By Sana Ebrhim
The Minara Chamber of Commerce Business Awards and Gala Dinner held at Durban’s NMJ Hall recently saw 18 dynamic entrepreneurs recognized as finalists with six winners eventually picked.
Minara Business Awards recognises business leaders, captains of industry, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, who personify competence, excellence and resilience amidst the daily grind.
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube delivered the Keynote address that highlighted the importance of building the economy and updating guests on planned business opportunities.
She shared insights into the launch of the District Development Model that invites the participation of stakeholders in order to discuss all the footprints of each of the government departments – national, provincial or local. “It also talks about skills development; the skills required by the industry and the skills created by our higher institutions of learning… We want members of Minara as well to benefit through the projects such as manufacturing (automotive, chemical, metals and maritime), agriculture, tourism, transport and logistics, and the green economy.” She highlighted government’s role in growing the economy and assisting entrepreneurs through the development of SMMEs.
Minara President Solly Suleman acknowledged that ‘achievers never expose themselves, but their achievements expose them’.
The awards presentation commenced with a moving tribute to Lifetime Achievers, Dr Shaukat Ali Thokan and Ebrahim Gangat who were awarded posthumously. The stalwarts were honoured in the presence of their family and community for their selfless work and great contribution to social development in South Africa.
The Business of the Year Award was jointly presented to SAFY Group and Osman’s Optical group. The award was accepted by Director Yusuf Moola on behalf of the SAFY Group and Waheed Osman, owner of Osman’s Optical. The third finalist in this category was BuildRite Hardware – a company that has grown dynamically with various branches creating employment.
The Businessperson of the Year Award went to Younus Moosa, owner of several business houses within the hospitality industry.
Young and talented software developer Zakia Salod walked off with the Professional Achiever 2019 title. Yusuf Kharwa (CA, Partner) of PwC and Prof Sindile Amina Ngubane were the other outstanding finalists in this category.
Cape Town-based Zakira Palekar was the proud recipient of the Businesswoman of the Year Award.
To find a young person excelling in a unique industry such as Agriculture was a total plus for the judges when they selected Uzair Essack, Director of Cape Crops as the Young Entrepreneur 2019. Successful entrepreneurs in this category included Riyadh Cassim and Naadir Gattoo, both from Gauteng.
Three female finalists, Nasrin Kadwa, Nuraan Osman and Shenaz Ghood in the Community Builder category showed their selfless commitment in three different provinces. Founder of The Dignity Store in Gauteng, Shenaz Ghood was named the winner. This category plays a major role in our country and ultimately every finalist is a winner for their contribution towards improving the lives of many South Africans every day.
The Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Award (MAHLA) for its 2019 edition went to former Deputy Minister of Education Enver Surty (Debut Category) for his book In Pursuit of Dignity. Established writer Kirsten Miller was awarded a prize for the second year in the Main category, this time for ‘The Hum of the Sun.’
In honouring the late author Aziz Hassim for his contribution to arts and culture, the MAHLA project was launched in 2015 with an objective to promote literature and continue his legacy.