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Obituary : Waheed Camroodeen – A Doyen of Alternative Media

As the inevitable news reached us about the death of one of Lenasia’s most outstanding human beings, we are overcome with grief and deeply saddened by the passing of Waheed Camroodeen.

A loss we share with the entire community of Lenasia and far beyond our limited borders. Waheed had an indelible presence in many parts of the world as will be attested to by the tributes that will pour in from far flung corners of the globe.

Waheed will be remembered as a humble,  sincere and faithful person devoted to not only the well-being of his family, neighbours and friends, but to a multitude of people from all walks of life.

As a pioneer of Lenasia which during the Apartheid era of the 50s was designated by the notorious Group Areas Act as a racial settlement for Indians, Waheed made a major impact by highlighting the ills flowing from racist policies of the then National Party.

His enormous talents as a writer kept developing over time, resulting in Waheed making an ambitious decision to launch a newspaper. A move which not only allowed him to chronicle social, political and cultural events as they happened, but the platform known as Lenasia Times evolved over time to become an institution.

Waheed Camroodeen and Lenasia Times thus became inseparable. It was and remained his drawing board to sketch momentous events as they unfolded. He gave a voice to people who otherwise had no means to communicate their frustrations and hopes.

It was after all an era of despair during the dark days of racial oppression when detention without trial, torture and bannings were the order of the day. Yet the perseverance and grit displayed by Waheed, allowed his media platform, the now iconic Lenasia Times, to counter apartheid.

Much can also be said about Waheed’s interventions in the sporting arena. Hereto it remained a challenge to ensure that the sporting boycott initiated by the Anti-Apartheid Movement was successful. And in keeping with his dogged determination, Waheed rose to the challenge.

Waheed embraced the famous ethos of “No normal sport in an abnormal society”, which became a global cry led by the late Hassen Howa.

And to develop indigenous talent, he made an exceptional contribution to promote boxing, his own skills pretty renowned.

Waheed was a devoted husband and father. Since the passing of his dear wife Fatima, his health gradually deteriorated. Having suffered a debilitating stroke which left him paralysed, Waheed’s mobility was severely restricted.

That death is inevitable was a constant reminder he shared with his circle of friends. Ultimately he succumbed to his illness.

We at Media Review Network have been honoured and privileged to have been counted as his friends, sharing as we did a common global worldview.

His life was characterised by unstinting passion for truth and justice.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and offer our duas for Allah to accept him in the company of martyrs.

Iqbal Jassat 

Executive Member

Media Review Network


South Africa

Iqbal Jassat