Hasan Mahomedy

Hasan Mahomedy completed an undergraduate degree in environmental science at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and then moved onto completing postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town, in Geographic Information Systems. He has been involved in many community projects over the years, including soup kitchens, security awareness, water distribution and winter warmth drives. Past roles include Secretary of Westville Community Policing Forum, and both Secretary and subsequently Chairperson of the Muslim Students Association (UKZN-Westville). Hasan’s background lead him to participate in the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute’s Future Leaders Program (2020), which aims at enhancing civic leadership and developing the younger generation as change agents in South Africa. He has recently joined SAPPI Southern Africa, an internationally renowned forestry and paper company. His future endeavours include service to society and establishing himself as a lead GIS professional in both his work and research.

The ASRI Future Leaders Programme, which was shared to me a short while prior to the application closing date was something that sparked my interest, having been exposed to the organisation in prior years.

The program began swiftly after the formalities concluded, with a detailed outline and requirements sent to each of the 30 odd participants. The program was held via Zoom due to the COVID pandemic and this new way of learning was utilised for the safety of all. This posed a challenge for both the program directors and students, which was handled particularly well, albeit a few connection issues that some battled with!

The themes varied from public policy to governance, ethics and values to law and social justice and many other interesting subjects. Both internal and external tutors covered topics, with some areas being more challenging than others.

Throughout the last few months, I have learnt a lot from the topics discussed. I also struggled with topics such as media and communications and public policy, having no background exposure to either of them. I particularly enjoyed economics and development and law and social justice. The program was vast, and aided in my understanding of the ‘who, what and why’ of society. This enhances your understanding of societal difficulties and paves a solution driven way of tackling said issues. This leads us to ‘aspiring for a just, equal and prosperous society’. Furthermore, the program has brought together various activists from different backgrounds and parts of the country onto a common platform for engagement and networking.

I must thank the directors, speakers, the ASRI team and the class of 2020 for the future leader’s program.  The opportunity was extraordinary.