inside they’re dying. What sense is there in that? I just don’t get it. Perhaps, I’m not meant to.

Now, my grandmother’s brother is about to pass from the same thing. A man so funny, loud and filled with character. But, Allah’s knows best and we should take comfort in that.

"Ma, I really, really miss you terribly! I understand now… I haven’t cried because I don’t want to admit that you no longer here… that I won’t ever see your beautiful face again… or hear your cute laughter… or see your boisterous smile… or the way your eyes light up when you see something really smart. We’ve always chatted about the day I get married… and I always thought you’d be present. I know that even though you won’t be there physically, you’ll be there in spirit! I really wish you were here right now. As, I know… for right now, you’d take away any confusion in my mind… and help me make the decisions with poise… which was so easy under your confident eyes. Right now, I wish you were here to help me make sense of all these colours! I know you would’ve assured me in a jiffy! I miss you so much Ma! Raafiek said something that made me smile through the tears… he said, 'Ma would definitely go with purple and say all the rest my dear is up to you.' hehe… I think he’s so right! I love you and hope wherever you are that you smiling and happy!"

May you rest in peace Ma, Insha-Allah, Ameen!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The harsh reality

Over the weekend I was confronted with some real hard-hitting issues. I watched two movies based on real-life events, and to say it left me feeling a bit uncomfortable is a blatant understatement.

The one was titled United 93 based on Flight 93, a hijacked plane on 9/11. To watch the utter and terrifying horror that those 44 passengers were forced to succumb to, left an emptiness in my heart. One that will never be filled. It really opened my eyes to the unacceptable magnitude of violence in this lifetime. While, this may just have been a composition of what the unfortunate passengers experienced, I shudder to think what the reality was like.

I guess sometimes, as it tends to happen far away, we don’t really immerse ourselves in the situation to get the true magnitude of the emotion involved. I for one just hear it and shun it.

I must admit - I live a very sheltered life in my mind… very oblivious to my surroundings. Perhaps, for my own sanity. Perhaps this is how I deal with things I know I have no power to change. I just cannot stand the thought of seeing another in pain… let alone be the one inflicting it. I cannot deal with some of life’s realities, the mindless killings, the little left un-parented and absent to wonder about, the poor who have no home to go to or shelter and I am left to wonder… how do they still make it through?

I shudder to think of myself, what thoughts would be going through my mind, as I know death awaits me and my departure from the ones I love so dearly! Unfathomable right now… perhaps always.

I was so taken aback by the film, that later that evening when my mom came to greet me while I was sleeping… I jumped up in anguish as I feared what was before me. My mom hurriedly had to compose me and assure me it was only her who wanted to kiss my cheek. Even now, I consider myself lucky to have this sentiment; most aren’t able to still have their very treasured loved ones near. Shukran Allah!

The other movie who my brother recommended was An American Crime based on a brutal crime committed in 1966. To begin to even comprehend how someone can willfully cause pain to someone else, and that - someone of age to a minor, I’ll never understand. Some of the scenes were so offensive and grotesque that I was left curled up on the couch biting my fingers.

I pray that God instills in us a better understanding so that we will remain sane and make good choices for the future – choices that benefit all inhabitants on this borrowed time on Earth!

May Allah be with us!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What does 11...10...09… mean?

What you may ask does 11.10.09 mean? Well… to me it is to be a very special day in my life! A day I’ve always dreamt about… a day of love, honour and complete gratitude. A day to always remember…

The day Raafiek & I pledge to love, honour and cherish each other… the day we complete half our faith… the day that marks the beginning of a new lifetime… the day we marry! I await with eager anticipation!

Well, back to the now… its October 11, 2008… exactly one year from the much-anticipated day. It seems cloudy and cold, but who was to know that it would transform into a day filled with sunshine, happiness and wonderful memories. I spent most of the day with my cousin Shahieda… we attended an Islamic Jurisprudence class – Usul-lul-Fiqh. Then we headed to Mugg&Bean for breakfast. Thereafter, we strolled leisurely around and did some fabric shopping.

