“We’ve interviewed thousands of guests from over 100 different parts of the world.” So says author, senior journalist and award winning presenter, Shafiq Morton, who hosts VOC’s weekday current affairs afternoon show, Drivetime. A Capetonian by birth and a father of two, he says serving Cape Town’s cosmopolitan Muslim community has been a “thoroughly unique and uplifting experience. Voice of the Cape has provided a rare space for the story behind the story.”
In addition to his on-air duties he blogs for his personal VOC site on www.vocfm.co.za and writes for various national and international publications such as Muslim Views, Al-Qalam, The Palestine Chronicle and writes op-eds for the Independent Newspaper Group in South Africa. Shafiq’s varied career spans over three decades, and in recent years has garnered many awardsincluding the 2008 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award in the community category as well as the regional category in 2010.
He was also awarded runner-up status in the Sanlam/MDDA Local Media Awards in the columns section in 2010, as well as the Distinguished Ambassador of Islam Award from the International Peace Centre in Ireland. He is the author of Notebooks from Makkah and Madinah, a critically acclaimed devotional travelogue published by Dome Publications in South Africa and in the Far East. His second book Surfing behind the Wall, My Palestinian Story is due for publication late 2011.
In 2008 he was invited by the esteemed Brookings Institute to attend the US-Islamic World Forum in Qatar, an event attended by former heads of state and many of the Muslim world’s top opinion makers. Shafiq has edited a surfing magazine, has traveled extensively, free-lanced for the wire-services as a photographer and has served as a South African correspondent for Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s English daily. He has covered stories such as the apartheid state of emergency, Namibia’s independence process, the release of Nelson Mandela, the 1994 elections, PAGAD and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
On his various travels he has reported on – amongst others – life in Palestine, the famine in Niger, the taking of humanitarian aid to war-torn Lebanon, the Topkapi Palace in Turkey, the religious sites of Jordan and the Hajj, the Lebanon war of 2006 and, more recently, the Libyan uprising. On his Drivetime show, which has a distinct international “flavour”, Shafiq reckons “it has always been about teamwork, and I’ve had some good producers working in the Drivetime team. A good programme is the sum of its players, not the ego of its presenter.”