On Thursday 13 December 2018, Tahir Fuzile Sitoto, was formally granted the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies at a graduation ceremony at the University of Cape Town. His doctoral thesis was titled: “On Africana/Islamica Existential Thought: Don Mattera and the Question of Transcendence” and was supervised by Professor Abdulkader Tayob. Sitoto’s doctoral thesis places the renowned South African anti-apartheid icon, Don Matera’s poetry, fiction and self-understanding in conversation with African existential thought, with a particular focus on Black Muslim experience in the United States of America.
Tahir Sitoto hails from humble beginnings in the KwanoBuhle Township outside Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. He was part of the thousands of young South Africans who participated in the 1976 Soweto youth uprisings against the apartheid regime’s proposed imposition of Afrikaans medium school instruction. He subsequently joined the Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa (MYM) and attended the first Islamic Training Programme (ITP) in December 1977. He rose up in the ranks of the MYM and served as its President from 1994-1996. Tahir Sitoto holds a BSocSc (Hons) and MSocSc degrees from UCT. He also studied at King Saud University in Riyad, and was a Fullbright Scholar at the State University of New York at Binghamton with the late Professor Ali Mazrui. He currently serves as a lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics.
I’ve known Tahir Sitoto from his days as a student at As-Salaam. He has always been a very humble and committed person. Tahir started off as a member of the Muslim Youth Movement (MYM) where he soon became the President. He’s been a valuable part of many Islamic organisations and involved in academic teaching for several years at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He was also a trustee of the IPCI (Islamic Propagation Centre International), IROSA and the Islamic Development Bank Scholarship Trust. We are elated with his remarkable achievement of obtaining his Doctorate. There is no limit to what one can achieve and Tahir has aptly demonstrated this. Although he hails from the Eastern Cape he has spent most of his years in KwaZulu Natal where he has served the community and organisations with distinction. On behalf of the Islamic Forum, MYM, Sanzaf and the IPCI we congratulate him on being granted the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies. Our duas are with him. Ahmed Saeed Moola for Islamic Forum