On my return home, I felt like doing something special to mark the day. You know me… always looking for a reason to create some memories. So, I called up Raafiek and we collectively decided to do some dining the evening to signify our one year count-down to a lifetime together. I told my parents about it to spread the good cheer… and they decided dinner was on them. We went to a delectable Pakistani diner in Seapoint – From Cape to India.

Mom & Me

Raafiek & Dad

Dressed in our Sunday-best we took a scenic sunset drive to the restaurant. I had on a little black number… and Raafiek was suited in a black blazer as well. Oooh… don’t ask me the names of the food we ate… a bit weird… but nevertheless mouth-watering! Sounded like Aloo Chopra, Aloo Kapiri… uh... never mind… it was delicious!

Me & My Wonderful Parents

We had a splendid time… chatted about plans for the wedding and had some good laughs as well. Oh my… there was this cute little baby boy, probably not even two years old… the minute they stepped into the restaurant… he ran towards me and gave me a sweet… I was so stunned… the little baby then proceeded to climb onto my lap… too oulik! So, I lifted him up and played with him for a bit… till his mom fetched him. Hmmm… me wonders if he can sense my eagerness to have a little one of my own! hehe

Me & My Husband-To-Be

After dinner, my parents left to visit my mom’s aunt, so Raafiek and I went to visit Zane & Zoey.

Zane & Zoey

The Angel & The Devil

Thereafter, we took a drive to the V&A… then a slow drive home. By now… I was bushed… it was heading onto 11:00pm… my eyes are heavy… but still my heart is pounding for what’s to come! Excitement beyond explanation!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shireen’s Sort-of-Surprise

Up I was at Fajr, made salaah, coffee, some nibbles… and we were on the road. Samir & Raafiek planned a surprise day away for Shireen’s birthday. But, to quote the birthday girl: “You can never leave anything up to the guys.” Before we knew it, she was in on what was happening and even helping with marinating the chicken and getting together breakfast.

To spite the broken surprise, we had a blast. The weather was absolutely fabulous. We took a 2½ hour drive to Montague Springs, it’s a hot springs resort outside Cape Town. We went on the waterslide, chilled in the hot pools and braaied.




The day was awesome, relaxed and fun… but come night-time… we struggled to keep awake on our return. The after-effects of being in warm water all day.

Shukran Raafiek & Samir!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

WP vs Lions

Today Raafiek and I did some shopping with his Mom and uncle… then we made an impromptu decision to get some tickets for rugby at the Newlands Stadium for the game between Western Province (WP) and the Lions.

WP was to win by 19 points and a bonus point to make it to the semi-finals. Needless to say, the game was gripping, had me on the edge of my seat and sometimes ranting hysterically as I cheered on for a try that just wouldn’t happen.

They won, 14-6… but felt more like a loss as they didn’t win good enough to make it to the semi’s. Anyhoo… they did their best!

The eve… Raafiek & I headed with my parents to Spur… was delish! If only I could finish…

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


The joy this day brings is immeasurable. It fills me with such peace, tranquility and utter thankfulness. As per the norm on Eid mornings, I attend to dressing our table, filling it with lovely delectables and keeping Mom company in the kitchen till my daddy and brother return from Eid Salaah.

Ashraf & Raafiek

Ashraf & I

Raafiek & I

Upon their return, my Mom & I got dressed and then headed to visit my Dad’s Aunt. Thereafter we spent the day visiting family and friends. I spent some time with Raafiek’s family and then headed to the meeting spot at my Mom’s sister where the entire family got together. We took lotsa pics, shared many laughs and the day was memorable.

Raafiek's Family

The Ladies

My Mom's Sisters

I love family time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Assalamu-Alaikum Ya-Ramadaan

Wow! I can’t believe it! My heart is filled with so much sadness right now. I long for this month to be here again…

It’s the final day of Ramadaan today… the 30 September 2008. We’ve fasted for 30 days and tomorrow, Insha-Allah will be Eid-ul-Fitr (Labarang). I’m excited to see myamily and friends and to share in the day with them. But, even through the bliss I can’t help but feel a little melancholy.

This is such a special month and one which if lucky to experience, should be taken full advantage of. Algamdulilah… I managed to finish my Gataamal-Qur’aan on the 19th day of Fast, as I wanted to do as much as I could before the Little Red Fairy visited. And, I did.

