The Community Needs Thinkers…

Mohamedarif Suleman

(Nairobi, Kenya)

Without having to necessarily impinge on any personal territory in as far as leadership is concerned, especially because we would all like to reconcile our loyalties with their apparent zest and zeal to follow a progressive communal curve, we must, as well, be armed to the teeth with an ability to accept that in this day and age, we need visionaries and thinkers above all.

Communities have thrived the world over and over the years, we have secretly escalated from an insignificant lot scattered across the universe to a more synchronized community that is vigorously engaged in self-growth and perpetuates preservation of its entity. It is common knowledge, however, of the manner in which most Jamaats are run. Ad-hoc financing, lackluster drives and donor-motivated projects, all of which while commensurate with the continuous motion needed to run the routine and short term plans of the community, defeats the principal of an organization.

We must vociferously concede that our organizations lack unilateral focus and are in fact anti-organization in spirit. In other words, when a new team comes into leadership, support by the membership is limited to those willing to commit their own resources only. As a result, personal interests, not compulsorily harmful, but those that predicate the “one-man shows” of our long history have prevailed. In any organization, the first rule is that there ought to be continuity. Continuity of planning, continuity of controlling and directing. And finally the supervisory controls to ensure that the plans are adequately followed and that the so-called “master plans” are not mere publicity propagandas earmarked for the registered office archives.

THE COMMUNITY on FRIDAY, while pro-progress, believes in the sanctity of the constitution, in the wholesome philosophy of an organization, and in the discipline associated with discharging our various individual roles associated with such tasks. But we simultaneously find ourselves, term after term, that each individual jamaat fails to rise above the petty triviality of running their centers and manning their problems, to engage in any meaningful planning or vision implementation. And once the term ends, the succeeding team fails to inherit the problems as well as the successes. What does this mean to the ordinary voter? Simply put, when you elect a member, in as much as we desire the emergence of new ideas and reforms, we also must seek the absolute fulfillment of the organizational mission, rather than any personal unvented opinion.

To start this, and especially now that the World Federation has confidently placed their Vision Plan to the whole world (and that we believe is beginning to receive widespread acceptance), the local Jamaats, grassroots you may call them, must change the mode of leadership. Let us low censure of misdeeds, not for humiliating people, but to uphold the constitution of truth and justice. This should immediately replace the age-old song of unity, because while immensely emphatic, unity is subject to abuse by unaccountable teams of leaders. Let us not shy away from questioning, and let  us not deprive the non-wealthy persons to assume leadership roles.But because of the present-day defective organization structure, where the leader has to practically stop living his life (absence of management delegation), this is not bound to happen, is it? With a more positive approach to our systems we will then be able to happily move forward and unite with cleaner hearts for another. Organization, not personalization, is the key.

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Mohamedarif Suleman

About the author

Mohamedarif is a marketing professional and educationalist with a penchant for writing as a hobby since childhood. As he experimented writing about sporting events at first and then current affairs, he quickly developed a skill for observation of his environment and began to write on reform topics, especially in connection with the community. To further feed his pursuit of writing, he founded several newsletters and bulletins at his school and at the Husayni Madrasah in the 1980's, all the time learning from others already in the field not just about writing, but also about pre-press and production processes. He was also the editor-in-chief of the Knowledge Magazine in 1995–1996. A decade later, importing a flurry of ideas into his new home, Nairobi, he first founded a two page community newspaper then became a regular writer of the Friday Faculty before establishing the Community on Friday, a fully fledged Madrasah magazine in 1996. And while his writing at the community continued, he simultaneously started writing for a business weekly, pairing in with his newfound role as a marketing professional. During his time in Nairobi, he wrote several speeches for sitting chairmen and presidents while also giving some himself, developing his concurrent role as a public speaker and trainer.

With changing times and a decrease in advertising sponsorship, as well as a fall in overall readership, Mohamedarif transformed this publication into an electronic blog. Thus was born the Community on Friday in its present format.
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