Remembering Hadjie Omar Kemp

A Centenarian’s Life of Devotion

Remembering Hadjie Omar Kemp A Centenarian's Life of Devotion _

Mitchells Plain’s oldest resident, Hadjie Omar Kemp, passed away at the age of 104. The death of this venerable figure occurred in his home in Portlands on a serene Friday, following Eid celebrations, amidst his loved ones.

A Life Well-Lived

Hadjie Omar, a former Tramways soccer player, was interred the following day in accordance with Muslim customs at the Azzawia Mosque in Walmer Estate—a place of worship he faithfully attended for many years. His final resting place is at the Mowbray Cemetery.

Born on November 21, 1919, Hadjie Omar’s journey through life has been one of remarkable milestones and devout adherence to his faith. His commitment to his community and his religious practices were evident during his umrah trip to Makkah on his 100th birthday, marking his 16th pilgrimage to the holy city.

Reflecting on his longevity, the centenarian shared:

“I never smoked or drank, I was never in jail or court, and I’ve never been hospitalised in my life. I drink kruie which keeps me healthy, I have no illnesses and I’m in control of the food I eat. I’m not picky with food, but I eat less and talk less and this helps me stay healthy.”

Hadjie Omar’s personal life was equally filled with devotion. Outliving his six children, with his eldest daughter passing in 2023, he leaves behind a legacy through 20 grandchildren and a sprawling brood of over 100 great-grandchildren, with numerous great-great-grandchildren whose exact count he admittedly lost track of. His lifelong commitment extended to his marriage:

“I’m proud to say I’ve only had one wife in my life. When she died in 1973, I’ve never moved on again. We were married for over 40 years.”

A Community Mourns Its Pillar

His grandson, Riedewaan Adams, expressing the deep sense of loss felt by the family and community:

“He died of old age, he was very weak but at ease with himself. He lived to see five generations of his family. We will miss him for his compassion and love for family and his community.”

Adams further mentioned the profound impact Hadjie Omar had on his spiritual teachers at the Azzawia Mosque, noting that he “will be sorely missed by the teachers.”

The funeral, attended by notable figures such as Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels of Portland Mosque and Sheikh Ahmad Hendricks of the Azzawia Mosque, was a testament to Hadjie Omar’s significant influence and revered status within the community.

Hadjie Omar Kemp’s centennial life, marked by personal discipline, religious dedication, and a deep love for his family, leaves a lasting legacy that transcends generations, symbolizing the rich tapestry of life experiences and communal bonds that define the human spirit.

What do you think?


Written by Layla Hadid

Layla Hadid is a passionate freelance journalist hailing from Midrand, known for her insightful coverage and compelling storytelling. With a keen eye for uncovering the stories that matter, Layla has made a name for herself in the journalism landscape of South Africa. Her work spans a variety of topics, from local community issues to broader, socially impactful stories that resonate with a diverse audience. Layla's dedication to truth and transparency has earned her respect and admiration among peers and readers alike.


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