Last night in mosque I couldn’t hold back the tears as I realised that it was the last Salaatul-Taraweegh for the year 2008. I’m so thankful to Allah for gracing me and my family and friends with this month and protecting us throughout it. Shukr Ya Allah!

May all our actions, efforts, saum (fasting) and intentions be accepted and may we continue to live under the protective wing of Allah, The Almighty.

Eid Mubarak to those who celebrate… may Allah grant you everything your heart wishes.

Assalamu-Alaikum Ya Ramadaan… shukran for filling my heart with such warmth, eagerness, connectedness and serenity. I have taken on many Amaanah (responsibilities) which I wish to carry out after Ramadaan and throughout my years… May Allah make it easy for me, Insha-Allah, keep me steadfast and may each and everyone only grow in faith from here. Ameen!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I’m so exhausted but excited!

So, after just 3 hours of sleep, one would expect that I’d be tired… but not yet… When I awoke I was filled with excitement for the day ahead. I was to see Ruwayda at 10:00. I was excited as I haven’t seen her in her ‘delicate’ state as yet. Or, should I say, I haven’t seen her in her state, knowingly of the state. Hehe. Wait, this is getting much too confusing.

Bottom line, I was excited! I picked her up then we headed to our appointment. She's looking pretty much the same for now... but complaining her pants can no longer close. Aah! The joys! And, as always… there was a long waiting line… but, we didn’t mind this time. There was a lot to update each other on… so, we didn’t waste any time and got right into it.

Thereafter, Raafiek came to meet us and we headed to do some shopping for him. We walked around from shop to shop, sometimes finding what we need, and sometimes not at all. By now it was around 15:00… and I was beginning to feel a bit weary. Later, Ruwayda’s husband picked her up and Raafiek and I headed on home… I really needed to sleep, so I did just that.

The evening we decided to take my parents out for supper once we returned from mosque. We intended on Spur, but was closed when we got there… so we got some Nando’s takeouts and headed home. Not before long talk of the wedding springed up and we ended up chatting into the wee hours of the morning. Think I got to bed around 02:30am. I took a while to conk out. Sleep deprivation is certainly not joyful, but wedding planning is much too invigorating… Man, how do I sleep?

Layla-tul-Qadr 2008

Tonight was the 27th night of Ramadaan. A very sad night, but a great auspicious occasion on the Islamic Calendar. It’s always sad for me as it marks us nearing the end of the month of Ramadaan. A month which brings much humility and peace to my life as I’m sure it brings to many other Muslims as well.

The evening we went to Taraweegh as per usual, Fouzie joined me which I’m very grateful for. I haven’t spent time with her in a while… so it was great to re-connect again even though we haven’t completely forgotten about each other and still keep in contact with impromptu calls now and then.

Thereafter we headed home to get all our goodies to prepare ourselves for the long night ahead. I was very sad Raafiek couldn’t make it, but he had a very valid justification… but Insha-Allah, I hope Allah still grants him the very best reward, as I know his intention was nothing less than pure. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

So, after greeting my parents, Fouzie and I were off to meet my cousins, Shahieda, Nadia and Raihaana. We droped off some food for the children… then headed to the masjied. Masjiedul-Quds is one of the largest mosques in Cape Town and hosted on that night more than 6 000 Muslims. Masha-Allah!

It was really nice to have four very special ladies with me. It was momentous having them with me as we listened to beautiful Qiraah and Thikr. We later made Tasbeegh Salaah, then had suhoor followed my Fajr Salaat and the recital of Surah-tul Yaaseen. It finished at 06:00am on 27 September 2008 marking the 27th day of Ramadaan. I then went to drop Fouzie and headed home myself. I was so bushed by the time I stepped into my bedroom at 06:30am. All I could manage was taking off my salaah top… and the rest was history. I woke up 3 hours later to attend to many errands for the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr. I’m thrilled!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More polity

So… it’s been a while hey… and so much has happened. On the political landscape, South Africa has finally waged its political hand and brought about clarity to a scenario that has caused not only confusion but instability to many residents.

However, despite the presumed chaos, proceedings went pretty well and a new President of South Africa was elected and sworn in today. The man of the moment is Kgalema Motlanthe… previous Deputy President of the ANC.

