SHAMIMA Shaikh, acclaimed pioneer for the rights of Muslim women in South Africa and station manager for the Mayfair-based Islamic radio station The Voice, succumbed to cancer on the same day that her final inerview with the media appeared in POST last week.
Mrs Shaikh, 37, started out as a student activist during her days at the University of Durban-Westville, defyind tradition at the time which precluded Muslim women from taking part in male-dominated religious activities by leading a group of women into the Pageview mosque in Johannesburg to pray.
Though threatened with eviction, the women stood their ground and today, largely because of their actions, several progressive mosques in the city have arranged facilities for women to join in prayers in seperate sections.
Just before her death, an excited Mrs. Shaikh, a journalist and former editor of the Muslim newspaper Al-Qalam, told POST about plans which THE VOICE had to involve the Greater Johannesburg community to an even larger extent.
She was the chairperson of the Community Broadcast Trust, which founded the station.
Mrs. Shaikh is survived by her husband, Naeem Jeena, also a former editor of Al-Qalam, who has taken over as station manager at The Voice, and two boys, Minhaj, 9, and Shir'a, 7.