29 November 2023

By Sana Ebrahim

Fifty female artists who took part in the Tawakul “Women of Art for Aid” charity project recently have raised R80 000 in an online auction – much needed cash that will go towards the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (IMASA) for their Covid-19 relief fund.

Managing Director of Tawakul, Hoosen Essof said the online auction was done by auctioneering company, Aucor, who kindly waived all charges.

“There were eventually over 90 pieces of art by professionals and hobbyists and all of them were donated in the hope that funds could be raised specifically for the medical relief effort.”

“Most of us know of someone who has been affected by Covid-19 and some of us have lost friends, family and colleagues to the pandemic. It’s sad and tragic that we couldn’t do more to help them.

“I thank you on behalf of all of the artists, the IMA, our sponsors and Aucor,” he said.

Hafiz Yunus Paruk, Marketing Manager of Al Baraka Bank that co-sponsored the Women of Art for Aid virtual charity auction, said: “To all the women who have donated their art pieces for the benefit of the Covid relief fund, we salute you all.”

Cape Town-based artist, Farieda Salie says she was very pleased to hear that all three of her art pieces were sold in the auction. “I am a member of Safia (South African Foundation For Islamic Art). While I was living with my daughter in Westville Durban, I was involved with Sister Honey Allie of the IMA bereavement group. When Tawakul requested for donations for IMA Covid-19 relief efforts, I donated three pieces of my work, hoping to be of help.”

Pretoria-based artist, Shehnaz Suliman said: “I was blessed to take part in the Tawakul ‘Women of Art for Aid’ Initiative, thanks to a friend who kindly referred my name and alhamdulillah the rest is history. A heartfelt thanks goes out to the organiser Hoosen Essof and all those that worked behind the scenes and the artists who advised on pricing and other considerations.”

Rustenburg North West-based artist, Aashia Kola Sahib, who donated an art piece titled ‘Daisy’ said: “Giving is not just about making a donation; it is about making a difference in someone’s life. The reason behind me joining the Tawakul art initiative is because small actions with lots of people make a big difference or change in the lives of those that matter.”

Durban artist and director of L’Art Arabe Gallery, Shehnaz Desai, said she was delighted to participate in the Tawakul art initiative and auction. “Being part of a community of artists from around South Africa is truly amazing. L’Art Arabe Gallery in Musgrave, Durban, served as a collection point for artworks en route to the top bidders.”

Dr Yakub Moosa Essack, national President of IMASA says: “Through the Women of Art for Aid initiative, science and art were drawn together to lend exposure for IMASA Covid projects. IMASA’s initial focus had been the provision of PPE (personal protective equipment), fabric masks for the vulnerable in the community, and oxygen concentrators for home-based care of Covid patients. The second wave or mutation of the coronavirus may require additional capacity considerations. From IMASA’s perspective, an excellent outcome has been achieved through the Tawakul art initiative and auction. The talents of artists from across the country has been exposed and catapulted through social media platforms, while simultaneously providing much needed material assistance to IMASA Covid-19 projects.”

Speaking at the Charity Art Auction at Aucor Durban, Dr Shakira Cassim from the IMASA-Durban branch said: “We, on behalf of IMASA, would really like to commend and appreciate the efforts of the Women in Art and we also acknowledge the time, the patience, and the sacrifice that they’ve put in to produce such beautiful works of art. We’d like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to them from one art form to another and especially bringing joy and life to others.”

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