Kgalema Motlanthe
New President to the Republic of South Africa

25 September 2008

How do I feel about this assignment? Well, I’m okay… for now. As long as we don’t have the dreaded President of the ANC leading the country, then I’ll have a problem.

Further to the resignations, a new Cabinet was elected to support the President’s cause. After the uproar he caused with his resignation, which I think was a well-planned motion, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel was re-elected to the new cabinet. The newly elected Cabinet of the Republic of South Africa is as follows:

The Deputy President: Ms B Mbete
The Minister of Foreign Affairs: Dr NC Dlamini-Zuma
The Minister of Defence: Mr C Nqakula
The Minister of Finance: Mr TA Manuel
The Minister of Provincial and Local Government: Mr S Shiceka
The Minister of Transport: Mr JT Radebe
The Minister of Social Development: Dr ZST Skweyiya
The Minister of Public Enterprises: Mrs BS Mabandla
The Minister of Communications: Dr IF Matsepe-Casaburri
The Minister of Public Service and Administration : Mr R Baloyi
The Minister of Labour: Mr MMS Mdladlana
The Minister of Public Works: Mr GQM Doidge
The Minister of Intelligence: Mr S Cwele
The Minister of Health: Ms B Hogan
The Minister in The Presidency : Dr ME Tshabalala-Msimang
The Minister of Correctional Services: Dr BMN Balfour
The Minister of Housing: Dr LN Sisulu
The Minister of Safety and Security: Mr EN Mthethwa
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development: Mr ME Surty
The Minister of Education: Mrs GNM Pandor
The Minister of Arts and Culture: Dr ZP Jordan
The Minister of Sport and Recreation: Rev MA Stofile
The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism: Mr MCJ van Schalkwyk
The Minister of Trade and Industry: Mr MB Mpahlwa
The Minister of Science and Technology : Mr MA Mangena
The Minister of Mineral and Energy: Ms BP Sonjica
The Minister of Home Affairs: Ms NN Mapisa-Nqakula
The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry: Ms LB Hendricks
The Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs: Ms LM Xingwana

I’ve stipulated these for reference sake later in life. A quote from his Kgalema Motlanthe’s acceptance speech:

“We live in challenging times. We see before us many mountains that are yet to be climbed, and numerous rivers that still need to be crossed. Yet, for all the challenges that lie ahead, the incontrovertible truth is that never before has South Africa been closer than it is today towards the achievement of a better life for all its people. We therefore have a shared responsibility to build on these results and to strive together - sparing neither courage nor strength - towards the achievement of a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.”

I sure hope he achieves his plight and that he brings about a harmonious living for all the residents of South Africa and Africa. I salute you Mr President.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Further resignations

Further resignations have taken place. The toll now stands at the President, the Deputy President, 10 Ministers and 3 Deputy Ministers. And, guess what. This includes our Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel.

Now, really... this can definitely not be good for South Africa, now as we stand in this volatile moment with soaring (and thankfully, now declining) petrol prices, soaring food prices and now further economic instability as well as on our political landscape. After what has just transpired, one can but ony hope we will receive our 36c decline in the petrol price next month.

Here's the resignation list as it currently stands:

Statement on the resignation of members of Cabinet and Deputy Ministers - 23 September 2008.

President Thabo Mbeki has, to date, received letters of resignation from the following members of Cabinet which, regretfully, he has had to accept:

1. Deputy President - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

2. Minister of Defence - Mosiuoa Lekota

3. Minister of Finance - Trevor Manuel

4. Minister in the Presidency - Dr Essop Pahad

5. Minister of Intelligence - Ronnie Kasrils

6. Minister of Correctional Services - Ngconde Balfour

7. Minister of Public Enterprises - Alec Erwin

8. Minister of Science and Technology - Mosibudi Mangena

9. Minister of Public Works - Thoko Didiza

10. Minister of Provincial and Local Government - Sydney Mufamadi

11. Minister of Public Service and Administration - Geraldine Fraser Moleketi

The following Deputy Ministers have also tendered their resignations:

1. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs - Aziz Pahad

2. Deputy Minister of Finance - Jabu Moleketi

3. Deputy Minister of Correctional Services - Loretta Jacobus

The resignations will be effective from the day that the President's resignation takes effect. All the Ministers have expressed their availability to assist the incoming administration in the hand-over process and any other assistance that might be sought from them. President Mbeki thanked the Deputy President, the Ministers and the Deputy Ministers for their dedicated service to the nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.

