Remembering veteran South African journalist Farook Khan

Farook Khan, a veteran South African news journalist who died at age 75.

From a love for two-tone shoes to The Goodwill Lounge, Farook Khan was a journalist who knew all the good stories. He had a great way of telling those stories, too.

#DURBAN: Farook Khan was a veteran news journalist who died at age 75 while being treated for colon cancer. Khan worked for the Post Newspapers, Drum Magazine, the Daily News, the Sunday TribuneStar and Pretoria News, amongst a number of publications. He captured the lifestyle of the Grey Street Casbah in a book he wrote titled the Goodwill Lounge. He also captured the protests and campaigns against the Villa Road evictions in Sydenham.

Farook Khan, whose ancestors were from Maharashtra, achieved fame for his investigative reports in various media groups that he worked for, often facing the wrath of the apartheid-era government and death threats from the underworld that he exposed.


In this special tribute talk show – Newsbreak’s Taresh Harreeparshad and Rachel Vadi find out more about the man behind the big, white beard.

“Farook was a colourful, lovable character. His lists of contacts included international figures in sport and entertainment as well as ordinary folks from every walk of life”, said former editor at Independent Newspapers Deon Delport. “He broke a host of stories through his hard work, tenacity and charm and many young journalists were taken under his wing.”

A passion for uplifting the community

Farook Khan also started the Miss India South Africa Pageant as part of the Miss India Worldwide Pageant, which has seen hundreds of young women from the diaspora find new avenues for their careers.

In South Africa, after initial scepticism in a conservative community, Farook Khan guided hundreds of girls and women to participate in this pageant and several other cultural events that he started.

“He was my oldest and most trustworthy associate of Miss India Worldwide, from among all the countries that now participate in our events,” Dharmatma Saran, founder of the organisation, said.

“Farook bhai was associated with us for 29 years and had become part of our family, hosting the international Miss India Worldwide four times in South Africa and offered to host again in 2021 to celebrate its 30th anniversary,” Mr Saran added.

Farook Khan along with his younger brother Aman Khan toured across South Africa with prominent boxer Mohammed Ali during the days of apartheid.

“Then it has to be the pride in seeing all these young South African women, many of them too shy to appear on a public platform, gaining the confidence to become leaders in the community,” Farook Khan had said.

“Some of them are now in top positions across the world as medical and legal professionals, engineers, town planners, professors at universities and even pilots,” he said.

Hundreds of journalists, who were mentored by Farook Khan, paid tributes and scores of them attended the funeral as well.

Source inputs: SANEF | Newsbreak Lotus FM | NDTV

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