23 November 2012

South Africa: Minister of Arts and Culture Mr Paul Mashatile, Pays Tribute to Safi Siddique, the Great Cultural Activist

press release

It is with deep sadness we heard of the passing away of the prolific artist Safi Siddique last night. He was known fondly as Safibhai.

He was a very popular veteran broadcaster and promoted a Ghazal music show called "Guldasta" on Wednesdays on Lotus FM. In his programme he translated the Ghazals and poetry and therefore had a wide audience appeal. He was an untiring cultural activist who founded "Buzme Adab" a cultural grouping that promoted music and poetry.

He had composed an extensive collection of poems, Ghazals and Qawalis, one of which was made very famous by the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan called "Allah Hun". Another Indian icon, Amithab Bachan, after reading his poetry wrote in praise of Safibhai recently. He was awarded many international awards for his work, the latest one was from Pakistan for his great work in promoting Urdu.

He was well loved and respected by his colleagues and the community at large. He transcended all boundaries of age, language and religion in his mentoring of broadcasters, artists and musicians. He had great patience in imparting his knowledge generously. He was passionate about his work and the arts. Safibhai also had a great sense of humour. His arts made him popular with people in different parts of the world. He will live on in the prolific work and legacy he has bequeathed us.

This huge loss affects us all. He contributed to society with his strong message of love always in all his artistic productions. Our deepest condolences go out to Zakhiyia Ahmed, his wife, his children, family and the community.

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