Further to this I just received notice that there is a possibility that Finance Minister Trevor Manuel will stay and serve on the new administration said his spokesperson Thoraya Pandy.

Pandy made it clear that the minister believed his resignation was required because he served "at the pleasure of the President" and if the President resigns then he must too.

The rand plummeted after word got out but as talks of a possible stay was born, it regained its earlier composure.

A political update - 3 Ministers resign

So, the state of our nation is in uproar at present. So much is happening leaving uncertainty not only in residents of South Africa but abroad as well. After reviewing the news last night it is evident that financial markets are currently stable (phew!), but however, the way the world is viewing the latest developments in South Africa leave much to be desired.

Although Thabo Mbeki’s resignation from the Presidency of the Republic did not make front page news the world around, it has still left some improbability in the minds of investors. And, as Thabo Mbeki could no longer attend what would have been his ninth annual United Nations General Assembly, Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was present. Word has it that Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel also attended proceedings.

At the inception of the assembly, Ghanian President John Kufuor told the gathering, which included several heads of state: "I take the chair at the invitation of the UN secretary-general in place of my colleague and friend, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who should have been here but for matters of state. We all know the role President Mbeki has been playing on the continent of Africa, and indeed on the international scene, during the past decade. He is one of the main architects of the African Union and a key initiator of … the New Partnership for African Development."

Among other things hitting headlines last night and early this morning is the resignations of three ministers of the Cabinet. Following Mbeki’s decision to resign from the Presidency, it was rumoured that Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (ANC) would also follow. This is now true, along with the resignation of Azapo President and Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena (non-ANC) and Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad (ANC) who’s resignation will take place the same day as Mbeki’s.

According to an official more than 40 percent of Cabinet ministers at the time of hearing Mbeki’s resignation were ready to go until Mbeki asked them not to.

Further to this, the President has decided to take action by submitting a right to appeal to the Constitutional Court yesterday for the allegations made by Judge Nicholson claiming aspects of the ruling that set aside ANC president Jacob Zuma's prosecution and also indicating the executive had interfered with the work of the NPA, finally leading to his political downfall as President.

In papers filed at the Constitutional Court and served to Zuma and acting prosecuting head Mokotedi Mpshe yesterday, Mbeki states: "It is unfair and unjust for me to be judged and condemned on the basis of the findings in the Zuma matter. The interests of justice, in my respectful submission, would demand that the matter be rectified."

Mbeki claims that Judge Nicholson's multiple and "vexatious, scandalous and prejudicial" findings against him had effectively cost him his job, and damaged his good name and reputation, without the judge, or "most importantly the general public", ever hearing his side of the story.

This, Mbeki says, is a clear violation of his constitutional rights and those of current and former justice ministers Brigitte Mabandla and Penuell Maduna respectively, who Judge Nicholson suggested had improperly interfered with the National Prosecuting Authority's work.

"These adverse findings have led to my being recalled by my political party, the ANC - a request I have acceded to as a committed and loyal member of the ANC for the past 52 years, much as the untested allegations relied on by (Judge Nicholson) have already caused irreparable harm to my integrity and to the standing of the office I occupy... I fear that if not rectified, I might suffer further prejudice," he said.

Mbeki, who has gone to the Constitutional Court in both his personal and official capacity, has asked that Judge Nicholson's findings be declared unconstitutional and set aside.

"I deny all the allegations against me and also dispute the truth and correctness of the 'findings'... The findings do not only suggest that I have acted improperly or without integrity, all of which are injurious to my good name, reputation and my right to human dignity... but also go further in that they in effect say that I have failed to fulfil the constitutional obligation to uphold and respect the constitution as the supreme law of the Republic."

Pointing out that Zuma's application before the Pietermaritzburg High Court was mainly concerned with the NPA's failure to seek his representations before recharging him, Mbeki said it was "not necessary" for the judge "to make the findings I am appealing against".

