Medical practitioner by profession, philanthropist by choice, Dr Mohammed Siddique Tayob spends his days between remedying the ill and uplifting the destitute.
Native to Middleburg in Mpumalanga, Mohammed Siddique’s modest upbringing in the Apartheid era, coupled with the principled belief system imparted to him by his conservative and religious parents, have both played a significant role in shaping him. Being witness to the severe injustices and dire socio-economic deprivation of the country’s majority helped structure the framework for Mohammed’s righteous and moral values.
It was, in fact, these humble beginnings and exposure to humanitarian crises and disaster situations while travelling that inspired Dr Tayob to become more involved in charity work. “The suffering and loss of dignity in the refugee camps and rural areas in Africa moulded my thinking and desire to serve,” he says.
A graduate of the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Dr Tayob never ceases in his quest for betterment, having completed a Board Leadership Programme and a diploma in Occupational Medicine and Health from the University of Pretoria. Two of his three sons have also followed in his medical footsteps.
Mohammed Siddique’s studies and experience set the wheels in motion for many business enterprises. The Department of Economic Development in Mpumalanga have also recognised his contribution to the formulation of the BEE policy for the province.
The length of Dr Tayob’s philanthropic résumé is remarkable, and extends across numerous enterprises. He’s been involved with various notable charities for almost two decades and dedicates much of his time to the upliftment of others.
Some of the organisations he’s worked with and founded:
|AGRÉMENT SOUTH AFRICA||October 2007 – Nov 2010
Member of the:
|AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – South Africa||Chairperson in 2003 and 2004|
|PAUL HARRIS FELLOW AWARD||The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International 2013|
|HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION OF SOUTH AFRICA||Secretary from 2001 – 2015|
|BAMBANANI ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (BED)||Founder and Chairman: Develop professional black new entrants into healthcare with an incubator programme – 1999 to current.|
|MEDINOVA MERC TRAINING ACADEMY||Founder and Chairman: 2017 to present|
For Mohammed Siddique, Islam is a way of life mapped out for us by Almighty Allah, and the practical example set by Nabi (SAW). “Our only purpose in this world is to serve Allah’s creation, irrespective of race, religion, colour or creed. Islam made me conscious of the importance of a relationship with the Almighty and trusting in His provision and guidance in all matters of life.”
He acknowledges that all we have comes from the Almighty, and it’s important to be grateful for all the good and the bad, as it gives us the opportunity to learn and grow and to get to know our Creator better.
“Hardship teaches us to trust the Almighty and good times teaches us to thank Him and be grateful for all the good things He has provided”. Mohammed emphasises the significance of praising and thanking Allah in times of hardship because it is only then that we are reminded of His goodness and kindness towards us.
The medical philanthropist finds nothing more rewarding than to see a genuine, heartfelt smile or a sign of gratitude in people’s eyes. He finds that the challenges people face are emotionally low points, but the differences we can make are the highlights.
Mohammed avoids the glorification that comes with pride, and says that the feeling one gets when helping others is one of gratitude. He is thankful for being part of an opportunity to make a difference, and at the same time, feels ambivalent of life’s uncertainty. “Everything we possess can be taken away in the blink of an eye. I could be the person on the other side of the table receiving someone’s generosity,” he proclaims.
His life motto: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough. Anything is possible if you’re willing to make the required sacrifices.”
Mohammed’s greatest role model is his wife, Dr Ayesha Bassa. “She is the smartest person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing – intelligent, wise, principled and pious.” He admires that even after acquiring multiple degrees and diplomas, she still finds the time and will power to engage in an extended Aalimah course. “She cooks a fresh meal every single morning, goes to work for the whole day and is busy with her online classes every night,” he says of her reverently.
His favourite Quranic verse is from Surah Al-Mu’minoon: “Successful are those who believe and do righteous deeds.”
Success for Dr Tayob means having ultimate humility in what you do.
Looking to the future, Dr Tayob wants to empower as many people as he can, especially the youth. He hopes to scale up training programmes to have a meaningful and sustainable global impact.
“Every little bit helps. Ultimately, the combined effect has a global impact,” he recommends to aspiring altruists. “If every single person just makes a small difference to another person’s life every single day – even if it’s just a smile or handshake – the combined effect is immense,” he advises.
The father-of-three is most grateful for the opportunities that Allah has blessed him with, and is fortunate to love the work he’s involved in.
His greatest life lessons: “Let Allah be the only judge,” and “don’t be influenced by arm-chair critics.”
Dr Tayob believes that the Proudly Muslims of SA initiative will inspire people to achieve more.
Mohammed’s parting advice: “Everyone dies but not everyone gets to live. Make every moment count.”
He would like society to remember him as someone who made a difference.
While working in the medical profession requires one to be academically knowledgable and skillful, it takes virtue of character, deep compassion and patience to truly touch and enhance the lives of others. Dr Mohammed Siddique Tayob always reaches far beyond what’s required of him, and intuitively tends to what is needed by others.