Features In focus

Ikrama Bux: Helping the poor

BRIAN MALAMA, Lusaka
PHILANTHROPISTS want to know their donations are going to good use, but they do not always have the time or resources to verify it.
Ikrama Bux, a Zambian of Indian descent born in Lundazi over two decades ago, is managing director of Aliboo Trading Company and Time Investments based in Lusaka.
Mr Bux, a young entrepreneur, has already assimilated into giving back to the vulnerable communities around him far and wide.
“We make a living by what we get, and make a life by what we give,” Mr Bux, 24, said beaming with glee.
Growing up in Lundazi and partly Lusaka along the way he had a revelation: “There are many powerful people with money who have a hard time giving it away because they have no trust, no time, and don’t know where to start,” he said.
In the recent past, Mr Bux has been donating to various orphanages and communities in Lusaka and Eastern Province particularly in Lundazi and Chipata quietly.
This author accidentally bumped into Mr Bux at Heart of Mercy orphanage in Northgate Township in Lusaka.
The Orphanage looks after vulnerable children, some who are HIV positive. Others have deformities and require special medical care
Mr Bux was making a donation of food ranging from mealie meal, cooking oil and groceries to the orphanage. It was at this point that the Lusaka business man opened up to share his story.
“I have always wanted to do things quietly I feel it is not necessary to make noise when never we think of giving to the people in vulnerable circumstances,” Mr Bux said.
His charitable endeavours stem back from his High School days when his father encouraged him to support his colleagues in need of social and moral support.
In 2014, for instance, he made several charitable presentations to various communities.
Some donations are offered by a network of companies and colleagues.
Heart of Mercy founder Reverend Chongo Phiri describes Aliboo Trading Company donations as a mile stone.
“This younger brother of mine is just incredible he just calls us whenever he has got something for 800 orphans and vulnerable children we support.
“We are so delighted with the gesture of Mr Bux, he has come along with us to support the welfare of our children. This is God’s work and we cherish his commitment,” Reverend Chongo said.
And Mr Bux said the company will always supplement efforts of those looking after orphaned children.
“An orphan is also beloved to Almighty God and if they cry, God asks His angels what is making the orphan to cry,” Mr Bux pointed out.
Mr Bux said orphans find themselves in awkward circumstances but the onus is on the business community and other stake-holders with compassion to support them.
“I wish to commend the Heart of Mercy orphanage for looking after many children. It is a delight and my company will always support them,” Mr Bux said.
He pointed out that there is a lot of support going out to many communities but Islam does not favour Muslims to broadcast what is being given out in form of alms.
In Islam, giving is from the heart and therefore one should not pronounce their donations or support to the vulnerable.
Heart of Mercy is an NGO that looks after orphaned children by providing shelter, food and nutrition, education and godly counsel in Lusaka, Chongwe, Mbala and some parts of the Copperbelt.
Mr Bux attained his title Hafiz-Ikrama after studying and memorising the 880 paged Holy Quran in 1,095 days.
In Islam, any person who memorises the Quran word for word attains a higher status in society equivalent to that of a doctorate in philosophy.
Mr Bux also offers scholarships to a number of people in the Eastern Province, India and Egypt.
“My pass time is work, work, work and work, but most importantly prayers. I always worship Allah apart from working hard,” Mr Bux said.
Apart from supporting orphanages, the Lundazi Muslim Social Welfare Trust from where he hails from, the organisation sunk a lot of boreholes in the hinterlands including the valleys of Eastern Province.
The young entrepreneur is also an ardent hunter during his vacations.
He also loves car racing. “I enjoying racing and speeding a lot; what is important is to understand how to control the car.”
“I love hunting; I usually hunt from the Kafue National Park. It’s fun…. Yeah it’s all man… You should try it out one day!” Mr Bux mooted.

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