If Judge Nicholson was of the view that "the serious and defamatory allegations pertaining to me" were relevant to Zuma's application, Mbeki argued, the judge should have asked for him to be formally cited as a party in the case.

Mbeki is disputing the following findings made by Judge Nicholson:
• That his decision to dismiss Zuma was "unfair and unjust".
• That there was a "political struggle or rivalry" between himself and Zuma that impacted on the judge's ruling on Zuma's application.
• That his decision to stand for re-election as party president at the Polokwane conference was "controversial and not in accordance with the Westminster system we espouse in this country".
• That former prosecuting head Bulelani Ngcuka's decision not to prosecute Zuma was politically driven.
• That the various meetings between the director-general in the Presidency, Frank Chikane, and the NPA regarding the arms deal must have related to the Presidency's complicity in the charges against Zuma.
• That there was political interference at the time that Mpshe decided to reinstitute the prosecution against Zuma, and it seemed that "the issuing of the warrants against (National Police Commissioner Jackie) Selebi was not palatable to the president, but the decision to prosecute (Zuma) was".
• That the actions taken by Maduna and Mabandla, in interfering with the prosecutorial independence of the NPA, are the responsibility of the president and the entire cabinet.


As it stands, South Africa is experiencing political uncertainty. One can but only hope that these matters are dealt with correctly, constitutionally and respectfully. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I’m going to be an Aunty…

Wow! It’s official… I’m going to be an Aunty! Hehe. :) Some weeks back my very dear friend Ruwayda - fondly called Tietie (big sister) - phoned me to tell me the great news. Not many knew at the time and she wasn’t 100% certain, so I couldn’t breathe a word!

Well, it’s a clear as daylight now… and a great definite, so Algamdulilah! I’m very excited for her and her husband Faheem.

Gosh… Ruwayda and I have shared many of life’s trials side by side since as early as Standard 7 and our relationship and friendship has bloomed into a beautiful sunflower… a pillar of understanding and heaps of great memories!

Ruwayda & I - Matric 1998

10 years later - Seaforth Beach - Early 2008

As we share each of life’s tribulations, we always make the extended effort to be of assistance and comfort to each other in each and every way possible. This is friendship at its purest! And, I’m honoured to have someone like her in my life.

Coincidental Twins - A week before Ruwayda's wedding

Someone who has filled many of my days with laughter, treasured memories and beautiful moments. I especially miss our morning and afternoon chats on the train updating each other on our life experiences. She truly is a character of note and who always goes the extra mile for those dear to her. I’m happy to be one of them.

Side by side through life's beauty - Ruwayda's Wedding Day

For now, I’d like to wish Ruwayda and Faheem all of life’s very best, Insha-Allah. May the moments they share as they await the birth of their beautiful baby or babies be memorable, filled with laughter and pure bliss!

Wishing you treasured times!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

President Thabo Mbeki resigns

I must say I sat with bated breath on Saturday afternoon, 20 September 2008 waiting for the fate of the country to be told. At 12:30, Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe was to relay the ANC’s decision. It was delayed as President Thabo Mbeki was seeking legal advice at the time. Eventually at 13:00, the screening started.

He said they’ve decided to recall Thabo Mbeki to the ANC and Mr Mbeki agreed to follow. Shoo! This is hectic and at such a volatile time. Or is the timing perfect? I can’t help but feel saddened that he didn’t finish his term and that the work he did over the past years should be tainted with such an ending.

Anyhoo… such is life. Today, President Mbeki addressed the nation at 19:30. I was in awe. I sat there, listened, then rushed off to mosque not forgetting to ask my dad to record the commentary for me. When I returned from mosque. I watched it. Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me. At 12 o’clock I was still glued… until my dad ushered me to bed. A quote from his speech which really stood out for me:

“…gloom and despondency have never defeated adversity. Trying times need courage and resilience. Our strength as a people is not tested during the best of times. As we said before, we should never become despondent because the weather is bad nor should we turn triumphalist because the sun shines.”

