Edris Khamissa – a unique professional and eternal optimist

Educator, life-skills expert and internationally recognized motivational speaker, Edris Khamissa said that while he was an “eternal optimist” – he is in fact very concerned because South Africa has become fragmented, judgmental and intolerant of other people’s views.

Speaking during a wide-ranging interview on Radio Al-Ansar’s talk show, 90 Minutes, he added that many Muslims live a life, which is insular, and isolationist.

While people in many countries around the world are making great strides, South Africans are falling back. There is great concern about the lack of progress in a country which no more than two decades ago was being hailed as a “modern miracle” having emerged from a very dark history.

Many thought leaders have applied their minds to what is going wrong in South Africa and people looking for answers and probably solutions inundate Mr Khamissa.

He has addressed the issues on various platforms, at times in front of massive crowds who turn up in large numbers to grasp some knowledge from a man who  in a matter-of-fact-manner has attracted the attention of many.

“We are not eloquent ambassadors of Islam. Instead of celebrating excellence, we applaud mediocrity. Our institutions have a dearth of dynamic leadership. Often when one is appointed to a position of leadership in our institutions, even after a rigorous process, the irony is that this qualified individual is not given the autonomy to make it into a dynamic one. Custodianship is not understood. Let me emphatic it does not mean ownership. We need to redefine success. We need to lead such a life that that we develop a legacy which outlasts time,” he said.

Speaking about the lack of unity in the Muslim community, Mr Khamissa said that the future of any people lay in their ability to live, work and integrate peacefully and meaningfully.

Referring to the Cape Accord, which has attracted much attention, he said that the public reaction suggested that there were some dissenting voices. He was concerned that this has become a news item in the mainstream media He added that any genuine effort to unite the hearts of the believers should be lauded.

Addressing the youth, he said, “Do not become a spectator. You have a lot to offer. With your creativity, help adults to find solutions to the problems the world finds itself with at this given time.

“Learn from the mistakes of adults and also understand that we are mortal beings. Ensure that you connect with your parents and give them the dignity they deserve.

“There are two kinds of tears, one of sadness and then there are tears of regret which you shed realizing that you did not accord your parents the respect and dignity they deserved,” said Mr Khamissa.

Then turning the subject to the high rate of divorces and that “marriage being a danger zone in the 21st century, he said that people often asked him why there are so many divorces.

“Most can be attributed to immaturity of the couple on one hand and the very unflattering example of their parents. We need to do the following: Pre-martial counseling must become mandatory. There should be no nikah until they   have attended pre-marital counselling sessions.

“Every effort must be made to enhance the self esteem of our children. One of the most critical attributes for a couple that expect to make a home is emotional intelligence. Sadly we know how to disagree, but we do not know how to disagree agreeably.

“A highly emotional intelligent person is one that is positive, resilient, they do not suffer emotional melt downs. Nor do they over react and most importantly they are responsive and sensitive to each other,” he said. Regarded as a “unique professional” in his field, which is so diverse that he is often called to host workshops in youth, curriculum, self, business and personality development.

Mr Khamissa who has studied at the University of Durban – Westville, Unisa and other institutions said that people couldn’t go through life without increasing their knowledge. His down to earth approach without any fancy frills and no holes barred approach in dealing with social issues has earned him the status of a “specialist” by those who seek his counsel.

He is off to Johannesburg to run a work shop on leadership, before embarking on engagements abroad. Mr Khamissa has run workshops and hosted seminars in many countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Australia, United Kingdom, United States

Farook Khan – 90 Minutes – Radio Al-Ansar, Friday 22 June 2018, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Kosovo, Qatar,  Mozambique , Sri-Lanka , Zimbabwe, Botswana, Albania and Saudi –Arabia

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