Mosque serves as guiding light for youth

Mogamat Noor Anthony, the boys youth co-ordinator, is seen here with some of them on Table Mountain.

A Hanover Park mosque launched a youth enrichment programme in order to offer boys an alternative to the negative influences in the community.

Imam Yazeed Benjamin, from Masjiedun Nur, said he was inspired to start the youth project after a talk he had had with his adult madrassa class participants.

“We were talking about how different things were when we were younger. We used to play sport, and took part in various activities. These days, any open field is being used for illegal dumping instead of playing sport. It is also our duty as religious leaders to reach out to our youths,” Imam Benjamin said.

Apart from arranging soccer matches in the community, they also take the children out of the community to enjoy another part of the city. The project started two months ago, and the 60 boys who belong to the group have already been treated to three outings. The latest one was a visit to the Table Mountain Cableway on Sunday May 6.

“If these boys grow up together, and play sport together, chances that they will hurt one another are slim. That is our aim.”

Imam Benjamin also said that for many of these boys, aged from 10 to 19, it was the first time that they had been to Table Mountain.

“As we reached the top of the mountain, we had a view of Cape Town Stadium. A few of them were debating something, and when I enquired, I was told that some of them thought the Cape Town Stadium was Old Trafford Stadium in the United Kingdom. Some of them even thanked us for taking them ‘overseas’. Since we started this programme, the children have just been a huge blessing,” Imam Benjamin said.