It is true hey... in the end it's all about our approach. If you’d like to view a full copy of his speech, see President Thabo Mbeki’s Resignation Speech

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

A colleague of mine, Bradley Shaw just sent me this most beautiful email. Very inspiring and certainly added a new spark to my day and life. I thought I’d share it with you!

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly ressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey .

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: “I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.”

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally's Mission Statement:

"To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment."

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”

My friend said jokingly, “No, I'd prefer a soft drink.” Wally smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.” Almost stuttering, Harvey said, “I'll take a Diet Coke.”

Handing him his drink, Wally said, “If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.” As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.”

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

“Tell me, Wally,” my amazed friend asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer , on the radio one day.”

“He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said:

"Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd."

“That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I take it that has paid off for you,” Harvey said.

“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?

Smile, and the whole world smiles with you... The ball is in our hands!

A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up... let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Iftaar at Spur

So… it’s a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. A welcomed sunshine day after the storms and utter blistering cold we’ve been experiencing lately. It’s certainly not a day to be found in the kitchen.

My cousin, Nadia called earlier the morning, who was enjoying their stay at the Royal Atlantic in Seapoint. She suggested we conform to the usual Saturday evening’s at Spur. So we decided to join. And, lucky for me, I convinced my parents to come along too.

Dad & Mom

We were meant to arrive an hour before Iftaar ‘boeka time’… but as luck would have it, we came a ½ hour before to be graced with a long waiting list and extended lines. Although, Spur was nice enough to provide dates and falooda milk for those left to wait. Nevertheless, we used this time to catch-up and mingle… it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other.

Myself & Shireen

Samir & Raafiek

Eventually, we got seated an hour and a half after arrival. Oh boy… it certainly was worth the wait! I thoroughly enjoyed my meal… thinking about it now is making my mouth water. Hmmm… that reminds me I still have leftovers as I couldn’t finish. Oooh wee!!!

The gathering was nice… thoroughly enjoyed the company. After the meal and many heavy bodies later… we decided to venture out into Seapoint for a much-needed coffee.

Shireen, Shahieda, Nadia, Mom & Me

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some family pics

Last night when I got home from work… I walked into a beautiful sight. There was my daddy… all dressed up and looking snazzy. I told him so. He just laughed.

My dad usually where’s salaah tops that you throw over your clothing and they usually have patterns on them. Well, not today… today he was dazzling in a pure black salaah top, clean shaven and that all too familiar smell… looking dashing as ever! Atleast I thought so!

I ventured on inside to my mom who was busy doing the dishes. Always camera-shy, she tried to avoid taking the picture… but when showed her how it came out…

...she was convinced to take a proper one. Love you mommy!

After mosque for Taraweegh Salaah, I came home and took this piccy with my daddy.

Then before bedtime for Ashraf, I squeezed in this one.

These are special souls in my life… and I ask for Allah (SWT) to always grace them with his all-encompassing Protection, Mercy and Love. And, to shower their lives with His blessings! Insha-Allah, Ameen!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hope is on its way

As I got into the car to leave work after a long and hard day… I was graced by this little book lying on the seat of Steve’s car. Usually I’m too bushed to do anything… even chat, so I leave Steve and Rustum to carry on with their antics while I catch up on some zzz’s. But, not today… this book had me hooked. I read it from cover to cover.

Steve was quite impressed to see me still awake… but by this time I was pondering on the words of wisdom. Really made me take a deeper look into life and to see the positive instead of focusing on the negative. I’m a big believer and preacher of this… but only towards others. When it comes to myself, that’s a different ball game. It’s often easier to help someone else than to help yourself.

There were some interesting quotes that really stood out for me… I’d like to share them with you:

Each second you can be reborn. Each second there can be a new beginning. It is choice. It is your choice. – CLEARWATER

Now is not time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. – ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961)

People deal too much with the negative, and what is wrong… Why not try and see the positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom? – THICH NHAT HANH

My personal favourite:
Throw your heart out in front of you and run ahead to catch it. – ARAB PROVERB

I have always felt that the moment when first you wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that… absolutely anything may happen. And, the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not one jot. The possibility is always there. – MONICA BALDWIN

We have enough people who tell it like it is – now we could use a few who tell it like it can be. – ROBERT ORBEN

