How to Enter the Closer to You competition
Bios of Taariq and Uzair
Uzair Gardee from Greenside, Johannesburg is a first year student at WITS studying to become a doctor, Uzair enjoys entertaining people with his impersonations, jokes, acting and singing. Furthermore, public speaking is one of his fortes. Concerts in school and Madressa have been a favorite from a young age. Uzair enjoys cycling, tennis and soccer. Family life is extremely important to him. His parents have raised him with good morals and taught him to always be his best to all regardless of age, creed or colour. He has a little sister who is in grade 7 whom he loves dearly; Uzair lost his granny to cancer shortly thereafter his brother and closest friend, passed away at the tender age of 15 after battling with leukemia for 3 years. These traumatic losses impacted hugely on his life. Their deaths showed him how short life was and in turn this motivated him to start making a difference to guide the growing Muslim youth in a direction towards the right path.
Taariq Sayed is 18 years old and was born and raised in Gauteng. He is the oldest of 3 siblings. His brothers are 13 and 8 years old. He grew up in a modest home with huge emphasis on Akhlaaq irrespective of whether it was at school, Madressa, or with adults known or unknown to him. He enjoys playing football, hanging out with friends and always wanting to help people. Having spent 3 years in Muscat, The Sultanate of Oman He developed a love for travel and adventure and is always seeking new experiences. Uzair and Taariq have known each other for over a decade and the friendship extended to their families as well. The loss of Uzair’s brother Yusuf to Leukemia 2 years ago, was a traumatic experience for Taariq as Yusuf was like a brother to Taariq too…..and so began their interest in Nasheed as a way of dealing with the huge void in their lives after Yusuf’s passing.
A little about CHOC
Uzair and Taariq story began 2 years ago, around the time Yusuf was back in hospital receiving Chemotherapy. It was the 2nd time that the cancer had come back and Yusuf’s manner in dealing with this challenge, his positivity, his amazing attitude and trust in Allah served as a true inspiration for these boys. It was during this time that the boys had seen what support CHOC provides for children and their families with cancer. Yusuf then decided to cycle the 94.7 cycle challenge for CHOC to raise funds for the families less privileged then him.
So What or who is CHOC? The Childhood Cancer foundation CHOC was established in 1979 as a support group to parents of children with cancer, by parents of children with cancer. Having experienced the immense emotional and financial toll that cancer takes they recognized there is more than one victim in the family of the child with cancer. Their aim was to ease the burden on parents facing the same journey by providing access to relevant, accurate information, as well as emotional and practical support. They do not receive funding from government but rely heavily on donations. Funds raised are used to provide direct practical help to the children and their families. They assist in upgrading hospital facilities. CHOC provides extra staff and support to hospitals. They cover funds that are not maintained by the government such as Chemotherapy, needles, equipment, bedding, psychologists, food and a lot more. They have built CHOC houses countrywide to enable patient and their caregivers to live in. CHOC also plays a huge role in cancer research.
Looking back at Yusuf’s desire to help others less fortunate than him that was in the same situation inspired .Uzair and Taariq to give back. Yusuf was not only an inspiration in the production of the CD but the boys have decided to allow Yusuf’s dream to live on by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every CD to CHOC.. We commend the boys for their generosity and Since Yusuf is close to many hearts, lets support this worthy cause and buy the CDS .May Allah reward us all for our intentions.
Closer to you Press release
Uzair Gardee and Taariq Sayed, both 18 years old, have launched their first Islamic music album titled ‘CLOSER TO YOU’
They have used their talent of composing lyrics to touch people’s lives. Taariq and Uzair have been blessed with melodious voices which will encapsulate those that lend an ear.
Well renowned arranger/composer Jeremy Karodia has taken the boys under his wing to finetune them. “I am in absolute awe of these fine gentlemen. Never have I been involved with a duo that are so much in sync with each other. They compliment each other in their singing style. I believe that their album will make an impeccable difference on the youth. I am proud to be able to work with such confident and humble young men who want to add value to the community. They are true leaders and I wish them all the success for the future.”
The boys are in their first year of studying at Wits University. In addition to their ‘singing’ career, Uzair is studying to become a doctor one day. Taariq’s ambitions include piloting and a career in commerce.
Although their likes and personalities are so varied, the duo have been friends since their years in primary school and still share a close brotherly bond.
They share a story that shaped their interest in Nasheed. “It still feels like yesterday. 27 October 2014- A sad, traumatic life-changing event in our lives. Our brother, closest friend and definitely the most brave, courageous and the strongest person we knew had just passed away. Yusuf was diagnosed with leukemia at the tender age of 12. His struggle with intensive chemotherapy and 2 bone marrow transplants stretched for 3 long years. We watched him take his final breath after observing him fight on the battlefield like a true warrior. Yusuf’s faith in Allah was incredible. Throughout his illness, our little brother never failed to stay positive. People need to be cognizant of the fact that no matter what difficulty they may encounter, they should always turn to Allah.
Hence, we named our album “CLOSER TO YOU” Yusuf made us realize how short and precious life is and showed us how we could not take anything for granted. Perhaps our eyes needed to be washed by our tears in order for us to see life in clarity again. That’s where our story began.”
The boys indicated that this was the inception of them altering and modifying their lifestyles. Their aspiration is to alleviate the mindset of the youth and to possibly reach out and connect with them.
They add that they are not perfect and exemplary Muslims but this album is their way of adding value to themselves and inspiring the youth to emerge as better Muslims and finer people with the hope of moving closer to the Almighty.
This album has definitely brought them a few steps closer together.
They mention once again that Yusuf inspired them and they feel an obligation to give back. Childhood Cancer Foundation, CHOC was hugely instrumental during Yusuf’s hospital days. With public hospitals low budgets for providing necessary support, staff, equipment and medication for oncology patients, CHOC fills the gaps. Patients and families that can not afford treatment are housed and maintained by CHOC. They provide funding to hospitals as well as cancer research. “Together with your support, we can make a difference . In honor of Yusuf we would like to donate some of our proceeds to CHOC.”
‘’We won’t ever get over our brothers death. Maybe we feel empty because we leave pieces of ourselves in everything that we’ve loved – and lost. But that undying love that we left in Yusuf has allowed us to keep an undying love for Allah.’’
‘’Our way to a notable difference in our lives as well as others is through Nasheed. Life will always have peaks and valleys, but you must always seek Allahs guidance and believe that HE will not bear you with anything that you cannot handle.”
We hope that this album will inspire people to feel the same.
The CD “CLOSER TO YOU” will be available at all Islamic Bookshops from the 29th of May.
Get your copy of the nasheed album, “Closer To You”
By Uzair Gardee and Taariq Sayed.
An inspirational CD made by two teens. The journey that brought them closer to Allah during the loss of their brother Yusuf to Leukemia. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to CHOC (childhood cancer foundation)
Great Ramadaan and Eid gifts
For your copy you can call:
Sumayya – 0798812464 @sumayya_gardee
Zaheda – 0792348478
Cii store Lenasia
Taj Spice and Books, Lenasia
Al Ansaar Bookstore, Overport, Durban
Eastern Temptations, Emmarentia
Hamza Halaal, Emmarentia
Greenhill Grocer, Emmarentia
Farhana- 0773687891 ,Zimbabwe