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The unsung heroes


L- R Lavan Gopaul, Fawzia Peer, Vishnu Naidoo and Dr Archary

The book titled, ‘The Unsung Heroes’, is the brainchild of Fawzia Peer, and pays tribute to over 40 people, who have made an invaluable contribution to society but have flown under the radar.


The Unsung Heroes book was compiled and edited by Peer, Dr Kogie Archary, Vishnu Naidoo and Lavan Gopaul. The primary objective of the book is to honour and celebrate the remarkable contributions and stories of everyday heroes from KwaZulu-Natal.


Among others, the heroes include Jaising Singh, Professor Hoosen (Jerry) Coovadia, Safura Khan, Colonel Kacey Naicker, Dr Nanda Soobben, Fathima Khan Gaibie and Kubashnee Perumal.


At the launch, held at Orient Hall in Durban, Fawzia Peer said during her time as deputy mayor of Durban, she found many people who were willing to get involved and help in any way they could. Many of them did so quietly and didn’t want any recognition for their work. She said this inspired the idea for the book, which will have a second volume.


“The objective of this book is to honour, by way of a written record, the voluntary service rendered by these people and their commitment. There were many people who we approached who did not want to be mentioned in the book because they did not see the need to be recognised for their selfless service. The unsung heroes mentioned in the book have been taking their communities to new heights,” said Peer.


Dr Archary, a research associate at Unisa, said the book is aimed at educating readers of the positive impact these people have made over the years.


“These unsung heroes changed the circumstances of others, not expecting any financial, material or obligatory returns. Serving society, changing the kaleidoscope of hundreds of communities from Port Shepstone to Zululand, the inland settlement of Pietermaritzburg and the beautiful, majestic Durban with her surrounding apartheid-constructed townships of Phoenix and Chatsworth; the unsung heroes have worked tirelessly,” said Dr Archary.


Adv Gopaul commented, “The South African Indian community has a rich history deeply impacted by colonialism and apartheid. The unsung heroes, descendants of indentured labourers, have faced numerous challenges but have risen above them with remarkable strength and determination. Their stories serve as a testament to the power of ambition, education, and the pursuit of a better future. These ‘Unsung Heroes’ are indeed superheroes.”


The Unsung Heroes is a non-profit initiative. For more information contact fawziap@global.co.za

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