Well known and highly respected poet, radio presenter and Urdu specialist Saffee Siddique, died after a long illness in the early hours of November 23.
Video producer Satish Dhupelia pays tribute: “We bid farewell tonight to cultural stalwart, Saffee Siddique, the man with the golden voice, humble, calm peaceful, the doyen of radio and poetry, a man who could bring words to life when he spoke them, a founder member of organizations to promote Urdu, the Buzmee Adab Group, a song writer of note but more importantly a fantastic human being with a lovely smile every time we met and also a friend of my late Dad who loved poetry, too. A legend who walked, talked and lived amongst us is gone, but in many ways he will still live on through the wonderful memories we all have of dear Uncle Safee. Our sincerest condolences to Zakia Ahmed and all those who loved him. He was like family to so many.”
On behalf of the KZN Department of Arts & Culture, Rajendran Thangavelu Govender offers the following tribute: “I would like to express our deep felt condolences on the passing away of the legendary Saffee Siddique. He was a symbol of compassion, dedication, love, and everything positive. His contribution to the arts and culture realm is phenomenal. His astounding knowledge of the Urdu language and culture has benefited many people throughout the world. Rest in Peace.”
A further tribute comes from Dineshren Naidoo on behalf of the Indian Academy of South Africa: “A few years back, our founder Dr TP Naidoo and The Indian Academy of South Africa honoured this great soul Ustaad Jannab Safee Sidiqqi with the Nadaraja Award for his contribution for the Arts, Radio and Community Building. He kept the flag of the Indian Image flying all the time. He will be deeply missed in our South African society