By Al Qalam Reporter
Six extraordinary South Africans, from various sectors of Business and Society, won Awards for their success stories in commerce, industry and professional sectors at the prestigious Minara Chamber of Commerce 2016 Business Recognition Awards Gala Dinner held in Johannesburg recently.
The ceremony, at the Image Lifestyle Centre, saw the presence of a number of dignitaries and notables including Ntlai Mosiah, Head of Client Coverage at Standard Bank, Gauteng MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi, eThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, members of the Diplomatic Corp, sponsors and more than 500 guests from across the social spectrum.
The Awards Gala Dinner was the culmination of the public nomination in each of the categories with three finalists selected in each category and the winners announced at the Gala Dinner.
The President of the Chamber, Ebrahim Patel said that “This year we received a significant number of nominations from across the country. All of the nominees were exceptional and talented South Africans who contribute to the progress of our country. This made the task of selecting the finalists and winners a very challenging one”.
The Minara Business Awards recognise and highlight the success and the contributions that the community makes to all parts of society. It serves to not just showcase but to inspire others to achieve excellence as well.
“This year we are extremely honoured that the Minara Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on Dr Muhamed Umaruddin, better known as Don Matera who has selflessly dedicated his life to making South Africa a better place and whose contributions have not been fully recognised” said Patel.
“Don Matera represents the revolutionary voice of a forgotten past, of a life of dedication with little recognition and of a person who stayed out of the current politics because of his conscience. In our little way we felt it imperative to recognise the true value of Don Matera and honour him with this award” added Patel
Dr Matera is one of the founders of the Black Conciousness Movement and who helped form the Union of Black Journalists, forerunner to the Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) and the Congress of SA Writers. He was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Literature by the University of KZN for his poetry and writings and was awarded the Order of Boabab by the Presidency.
The Winners in the Various Categories were the following.
Business Entity: Bakers Tankers – a leading family-owned bulk-liquids and fuel logistics company for their growth in challenging industry dominated by listed entities
Businessperson: Riaz Haffejee – CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa which owns the Dunlop Tyre Brand and is part of the Japanese Sumitomo Industries conglomerate for turning the ailing brand into an African.
Businesswoman: Amina Chipeta – founder and owner of the Black woman-owned Amafutho Construction which specialises in road infrastructure construction for her progress in this challenging and male-dominated industry.
Young Entrepreneur: Dr Reza Mia – Founder of Pegasus Aviation and Pegasus Aesthetics for his design of the Pegasus Vertical Jet and his contributions to the Aesthetics industry
Professional Achiever: Fatima Hassim – Managing Executive of Business Products at Vodacom SA for her impact on digital transformation and the technology service industry.
Community Builder: Awarded posthumously to Late Mahomed Fareed Choonara – Founder of the Africa Muslim Agency, an NGO which has assisted thousands of people across Africa through aid and development
Chamber Vice President Ebrahim Vawda added that “all the awardees are an inspiration to us and an indication that our country holds great promise with the talent and hard work of our people.”