There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream – whatever that dream might be. – PEARL BUCK (1892-1973)

If one burdens the future with one’s worries, it cannot grow organically. I am filled with confidence, not that I shall succeed in worldly things, but that even when things go badly for me I shall still find life good and worth living. – ETTY HILLESUM

But for me security is not knowing what’s going to happen. Because if I don’t know, it could be terrific. – GLORIA STEINEM, b. 1934

The longing for paradise is paradise itself. – KAHLIL GIBRAN (1883-1931)

I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods. – RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882)

I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even when I do not feel it. I believe in God, even when He is silent. – LINES SCRAWLED ON A CELLAR WALL IN COLOGNE WHICH WAS DESTROYED BY BOMBING IN WORLD WAR II.

I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward. – CHARLOTTE BRONTE (1816-1855)

May your life be filled with love, hope and honour!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ooh yummy!

Strawberries! My favourite… rich in a red mouth-watering colour bound to extinguish any feelings that do not bring enjoyment, utter fulfilment and pure exhilaration. Strawberries… are one of my favourite things to eat… among other things like fresh cream! Hehe… :)

So, my daddy got some as a gift and boy did he give me the go-ahead to chow-down… I had such a feast… one night strawberries and custard… the other strawberries and sugar… and just last night… the moment I’ve been waiting for… strawberries and cream! Needless to say… I was beside myself!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gaining perspective

This past week has been really tough on me… I won’t go into much detail… that’s for my own contention, but I do feel as if a weight has been lifted. Algamdulilah. My daddy is recovering each and every day… and I know this is only by the pure Will and Grace of Almighty Allah.

I realised what needs to be done… I need to learn to let go… to put my complete faith in the hands of Almighty Allah. This is something I could do very easily before… many a times I’ve endeavoured and was blessed with the bliss of contentment. This time around, I need to try a bit harder. And, like I told a very dear friend of mine today… it’s the hardships in life that push you forward to greatness. Sometimes I wish I’d listen to myself. Afterall, no one said life was going to be easy, right? But, the old cliché… apparently it’s definitely worth it! So, I plan to give life my all and to always strive to reach closeness with my Creator… that’s exactly where I need to be.

At least I have something to spur me on. The month of Ramadaan is here and it has certainly helped with the spiritual connection I was lacking. I went to Salaatul-Taraweegh tonight and it left my heart with a feeling of excitement, joy and pure exhilaration. I miss that feeling and am certainly looking forward to experiencing more of it.

So, over and above all that’s been happening, today I’m in a good place and thankful for it. Oh Allah, may you continue to bless all that’s dear to me and grant all deceased the highest of places in Jannah, make our Ummah strong and may we always strive to follow the Siraatal-Mustaqeem. You, Oh Allah are indeed a Lord of Mercy, Love and Significance! I Love You!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Everything in life matters

About two years ago, my parents came back from a trip to Johannesburg and brought me this little booklet with a quote for each day. I must say I really appreciated it, still do as it has certainly brought light to many bewildered days.

Today’s surely stuck out like a sore thumb and hit right to my heart. It is true hey. Everything in life does bear significance and everything happens with reason, as my dad so fondly reminds me. A very dear colleague of mine, Tamlyn also articulated this to me over the weekend. Thanks babe! You certainly are a blessing in my life and your care and concern is treasured.

Not too long ago, I found myself in an unremitting platform where I was doused with another’s relentless questioning about life. Everything pondered, thought and questioned ended with, “Does it matter?” I soon got caught up in the tumultuous situation and began to question too. Does anything in this life matter? Does it matter that we here today because we could be gone tomorrow? Does it matter that I don’t have the MBA qualification I yearn for, it won’t make a difference to the end? Does it matter where I work as long as I’m happy?

The cycle was petrifying and left me in a very unsettled state. Until I was graced with an email expressing just that… that everything in life does matter. That my goals matter. That my existence matters. That what I do today will have an impact on my tomorrow. That the care I show to someone today will never be in vain. That the decisions I decide upon today could bear detriment or pleasure to those I love. That every single step I take today brings me closer to where I am destined to be. Even if that destiny is to pass on… but that’s just it… we pass on to a new beginning where everything we did in this life will matter.